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How Cone Valve Solutions Get Hard-to-Flow Materials on the Move

How Cone Valve Solutions Get Hard-to-Flow Materials on the Move
20 Jun 2023  |
Any bulk materials industry insider knows that the specific machinery used in handling and processing can make or break an operation. This is even more so the case when dealing with hard-to-flow powders and granules, which are just as common as they are necessary across industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and chemical processing.

When it comes to handling hard-to-flow materials in an efficient, safe, and hygienic manner, stainless steel IBC systems equipped with a cone valve solution should be the first choice you consider – such as those designed by THIELMANN. The THIELMANN cone vale solution guarantees the integrity of our dangerous goods containers (IBCs) ensuring they are safe and reliable. No hazardous substances are released during normal operation or in the event of an accident on the road.

Here, we outline the applications, features, and benefits for those unfamiliar with the solution.

A Silver Bullet for Hard-to-Flow Materials

A variety of industrial applications involve materials such as powders, granules, and other substances that are challenging to handle. Cone valves are a type of industrial valve used to control the flow of these types of materials through IBC container systems.

A cone valve guarantees the safe discharge of difficult-to-flow materials under controlled conditions. The system prevents the formation of blockages such as bridges or ratholes, which can impede the discharge process. Located on the outlet inside the IBC, the cone valve can be moved vertically by a dedicated discharge station to break up the blockages that may have formed within the container during the discharging process.

Examples of Applications

IBC container systems fitted with cone valve systems are applicable in various processes. They’re widely used in the production lines of a variety of essential industries, handling everything from fine metal powder to synthetics such as Teflon, or food products such as flour.  Here are a few examples to help illustrate areas where they’re useful.

Food & Beverage: Commonly used for handling dry powders and granular materials, such as flour, sugar, and spices. One specific example is in the production of dry mix products, such as cake mixes and pancake mixes.

Pharmaceuticals: THIELMANN IBC container systems are a global solution for handling powders and granular materials used in drug manufacture. They are particularly useful in applications where high levels of cleanliness and hygiene are required, as their design allows for easy cleaning and prevents contamination. Meanwhile, customizable discharge units can be angled with laser focus for exceptionally accurate dosing.

Chemical processing: Used in the chemical industry for handling abrasive or corrosive materials. They are often used in applications such as mixing, blending, and dispensing, where precise control of material flow is required under explosive atmosphere conditions (ATEX).

Agriculture: An effective solution for handling feed and grain, as their ability to prevent bridging allows for the smooth transfer of these materials between storage containers and feeders.

Setting the Safety Standard

Workplace safety is essential in all industries, but special care is often needed in the bulk materials industry. OEL and OEB levels are used to help create benchmarks and compliance. Specifically, OEB levels refer to the occupational exposure band, which is a way of categorizing hazardous materials based on their potential to cause harm. OEB levels of 2 and up indicate that these materials may pose a health risk to people who come into contact with them.

There are cone valves made specifically to deal with bulk materials with higher OEB levels, particularly with OEB levels of 2, 3, or 4. Meanwhile, IBC systems with cone valve technology automate filling and discharging to the greatest extent possible, reducing human interaction during the production process.

THIELMANN has several cone valve types available which fulfill the packaging requirements for transporting hazardous goods, designed according to UN regulations. Other unique safety features include the possibility to ADR-certify container systems. This ensures the unit is fully compliant when transporting hazardous materials by road. The safety of your team and employees is always first priority, and cone valves ensure that your materials will keep flowing while keeping your facility well within compliance.

Customizing IBC Bulk Handling Solutions

If you’re in search of stainless steel container system, it’s essential to avoid taking shortcuts with a generic solution. Different materials demand unique components in their production process, and the manufacturer’s focus on details can make a significant difference in the efficiency and productivity of your operations, both in the short and long term.

THIELMANN’s IBC container systems offer a significant advantage in terms of customization. For example, if a production line is dealing with a particularly cohesive material or a specific dosing requirement, THIELMANN can offer solutions for filling, discharging, or dosing. With a simple yet customizable support system such as a discharge vibrator, cleaning container outlet, cleaning station, or screw conveyer, the cone valve can perform to its full, streamlined potential.

Across industries as diverse as food and beverage, pharmaceutical manufacturing, chemical processing, and agriculture, a high-quality and customizable IBC container system could be the solution to get your flow control to peak performance.

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