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New BFM® Weighing Bellows: a durable, affordable silicone alternative

New BFM® Weighing Bellows
26 Sep 2023  |
Weighing bellows are commonly used in the food and pharmaceutical industries as the flexible transition between mixers, feeders, dosing equipment and other machinery where accurate weighing is required.

Designed to minimise any resistance created by vertical movement or vibration on the weighing/load cells, they are commonly made from highly flexible, moulded silicone rubber.

Although moulded silicone rubber is widely used, it does have two significant drawbacks for use as a flexible connection – very poor tear strength and a high price tag. They are usually fastened using manually adjusted systems like hoseclamps which means they can be difficult to fit. This makes moulded silicone connectors a particularly high-risk option from an overall cost-efficiency perspective: they are expensive to stock, but easy to break. Many customers have often experienced product failures during installation as one small slip with a screwdriver or hose clamp can tear the material – a costly mistake.

So what’s the alternative?

The new patented BFM® fitting Weighing Bellows combines the easy snap-fit installation and seal of a BFM® fitting connector with the unparalleled strength and flexibility of their urethane-based Seeflex material. “Seeflex is a proprietary material exclusive to us and is manufactured in a way that maximises its mechanical strength while still providing excellent flexibility” said Blair McPheat, inventor of the BFM® fitting system and CEO of its manufacturer, BFM® Global Ltd. “You simply can’t tear it – it’s virtually indestructible, unlike silicone rubber which will just rip if there is even the slightest nick in it.” Matthew Bailey, BFM®’s Technical Lead in charge of new product development says the company has spent a lot of time perfecting the method of forming the Seeflex material into the new BFM® Weighing Bellows to ensure minimal reactive force for weigh-scales but maximum durability for the longevity of the connector itself. “Seeflex is super flexible but has amazing wear resistance,” said Matthew. “We’ve moulded it into an asymmetrical cone shape to minimise the possibility of any product staying inside the connector during operation, which can happen with single-fold style bellows.”
Here are 5 reasons why the new BFM® Weighing Bellows are superior to other products
currently available:

  1. Incredibly durable: Our Seeflex material has mechanical properties that far exceed those of the incumbent silicone weigh scale connectors or other urethane versions. It is virtually indestructible in normal use and BFM® fitting Weighing Bellows won’t rip or tear during installation or operation like silicone does.
  2. Clean & hygienic: The patented BFM® design is 3A and EU-approved for food contact and ensures all your valuable powders stay inside the connector with zero leakage. This is especially important for pharmaceutical manufacturers where the product being processed is often very expensive. It also helps for loss in weight feeders as no product is lost during loading.
  3. Fast & accurate installation: The patented BFM® snap-in fitment means that the Weighing Bellows is installed in the right place every time in seconds, no need to worry about adjustments or making sure the connector is secured in the right place.
  4. Product-flow visibility: Unlike most silicone weighing bellows which are opaque, Seeflex used to manufacture the BFM® Weighing Bellows is a transparent material that gives full visibility of the product flowing through your process.
  5. No contamination risk: Because no tools are needed for installation, there is no risk of screwdrivers, clamps or gaskets damaging the connector or falling into the downstream equipment, potentially causing product contamination.

The patented BFM® fitting cuff and spigot installation system ensures a perfect fit and 100% seal every time, which is a big benefit in terms of reducing any downtime for installation or removal.

“Simply being able to snap fit the BFM® Weighing Bellows in and out for ease of access and cleaning will be a big bonus for customers, many of whom have struggled in the past with accurate fitment for similar clamped connectors,” said Matthew.

“There’s often a lot of time wasted with manual adjustments to get the height
exactly right with clamps – with the BFM® fitting spigot system, you just snap it in and walk away knowing it’s going to be the right height!” The BFM® Seeflex material and the patented blue-band cuff and spigot system are fully food-grade and are compliant with all relevant 3A and EU regulations.

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BFM® Global Ltd is the New Zealand-based manufacturer of the BFM® fitting system, a unique snap-in flexible connector and spigot that eliminates the problems associated with old-style clamped systems. A BFM® fitting generally fits between...

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