Straight Tooling or Free Flow Accessories? • SPEAK WITH AN EXPERT.

Straight Tooling or Free Flow Accessories

Auger Fabrication has made its mark over the past thirty nine years as a reliable supplier for the vertical auger filler industry by supplying quality new and replacement
augers and funnels. There are two types of filling accessories used within the industry, free flowing (commonly referred to as straight) and non-free flowing (commonly referred to as self-feeding).  Obviously, the application dictates which type of accessory is selected. This blog will discuss the assembly and functionality of a straight tooling.

Products such as, but not limited to, granulated sugar, salt, bread crumbs and sprinkles are categorized as free flowing.  Each of these products shares similar flow characteristics such as the inability to be compressed, generally free flowing products tend to be granules.  A complete free flow tooling assembly includes a slow speed or flake blade agitator, a straight auger (no over flight or compression flight), a straight funnel (no lip), a spinner plate and collector funnel.

A slow speed agitator blade bolts to the fillers slow speed spindle assembly. The agitator blade is designed to best facilitate product flow towards the center of the hopper where the auger is located. The blade is cut to size depending on the size auger so that no product inside the hopper is stagnant. Flaky products such as oregano, which have a lighter density, may require the use of a flake blade rather than a traditional slow speed blade. Flake blades rotate within the inner dimensions of the hopper allowing the product to fall inward towards the auger flights.  The most common reason for using the flake blade is because the standard slow speed blade often turns the mass of the product, meaning the blade cannot cut through the product so it all turns together.

The straight auger is fabricated with the same outer diameter through the length of the auger allowing product to meter efficiently and accurately onto the spinner plate or disc. The spinner plate is crucial to a free flow set up, without the spinner plate; the product would run through the flights of the auger.  Proper spacing between the bottom of the funnel and spinner plate are crucial to metering free flow products.  If the height is set incorrectly (too tight), the auger is typically damaged as the amount of back pressure become too great when the product cannot escape the spinner plate.   When dealing with larger particulates, or particulates of varying sizes, the auger and funnel sizes are mismatched; this is often called “clearance.”  Clearance is important not only to accurately meter the product but also to ensure product integrity.  Not using enough clearance can result in product degradation.  Product degradation changes the aesthetics of the product when packaged in clear containers.

The spinner plate, attached to the auger via a left hand threaded bolt and a left hand nut(s), throws the product outward as a result of centrifugal force.  Typically, the product is dispensed upward and outward, not ideal to fit most container openings.  In order to collect the product that is being dispensed, a collector funnel is used to neck down the product stream.  There are three main types of collector funnels; standard collectors, cone collectors, and collector funnels with dust shrouds.  Each style of collector funnel is attached to the funnel containing the auger via a clamp ring and collector funnel cover.  Most free flow products rely on air displacement in order for the product to drain better, it is very important to vent the collector funnel cover.  Dust shrouds are recommended for very dusty granules and most free flow powders.  A dust shroud is designed with two separate tubes, one for dispensing product and the other for a dust port to capture airborne product.

View Free Flow Catalog

View Non Free Flow Catalog

If your company or customer has a product that requires this type of filling accessory please contact Auger Fabrication at 610-524-3350 or visit our web page at www.auger-fab.com. For non-free flowing products such as, flour, protein powder and ground coffee please refer to our non-free flow, self feeding blog.

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