Optimising premixing solutions: navigating the four essential factors
1. Comprehensive ABC Consumption Analysis with Seasonal Considerations:
A thorough analysis of ingredient consumption, including any seasonal fluctuations, forms the cornerstone for determining the level of automation and flexibility required.
a) For consistently high-consumption items (A group) year-round, it is prudent to opt for delivery via tanker trucks or Big Bags, with storage in larger silos to minimise manual handling.
b) Some ingredients might exhibit high seasonal or campaign-based consumption (A group). In such cases, utilising Big Bags and smaller storage hoppers that allow for easy product changeovers with minimal cross-contamination can be advantageous.
c) For components with lower consumption but frequent usage (A or B group), integrating smaller stations for bag or Big Bag supply offers flexibility, with provisions for product changeovers.
2. Building Constraints: The available building height and footprint significantly influence the installation’s fundamental design. A direct gravity-flow system, where ingredients flow from the top into the mixer and then directly into packing machines, requires ample vertical space (approximately 20 metres) for high capacities. Existing buildings, often limited in height, may necessitate a horizontal design that might involve more manual handling. The goal is to create the most compact installation possible.
3. Budget: The allocated budget plays a pivotal role in determining the extent of automation. This encompasses decisions about which components can be automated and how much operator involvement is required to balance the investment.
4. Future Vision: Looking ahead, it’s crucial to envision the desired level of automation and capacity expansion for production. Planning for future extensions from the outset enables seamless integration of additional features such as more ingredients, additional blending lines, and the use of robots and AGVs for finished goods transportation.
While these considerations may seem logical and straightforward, they entail substantial collaboration with the customer. In most cases, we actively participate in the ABC analysis, forming the basis for all subsequent decisions. The end result is that each installed premix line is unique, tailored to meet specific conditions and future aspirations. We take pride in working closely with our customers, leveraging our extensive toolbox of equipment and expertise to create the best turnkey solution within their budget. This approach ensures that the installation is not only well-suited to current needs but also poised for future growth and expansion.