Manual labour work can be physically and practically challenging; that’s why many businesses seek the most effective solutions to streamline their processes. For example, in industrial settings, screw conveyors have become a popular choice for processing and manufacturing.
What is a Screw Conveyor?
A screw conveyor comprises a rotating helical screw blade used to move both liquid and granular materials. In modern day processing, screw conveyors are used either horizontally or at a slight incline to move more solid materials with ease. Typically, screw conveyors are used in agriculture to transfer grain to trucks and even in the transportation of biomass, waste and minerals. There are several types of screw conveyors available, and these include:
Horizontal Screw Conveyors
These are the most commonly used screw conveyors. They’re used to transport bulk materials from one process to another and they come in a variation of sizes, lengths, configurations and materials.
Extraction Screw Conveyors
Extraction screw conveyors are often used to extract grain or mealy products from hoppers, silos and tanks.
Inclined Screw Conveyors
These conveyors work at about 45 degrees from the horizontal position. The incline of this screw conveyor can vary depending on industry needs, but it typically sits somewhere between 10-45 degrees.
Shaftless Screw Conveyors
These screw conveyors are most suited to tasks that need to convey bulk materials from filter presses, mixers and centrifuges. The shaftless design provides a non-clogging surface that allows these materials to be transported through the conveyor easily.
Vertical Screw Conveyors
These screw conveyors work best when transporting materials completely vertically or at a steep incline. Typically, any conveyor located at an angle above 45 degrees is considered a vertical screw conveyor.
Screw conveyors are one of the most popular solutions for industries looking to move materials in bulk, and they’ve also proved to be increasingly efficient for use with compost fermentation tanks.
What Is A Compost Fermentation Tank?
Compost fermentation tanks are typically used in agriculture to ferment organic materials like straws, poultry manure and sludge into compost. Some tanks use aerobatics technology to speed up the fermenting period. In addition, tanks are often split into sections or ‘layers’ that move the materials through each stage of the fermentation process (usually, the top of the tank is where the material first enters, and it’s discharged as compost at the bottom, completing the rest of the process through the tanks other layers).
Introducing organic matter to the composter is usually a manual effort; however, with some agricultural industries needing to quickly move vast amounts of waste, this is impractical. This is where screw conveyors come in. Screw conveyors can manually load materials into the composter, and extraction conveyors can remove the mass.
Extraction screw conveyors are the most effective conveyors to use with compost fermentation tanks. The conveyor eliminates the need for an operator to do the loading, which means less contact with the organic waste and less physical labour. In addition, as most extraction screw conveyors can shift vast quantities of materials, this also means that workers can save time and effort when composting, helping to make business more efficient.
The extraction screw conveyor is typically situated underneath the fermentation tank, removing the fermented mass out from the tank when it’s ready. Often, there are no mechanical components inside a fermentation tank, and as the fermenting mass becomes too semi-solid, it becomes challenging to move by itself. So instead, it moves downwards with gravity. The speed of movement depends mainly on the rate at which the fermented mass is extracted from the bottom of the tank. Once the material has passed through the fermentation process, it will reach the tank area where it’s removed: here, an extraction screw conveyor is fitted to transport the material. Sometimes, these can be fitted at an incline to transport the waste more efficiently.
With screw conveyors increasing in popularity, industries realise that their adaptability and design make them the perfect solution for many industrial processes. Each screw conveyor can be specifically built to accommodate an industries needs, from industrial waste and minerals to water processing. The use of an extraction screw conveyor on compost fermentation tanks is just one of many examples of this.