Quality & Sustainabilty Feed

20 years of continuous operation: Replacement of our batch container rotation system

Our batch container rotation system at the Kulmbach site has a special design that was produced specifically for IREKS and only exists twice in the world! After more than 20 years of continuous operation, a fundamental modernisation was needed.

What is it about: In total, there are two batch container rotation systems in our baking ingredients production, the task of which it is to empty the finished mixes of the batch containers. And this is how it’s done: Batch containers filled with baking ingredients are lifted to the level above them, the transport lid is removed by crane, finally the so-called emptying lid is placed on top. This is screwed to the batch container. The containers are then rotated by 180 degrees in the rotation system and set back down on the lower level, where they move fully automatically with the help of a roller conveyor. Due to the rotation, the emptying lid is now at the lower end of the batch container. Thanks to the cone inside the emptying lid, the baking ingredients can now be emptied from the batch container without any problems. After emptying, the same process is repeated in reverse order so that the empty batch container is immediately available for refilling.

This is what was to be improved: After more than 20 years of continuous operation, i.e. six days a week, 24 hours a day, our original systems had become susceptible to faults and the control components were in need of an update. In addition, the cycle time for one rotation showed potential for optimisation.

This is what was done: Both rotation plants were supposed to be replaced – one at the end of 2022, the other in spring 2023. Due to the size of the components, the new rotation systems were lifted through the building façade and into the interior of our baking ingredients production by crane. It took about nine weeks for the first container to run smoothly through the new system in a fully automatic manner. Due to the experience gained, the schedule of the first installation could be beaten during the second transition.

State of affairs: The objectives of the measure have been achieved and work is underway to further improve cycle time. The number of malfunctions during operation were reduced to a minimum and thus the number of daily cycles maximised. This facilitates a better supply of batch containers for bagging.

A sincere thanks goes to: more than 30 colleagues from the technical teams of the departments Technical Operations Office and Technical Process Development, who worked hand in hand with the employees of the external machine builder on conversion and commissioning, so that the intervention at this neuralgic point of our baking ingredients production could be successfully completed in a very short time. A high compliment to everybody involved!