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Golden Wonder crisps & snacks fly thanks to Jacob

14 June 2012

Following installation of a modular pipework air conveyor system from Jacob UK, crisps & snacks are flying around the Tayto Golden Wonder factory in Scunthorpe.

The installation is believed to be the largest of its kind in the UK. Packets of branded snack foods are conveyed by air through stainless steel modular pipe sections to multiple packing lines up to 44 metres from where the products are bagged.

Golden Wonder Site Engineering Manager, Alan Patterson;

“By using the air conveying system rather than conventional mechanical conveyors, we are able to save space and have much greater flexibility in how we feed the packing lines. For example, if we have a specific packing request from a supermarket customer for product supplied either as loose bags or flow-wrapped, we can quickly direct the bagged product to the appropriate multi-packing machines.

The bi-directional air conveying lines have speed controls to cater for variations in product weight, ranging from 21-35 grams. Product can be diverted between packing machines at the flick of a switch and sensors detect and count the product as it is conveyed through the pipework.”

The air conveying system specifically designed for Golden Wonder is based on 200mm diameter, thin-walled 1mm thick, stainless steel pipes, measuring up to 2 meters long, each with a precision machined lipped end, designed to accept a Keltan (EPDM) ‘U’ shaped seal and pull ring connector for an air tight connection.

The connections are conductive for static electricity and the whole system is designed to optimize product flow. A 3-bar overpressure certified connection is created which has the advantage of providing excellent conductivity whilst giving the added benefit of being ATEX compliant.

The thin-walled ducting sections are easily dismantled and re-connected using the Quick-Connect pull-ring system designed and manufactured by Jacob.

Air movement within a Jacob pipeline is enhanced with the smooth-pressed bends, which assist airflow with the minimum of resistance. Standard accessories include inspection doors, visualisation ducts, diverters, product-control and air-control valves, all manufactured to high tolerances.

Jacob UK's David Peplow;

“The application of air conveying systems for snack foods is increasingly popular among both large and small manufacturers. Apart from the lower cost of installation, the main benefit is the flexibility it affords to plant design and layout. The pipe sections are light enough to be suspended from the roof and the range of pipe sections, diverters, bends and valves makes it easy to specify Jacob pipe for installations which are often limited by available space.”

Despite being probably the largest air conveying systems of its type for snack food production and packaging, the installation process was quick with minimal disruption to the operation of the plant. The majority of the Jacob ducting and pipework is located high above the manufacturing plant but still accessible for inspection and maintenance.

With pipework diameters from 60mm to 800mm and a comprehensive range of forks, bends, 'T' pieces, valves and distributors, Jacob modular pipework is ideal for creating an efficient and flexible system, one which can adapt to changing requirements.

Jocob UK Director, John West;

“Working closely with the engineers at Golden Wonder and by using Jacob stainless steel modular pipework, together we have been able to improve operational and efficiency, whilst using the advantage of modular design to optimise plant layout.”

Golden Wonder Tayto Group Engineering Project Director, Trevor Campbell;

“It is testament to the integrity of the JACOB pipework engineering and system design that high volume snack products can be conveyed over long distances and delivered to packing machines snag free. We are very impressed with the pipework installations Jacob has installed across the Group, which now amount to around 1 Kilometre and are currently investigating other applications for this technology.”

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