ITC Spices Business is a leading supplier of sustainably produced, food safe spices and part of the giant Indian ITC multi business group. ITC has built enduring and transformational relationships with farming communities for over a hundred years. Empowering local growers to grow sustainable crops and pioneering technically advanced hygienic food processing are the twin hallmarks of ITC Spices Business’s operations. ITC currently engages with 7,800 Spice Farmers in 210 villages cultivating 18,500 hectares of land.
In 2013 project engineer Simanta Ghosh began searching for appropriate technologies to equip ITC’s new spice plant at Guntar. Replacing energy hungry pneumatic and screw conveyors with fast, dust free, energy efficient alternatives was a high priority.
ITC Spices wanted to establish an innovative conveying solution appropriate to their new technically advanced facility. This system needed to be simple to install and use. It had to:
- move a wide range of blended and unblended spice products with varying particle sizes
- maintain blend integrity and convey products undamaged
- be easily adapted to suit to future upgrades in other facilities and versatile enough to keep pace with ITC Spice’s rapidly expanding product range
Simanta Ghosh researched aero-mechanical conveying online. He was sufficiently intrigued to begin exploring his options with the Floveyor team. We visited ITC Spices in company with our regional Kiron Group partners Food Processing Technologies (FPT).
After our meeting ITC’s engineering and production team commissioned materials testing and sought a reference from their German client company Vaerstagen.
Vaerstagen has relied on Floveyors to handle ITC’s spice range for nearly two decades. They provided ample evidence of Floveyor’s reliability and longevity including:
- the suitability of our durable, technically sophisticated polymer coated rope assemblies for ITC Spices hygiene food safe operations
- the easy cleaning method using fine salt purging
- the simple modular design and hassle free maintenance
Viewing demonstrations and material trials at FPT headquarters in Mumbai convinced ITC’s team to install Floveyors in the new plant for stage one turmeric powder processing.
In late 2014 after receiving initial design, layout drawings and clarifying the project, ITC placed an order with FPT for three Floveyor F3 (3”) aero-mechanical conveyors to handle turmeric powders at 7.0 m, 8.5 m and 9.9 m centres. In March 2015 FPT installed and commissioned the entire system.
Seven months into their comprehensive evaluation of the F3 Floveyors’ performance, energy efficiency and maintenance requirements ITC Spices discovered they had recouped their costs in energy savings alone. Floveyor’s economical 1.5kW motor clearly outperformed ITC’s former 20 kW powered pneumatic system in every imaginable way.
In 2016 ITC Spices expanded the new facility to cater for chilli processing. They ordered three more identical F3 Floveyors to do this job. Soon after that, FPT commissioned an additional four Floveyors custom built to accommodate the processing lengths for ITC’s new blended chilli and spice mix.
Integrating Floveyors into ITC Spices complex and rapidly changing processes has been an outstanding success. As a result, other ITC divisions processing products as diverse as flour and confectionary are looking to use Floveyors in their applications.