Conveying Lupin: From Seed to Bean to Flour

The Lupin Co is a West Australian multi-award-winning company manufacturing Lupin Flake for human consumption, from locally grown Lupinus Angustifolius. The Lupin Co products can be found in over 800 retailers around Australia and are also exported to Singapore, Malaysia, UAE, Bahrain, Philippines, United Kingdom, Vietnam, South Korea and the USA.

Western Australia produces 85% of the world’s entire Lupinus Angustifolius. Lupins are not only full of protein and fiber, making them a super food, but they are environmentally sustainable as well. Used as a break crop, Lupinus Angustifolius has capabilities to fix nitrogen and absorb phosphate from the soil.

Total batch transfer of delicate lupin flakes

In early 2016 Floveyor was approached by Managing Director David Fienberg to help with the concept of a new production facility to handle lupins. David’s vision was a production line nothing short of engineering excellence – and he insisted on local manufacturers and suppliers. He needed conveying machinery that is resilient, and long-lasting but still gentle enough to handle the delicate lupin flake without causing degradation or loss of material. David has previous experience in flour mill conveying systems, chain conveyors, bucket elevators and pneumatic systems, so he knew the installing original Floveyors is the only way to avoid material degradation and achieve total batch transfer.

THE CHALLENGE OF CONVEYING FRAGILE MATERIALS

A solution was required to convey lupins in various formats into and out of multiple processes from metal detection, colour sorting, and milling, through to final packaging ready for the consumer. Lupin flake is very fragile and during processing it is essential that the flake appearance is not degraded and turned into a lupin powder.

Clean and green materials handling

David was in search of a single solution with low energy consumption, easy to maintain with minimal residue, and the ability to be cleaned between production runs. Unfortunately, due to the factory location, power off the grid is unpredictable and brownouts are common. Getting the production line back up and running as quickly as possible when the power comes back online was essential.

COST-EFFECTIVE SOLUTION: A START-UP’S DREAM

After many meetings and discussions of layouts, a solution including five F3-3” Floveyors to achieve the desired layout and process requirements was selected. This solution would tick all of David’s requirements and deliver a cost-effective solution for capital investment, essential for any startup business.

Conveying excellence from raw infeed through to packaging

Orders were placed in August of 2016; the five machines ranged in lengths from 5 m to 8.5 m and angles from 45 degrees to vertical. The various grades of lupin were tested as part of a factory acceptance test (FAT) at the Floveyor facility. Product testing included variations in moisture, oil content, size from raw infeed to the milling process, along with the finished product for packaging. All elements of materials handling excellence had to be met to achieve a one-stop shop for conveying.

Easy cleaning Floveyors with no residual build-up

After installation and commission in January 2017, which was carried out by the Lupin Co team, the equipment has been running without any issues. Following a brownout, the production line is back up and running within 10 minutes and with minimal effort. Processing 2600 ton of lupins per annuum, the Floveyors are shut down on a 28-day cycle for maintenance and deep cleaning but are yet to require anything more than a visual inspection. Thanks to the addition of a compressed air washing system, at the end of production a sequence of air pulses commencing at the start of the production line ensures total batch transfer, eliminating all residue.

The Lupin Co has big plans for future development and Floveyor is excited about the next chapter in this fast-paced, proud West Australian company.