Klen International – A robust and flexible material handling system for harsh applications

Klen International (KLEN) is a world leading manufacturer of fire assay fluxes, x-ray fluxes and a range of other consumables for the mining and geochemical industries. A member of the American based VWR Group, KLEN export their products to 55 countries from facilities in Western Australia, Canada and the United States.

The challenge

KLEN contacted Floveyor before their move to a new custom-built facility in Neerabup, Western Australia in 2014 to solve an ongoing production issue impacting heavily on processes and raw material costs. Despite being fitted with Bisalloy spiral tips, KLEN’s 10-metre flexible screw augers were plagued by excessive wear and tear. After four years of consistent product build-up, high product residues and broken spirals, it was time to tackle this expensive and debilitating problem.

KLEN needed a material handling system that was sufficiently robust and flexible to handle borax, silica flour, soda ash, litharge and potassium nitrate at bulk densities between 800 and 8,000kg/m3. It needed to eliminate the wear and tear issues and handle an expanding stream of current and new materials with minimal or no downtime between batches.

The solution

After a thorough review of KLEN’s operational requirements and extensive consultations with their team, Floveyor proposed a cost-effective solution. It included critical elements of the existing plant including bulk bag discharges, a bag tip station and sifters with the addition of two new Floveyors F4 and a custom trough screw feeder (TSF). Floveyor proceeded to modify the existing equipment, integrating the new systems and carrying out factory acceptance tests at our manufacturing facility in Western Australia. This was followed by installation and wet commissioning of the new process line alongside an existing older Floveyor F5 at KLEN’s new facility.

To refine KLEN’s operations and solve the wear and tear issue, we replaced four flexible augers with two new Floveyors F4 in different configurations:

  • a F4 drag conveyor with multiple inlets receiving the product from bulk bag batching systems to an existing sifter
  • a Floveyor F4 fed from our new custom TSF mounted directly under the sifter, configured to elevate product vertically to two different batch mixers

The custom TSF mounted under the sifter was designed as a mobile skid for more flexible operation and easier maintenance access, with the added benefit of a screw feeder to control the flow of the product directly into the full speed Floveyor F4.

In late 2018, Floveyor assisted KLEN  to expand their plant equipment, increase labour efficiencies and improve their operations to allow future expansion. The scope included a new bulk bag unloader (RFU) teamed with dosing screw feeder (DSF) mounted on load cells, as well as replacing the bag tip station and extending it to the existing F4 drag conveyor. The DSF and weighing system required accuracy of +/- 250g of borax at a bulk density of 1,000kg/m3. It required heavy-duty upgrades with a custom auger and wear insert on the trough, manufactured out of Bisalloy 400 due to the abrasive nature of borax.

The results

KLEN’s continuous plant upgrades were completed in 2019. The Floveyor system provides an effective conveying solution with significant savings, labour efficiencies and improved operations.

The bulk bag system eliminated the movement of 84,000 bags per year (2,100 tons per year). The equipment extension of the Floveyor F4 stopped product residue of up to 5kg. It cleans easily and quickly, and is tough enough to handle KLEN’s changing and often challenging range of materials.

The last word


We like to give this to the person who matters most – our satisfied customer at KLEN, Production Manager Phil Madden.

Due to the many issues we had with our existing operation we wanted to make sure that we selected the right partner for the new facility. Working closely with the Floveyor team on the solution, pre ordering material testing at Floveyor and throughout the project proved that we made the right choice. The new equipment and plant is more robust and easier to operate with minimal down time. Product residues in the system are minimal and cleaning / product changeover is extremely quick. Any new powders, suppliers or grades we have challenged the system with have not caused any issues in the slightest. Due to better purchasing of our raw ingredients and having a system that will handle them, we expect a payback within 12 months.

 

Floveyor bulk bag system with dosing screw feeder, load cell and bag tip station, and the extension of an existing Floveyor F4 for Klen International

The new Floveyor bulk bag system with dosing screw feeder, load cell and bag tip station, and the extension of an existing Floveyor F4 for Klen International.