KLEN International – an adaptive, cost effective solution for chemical conveying

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 since 2012, KLEN export their products to 55 countries from facilities in Western Australia, Canada and the United States.

The challenge

KLEN’s move to new custom built facility in Neerabup provided an opportunity to solve an ongoing issue impacting heavily on production processes and raw material costs. Despite being fitted with bisalloy spiral tips, KLEN’s 10 metre screw feeders were plagued by excessive wear and tear. After four years of consistent product build up, high product resides and broken spirals it was time to tackle this expensive and debilitating problem.

KLEN needed a material handing system that was sufficiently robust and flexible to handle borax, silica flour, soda ash, litharge and potassium nitrate at bulk densities between 800 and 8000 kg/m3. It needed to eliminate the excess wear and tear issues, and handle an expanding stream of new and current materials with minimal or no downtime between batches.

The solution

Having canvassed their options for alternative chemical conveying systems, KLEN decided to build on their successful incidental history with Floveyor. A perfectly functional 30 year old F5 Floveyor that had come with KLEN’s acquisition of Sigma Chemicals was relocated to the Neerabup facility. Production Manager, Phil Madden was also familiar with Floveyor’s capabilities from his experience in the dairy industry.

After a thorough review of KLEN’s operational requirements and extensive consultations with their team, we proposed a cost effective solution that incorporated key elements of the existing plant including bulk bag discharges, a sack tip and sifters.
We modified existing equipment, carried out factory acceptance tests at our Bayswater manufacturing facility and installed the new process line alongside the existing F5 Floveyor.

To refine KLEN’s operations and solve the excess wear and tear issue we installed the following new F4 Floveyors:

  • an F4 drag conveyor with multiple outlets transferring product from bulk bag and sack tip batching systems to the existing sifter
  • a full speed F4 Floveyor fed directly from the sifter and configured to elevate product vertically to two off batch mixers

We also mounted the sifter on a mobile skid for more flexible operation and easier maintenance access and fitted a screwfeeder to control the flow of product directly to the full speed F4 unit.

The results

In partnership with KLEN, We designed an innovative, cost effective chemical conveying system that went well beyond solving a persistent problem. KLEN’s reconfigured and upgraded system produces minimal product residue, cleans easily and quickly and is tough enough to handle their 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 correct partner for the new facility. Working closely with the Floveyor team on the solution, pre order material testing at Floveyor and throughout the project proven 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 now we have a system that will handle them we expect a payback within 12 months