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Sadleirs – agility and speed for bulk sugar transfers

Leading Western Australian transport company Sadleirs opened for business in 1829. Today, they remain privately owned and a thriving part of Australia’s oldest family company.


Like Sadleirs, our heritage is built on pioneering foundations of adaptability, innovation and a passion for finding simple solutions. Our partnership with them is a classic illustration of Floveyor’s versatility and responsiveness to meeting our customers’ changing needs.


The challenge


In 2008 Sadleirs won a supply chain management contract for a global drinks manufacturer. This contract called for an economical, clean, quiet conveyor for rapid decanting of 25 kg bulk bags of sugar into road tankers. It was time for Sadleirs to replace their longstanding pneumatic system with something more agile and efficient in restricted locations that could run with minimal operator intervention.


As this bulk sugar application ran intermittently, Sadleirs also needed a mobile system that could be plugged in quickly then stored easily to free warehouse space for other operations.


The solution


Our F5 Floveyor was the perfect fit for Sadleirs’ bulk bag sugar handling needs. Its light, modular design, 7.5 kw motor and capacity to maintain impressive throughputs at a range of angles made the F5 exactly right for this application.


In consultation with Sadleirs, we custom built and tested their system at our research facility. Adaptations included an integrated decanting attachment with built in venting and a mobile skid. This system also operates cleanly, eliminating post loading tanker clean downs allowing for very fast turnaround times.


Smoothing the flow


Floveyor’s versatility was more than a match for the next challenge in Sadleirs’ supply chain operation. Atmospheric and temperature changes in transit activated the sugar’s hygroscopic propensity to form lumps of various sizes. Whilst the Floveyor dealt easily with this by stopping or breaking the lumps on its integrated safety grid, some of the smaller ones blocked the road tankers ‘on board’ blowing systems.


We solved this problem handily by retrofitting a lump breaker to condition the sugar prior to filling the road tankers eliminating problems at both ends of the loading and unloading process.


Stepping up the pace


Sadleirs’ quality systems review identified the potential to achieve economies of scale by shifting their sugar handling operation from 25 kg bulk bags to 25 ton sea containers. However, they needed to be sure that the transfer would be sufficiently fast to avoid incurring demurrage costs from the sea container company.


We confidently assured Sadliers that their existing Floveyor could meet the requisite transfer rates for sea containers. Sadleirs also told us it was vital to retain the flexibility to handle bulk bags and deal with lumps.


The results


By fitting the Floveyor with an easily removed adaptor inlet feeding into the lump breaker, Sadleirs have the flexibility to move lump free sugar effortlessly and at high speed between bulk bags or sea containers and road tankers.


We’ve been with Sadleirs every step of the way as they established and refined their fast, clean, low cost system for bulk sugar handling. Since then, the word has spread and Floveyors have solved a number of other logistical and supply chain management dilemmas for mobile or fixed plant transfers.