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Case Study

Orifice Gate Handling Aqua Feed

Eidsvaag – an international aqua feed manufacturer in Norway
10 in | 255 mm 
Deliver delicate fish feed pellets directly into a lean/dilute phase pneumatic conveying line.


  • Oversized, double-acting air cylinder actuator. Air cylinder is equipped with a magnetic piston, to be used with magnetic reed switches for gate position indication.
  • Gate body constructed from aluminum.
  • Blade, flanges & material contact areas constructed from 316L stainless steel.
  • Electropolished blade.
  • Rated for 180° F | 80° C maximum continuous service.
  • PET pressure plates are backed with compressed natural rubber load seals. The standard nylon pressure plates were replaced with PET to prevent polymer swelling. Otherwise, blade actuation issues may occur.

Challenge:  Source a slide gate that is abrasion-resistant and positively seals material.


Pneumatically conveying open water fish feed is a challenging task. Material degradation must remain minimal to ensure the feed floats or sinks at specific rates. Adding complexity, open water fish feed is highly variable in fatty oil content, ingredients and bulk density amongst the different blends.

Vortex and Eidsvaag collaborated on this project in 2008. The success of this original slide gate design led to further collaboration on another aqua feed project in 2012. Many of the design parameters were similar to the previous installation, but with more specific considerations:

  • Address material friability & minimize material degradation by eliminating ledges through the inlet.
  • Seal against pneumatic conveying pressure in the lines below, to prevent a pressure drop in the system.
  • Handle the wide range of various materials.
  • Maintain a minimum profile while transitioning from a 15 in | 400 mm (diameter) silo outlet down to a 10 in | 250 mm (diameter) PN10 DIN flange.
  • Provide infinite blade positioning control and signal feedback to a programmable logic controller (PLC) based on Process Field Net (PROFINET) protocol.

Based on those criteria, Vortex engineered, manufactured and delivered a highly modified Orifice Gate to meet every aspect of the application scope.

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