…a Q&A with Michael Kline, Inside Sales Manager, Vortex
When handling fine powders like flour, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration. Dust control, ease of maintenance and service life are all factors that need to be examined when selecting components for flour handling.
Q. What bulk handling products are commonly used by the milling industry?
A. A number of products from Vortex Global’s line of slide gates and diverter valves are used for handling flour by the milling industry. Among these are the Vortex Clear Action Gate, Vortex Flex Tube Diverter, Vortex Gravity Vee Diverter, Vortex Maintenance Gate, Vortex Orifice Gate, Vortex Roller Gate, Vortex Seal Tite Diverter and Vortex Wye Line Diverter.
In addition to slide gates and diverter valves, Vortex’s Loading Solutions line also assists the milling industry. The Vortex Loading Spout, spout positioner and in-line filtration system can all be used to provide a dust free loading solution for millers.
Q. What are some of the challenges when handling flour?
A. Dust control is the biggest challenge when handling flour. Vortex has been active in flour handling for four decades and has developed products that address these concerns. Many of our slide gates and diverters feature dust-tight seals providing a positive seal of dust and fine powders.
The Vortex Loading Spout together with our in-line spout filtration system is engineered to capture the fugitive dust emitted during loading and deposit it back into the material flow. The dust becomes part of the load and is sold rather than re-routed and thrown away.
Q. How long has Vortex been working with the milling industry?
A. Vortex has been providing dry bulk handling solutions for the milling industry for over 40 years. Our company’s very first customer was a milling company and it continued to grow from there. Through innovation and product design, Vortex continues to be recognized as a valuable supplier for millers around the world.
Q. Why do millers choose Vortex products for their dry bulk handling needs?
A. In addition to addressing dust control, additional features that convince millers to choose Vortex products are ease of maintenance, longevity of service life, reliability and customer service. Many of our valves handling flour have been in service for over 20 years and have required little to no maintenance.
The employees at milling plants appreciate Vortex products for their ease of maintenance features. If maintenance is required, Vortex components can often times be maintained without removing them from service. This helps to reduce costs incurred from downtime and lost production.
Q. How does Vortex support the milling industry and milling education?
A. Vortex is proud to support the milling industry through various industry and educational partnerships. We are proud to support the industry through organizations like IAOM (International Association of Operative Millers), IMEF (International Milling Education Foundation) and GEAPS (Grain Elevator and Processing Society). Vortex has also supported milling education by donating slide gates and diverter valves to the Feed Technology Center at the University of Illinois and the O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center and Hal Ross Flour Mill at Kansas State University.
For over 40 years, Vortex Global has provided quality slide gates, diverters, iris valves and loadout equipment designed specifically for handling dry bulk solids in gravity, vacuum, dilute, or dense phase applications. Vortex equipment is engineered for dependability, durability, ease of maintenance, and offers proven solutions to material handling and process efficiency problems. With an in-house team of engineers, Vortex products can be completely customized for individual applications or special installations.