A sticky situation


Caramel can be a challenging material to extract, particularly when delivered in one tonne totes. A solution Burton’s Biscuits came up with was to put totes into a warm room to enable the caramel to flow more easily from the tote into a hopper via a pump. However, the company found that one of the main drawbacks to this method was that the caramel would stick to the inside walls of the tote as the pump sucked it out. The method was to connect a pump to the bottom outlet of the tote and transfer the caramel to a hopper, which worked well until the level of caramel in the tote fell to between 10% and 30%. From this point, the pump cavitated and could not draw the caramel in, resulting in the remaining contents of the tote being returned to the supplier, costing anything between £50,000 and £140,000 per annum in unused caramel.

While looking at options to reduce this waste, the company’s continuous improvement team explored reverting to 200L drums of caramel rather than the tote. Kecol was asked to propose a solution for transferring the caramel from the 200L drums to the line hopper and offered a Kecol H800SN Maxiprime unit c/w 10:1 ratio piston pump.

Kecol supplied a unit to Burtons for a two-week trial period to enable the system to be evaluated. Whilst the system transferred the caramel at the required rate and reduced the waste, the drum loader used by Burtons could not place the drum into the Maxiprime in the correct position. To resolve this, Kecol worked with Burtons Engineers and modified the standard Maxiprime to suit the existing drum loader.

As a result, Burtons purchased two H800SN Maxiprime systems and has reduced the waste caramel to less than 1%, significantly reducing expenditure and increasing yield.



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