S. Howes

Engineering the Right Fit: How S. Howes Helps Find Custom Solutions

background texture pet food for dogs and cats.

The Story of Custom Conveyors That Opened Doors to Success For a Pet Food Manufacturer

  • Customer Industry: Pet Food Manufacturing
  • Product: S. Howes Custom Conveyors

Customer Wins and Benefits

  • Integrated Controls: The integrated VFD could adjust auger speed as per the sample stream rate. It could also control the feed direction when required.
  • Integrated Testing Devices: The custom hopper housed the testing instrumentation for real-time quality monitoring, resulting in concurrent operations to save time and money.

The Challenge

The customer needed to find a solution to help them achieve continuous quality monitoring of the products passing down the line. Initially, the company’s research team had selected a sensor and found a way to take material samples from the production line.

Next, their major concern was controlling the mass flow rate across the new sensor and returning the sampled product to the production line. At the same time, it should also allow them to collect samples whenever required for material testing.

Pet food manufacturers must adjust the production line speed to monitor and sample the ingredients or the final products. It helps them perform quality control and ensure standard compliance.

The Unique Solution

Once the customer contacted S. Howes, our in-house engineering team set out to find a solution with inputs from the customer’s R&D team.

Our engineers came up with a unique solution and designed a small, reversing screw conveyor to meet the customer’s needs. We engineered small conveyor components to fit them in the compact housing space. We customized the hopper to house the sensing and sample collection devices used to monitor and collect samples from the incoming material flow.

For controlling the material flow, we used an inverter duty motor with Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) to fine-tune the flow across the sensor. Different materials require different sample stream rates. The VFD allowed for precise control of the auger speed dynamically to match the conveyor capacity with the sample stream rate. It could also reverse the auger’s direction to collect samples for lab testing.

The Outcome

Initially, we installed the custom conveyor in a single production line of one facility to test if it worked. The results were a glaring success.

The custom conveyor works as intended. Normally, it accepts the incoming sample stream and returns it further down the production line. Otherwise, the operator can reverse the conveyor and collect a sample for lab testing.

The customer was so satisfied with the outcome that they started working with S. Howes to develop a universal conveyor design for this process to outfit other production lines.

Get Custom Solutions with S. Howes

With decades of experience developing and deploying custom process equipment worldwide, our engineering team is adept at designing custom solutions, including custom conveyors.

Besides those mentioned earlier, we also provide other customizations for your conveying needs: 

  • Split tube inclined screws
  • Integrated heating and cooling mechanisms
  • Custom augers
  • Custom-designed agitators, and more

Moreover, we boast a state-of-the-art test lab to conduct POCs for conveying and other processes.

If you are looking for efficient custom solutions for your pet food production needs, contact us today to deploy a customized solution for your pet food processing requirements.