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Tote Systems: Tote® Systems introduces software for controlling a full range of powder handling operations

Custom software controls, manages and validates system-wide process and safety operations for each bin.
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FILED IN:  Machinery  > Filling/sealing  > Dry filling
     

Tote Systems offers custom software with capabilities for controlling a full range of powder handling operations to assure that content within each individual bin, bin inverter, blender and discharge station meets the same exacting standards for product integrity, ingredient balance and volume.

“In an operation in which 3 fill stations are managing 15 bins, the control computer signals which bins are filled and ready to move,” explains Christopher Ducic, National Sales Manager. “The system self-validates, logs in proof of validation and produces a print-out report. In fact, the ingenuity in the Tote System software is that it controls the whole process. In a recent pharmaceutical application, the bins were located both on the ground floor and up on an 8 foot mezzanine level, with three containers discharging material into separate receiver bins. Tote Systems software maintains the process history, documents how much material is filled from each host bin into each collector bin and then processes the material and moves each of the bins to the tablet press.”

Ducic continues, “When filling a cake mix or cocoa powder product, for example, the Tote System has the capacity to control an infinite number of programs to assure that only so much of each ingredient is filled into each bin to ensure that product uniformity, repeatability and batch-to-batch consistency are always reproducible”.

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Since software is custom developed in-house by Tote Systems, the processor is able to determine the complexity of control desired for the dispensing of each ingredient. Process time, temperature settings, mixing speeds and product discharge volume are calculated electronically to control variables that may include the number of rotations, speed, time and whether a slew or shaking stop is desired before automatically stopping and transporting the container to a discharge station.

The highly sensitive system offers an instant quality-control check that automatically assesses and identifies whether the correct ingredient, in the correct amount, has been added. If an incorrect volume or a rogue ingredient is detected, the system will instantly deactivate and sound an alarm.

The fully self-regulating system can also be programmed to provide varying levels of security—even limiting access by a particular operator to a particular ingredient, if that degree of control is desired. In addition, equipment can be equipped with an electronic perimeter safety light screen that triggers an alarm and shuts down the equipment to assure that workers remain at a safe distance from the operating machinery.

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