Project: Intermediate Hopper

Assembly Design Service

We specialize in advanced problem solving. When our clients come to us with their toughest challenges, we leverage the decades of engineering experience represented on our team with strategic partnerships across our industry. A client approached ADS for a custom design solution after identifying a major bottleneck in their manufacturing process. Our team worked with our customer and other outside resources to find a customized solution that met our client’s specifications and expectations.

The Problem

The client’s newly acquired machinery was designed to process a material from a large 1,000-liter capacity mixer down to a smaller 330-liter capacity hopper. Because the capacity of the hopper was only one third of the mixer, the ideal process would be compromised unless we came up with a better solution.

The material required constant movement. Unless we were able to find a solution, two thirds of the material would sit stationary. Within a very short period of time, the material became completely unworkable, creating product waste and the need for constant cleaning of the machine.

The ADS Solution

The client knew they needed a custom-built intermediate system that would fit their existing equipment and maintain movement in the mixture to cut down on waste.
Our design engineering team got to work creating a one-of-a-kind custom-manufactured system that would fit in the tight space between the existing mixer and hopper.

The intermediate system hopper is cone-shaped and has special, customized features that rotate and oscillate to maintain movement in the mixture. All movements can be controlled by a machine operator, allowing for customization as the product’s viscosity shifts. Now, with more capacity, the intermediate system allows more product to be processed at once while minimizing waste and improving quality. In addition, the ADS team worked with partners across the country to help design both automatic and manual cleaning functions to promote the system’s longevity and boost overall manufacturing efficiency.

At ADS, we know clients come to us for custom solutions because they need results fast. Our design team worked closely with the client’s senior management to deliver the design within the requested timeframe.

The Result

Introducing an intermediate system allowed the client to begin creating a new batch of product while the existing batch was processed, increasing their cycle time and overall efficiency. The custom-built features helped promote movement within the product, ensuring that it stayed workable throughout the entire process and did create waste. Finally, designing the intermediate hopper to match the existing specifications of the client’s machinery helped provide a solution for the process that they wanted to implement immediately.