KWS Manufacturing

Bi-Directional Screw Feeder for Unloading Rail Cars at Seaboard Foods in Hugoton, KS

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Plant Name and Location

Seaboard Foods
Hugoton, KS

General Description of the Application

Seaboard Foods is a division of Seaboard Corporation with locations in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Colorado. With more than 2,000 dedicated employees, Seaboard Foods processes over 4 million hogs per year. Seaboard Foods is one of the top pork producers in the US and is committed to producing the highest quality products in a safe and humane environment.

Seaboard Foods had an old and non-operational railcar unloading system at the Hugoton, KS facility that needed an overhaul. Seaboard approached TranSystems, a consulting engineering firm that specializes in bulk material handling projects for a complete turn-key system, including installation. TranSystems contacted KWS for help in designing a bi-directional screw feeder for quickly and efficiently unloading railcars. The railcar unloading system was also required to handle a wide range of bulk materials with different bulk densities.

Bi-Directional Screw Feeder for Unloading Rail Cars at Seaboard Foods in Hugoton, KS - KWS

Diverter or Hogback Located Over Center of Screws

Design Parameters of Application

  1. Material – Various Grains, Corn, Soybean Meal and Phosphate
  2. Product Density – 40 to 85 Lbs. per Cubic Foot
  3. Conveyor Capacity – 9,778 Cubic Feet per Hour
  4. Duty – 24 Hours per Day, 7 Days per Week

Advantages Provided by KWS

Engineers from KWS and TranSystems worked together to design a bi-directional screw feeder to rapidly and evenly unload rail cars. With a wide range of bulk materials with very different bulk densities, the new KWS screw feeder was designed for worst-case conditions. The KWS engineering team modeled the complete system in Autodesk Inventor 3D and made multiple iterations until the design was optimized.

The new KWS screw feeder was designed with two independent drive units mounted on opposite ends with a center discharge point. KWS utilized two 60-horsepower drive units to provide excess horsepower and torque to meter the heaviest bulk materials. Seaboard Foods used variable frequency drives (VFDs) to control the feed rate of the screw feeder.

Special Features of KWS Design

The new KWS bi-directional screw feeder was constructed from abrasion-resistant materials for extended life. For the screw flights, KWS utilized AR400 material which outlasts carbon steel by a factor of four. AR235 liners were added to improve wear in the trough sections. With many years of experience in designing screw feeders, KWS utilized variable pitch screws to evenly unload the hopper. The new KWS screw feeder was located in a pit under the tracks and was 46-feet long. Each screw section was approximately 23-feet long with a center bearing support. KWS calculated the torsional and bending loads on the screws and designed the screw with a large diameter center pipe.

A diverter or “hogback” was installed above the center pipe of the screws to decrease the head load on the screws. KWS exclusive bulkhead trough ends were used to isolate the drive units from the bulk material. Bulkhead trough ends are used with flange mounted gear reducers for extra-heavy duty applications. Due to limited space C-face motors were used, thus eliminating the need for V-belt drives. Additionally, a special feeder shroud was installed in-between the screw sections to control flow into the take-away conveyor.

Testimonial

"The railcar unloader is operating very well. I really like the robust design. We expect the KWS equipment to last a very long time."

Royd Comer, Feed Mill Manager – Seaboard Foods

Bi-Directional Screw Feeder for Unloading Rail Cars at Seaboard Foods in Hugoton, KS - KWS

Overall View of KWS Bi-Directional Screw Feeder

Bi-Directional Screw Feeder for Unloading Rail Cars at Seaboard Foods in Hugoton, KS - KWS

KWS Supplied Inlet Hoppers

Bi-Directional Screw Feeder for Unloading Rail Cars at Seaboard Foods in Hugoton, KS - KWS

Cut Away View with Variable Pitch Screws

Bi-Directional Screw Feeder for Unloading Rail Cars at Seaboard Foods in Hugoton, KS - KWS

Cut Away View with Center Discharge, Special Shrouds and Center Bearing Supports

Corn

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