KWS Manufacturing

Hopper and Live Bottom Feeder to Store and Meter Natural Wood Glue Additive

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Plant Name and Location

Timber Products
Medford, OR

General Description of the Application

The Willamette Valley Company (WVC) is a leading producer of innovative solutions to the wood products industry; including patches, fillers, coatings, abrasives, tapes, and a wide variety of application equipment. One of their innovative new products is REZ-FLEX, a non-chemical additive for industrial glues and adhesives comprised of bio-based materials. It is made from a mixture of ground tree bark and ground grain fiber and is used in the gluing of particleboard, medium density fiberboard, oriented strand board and plywood. WVC’s first customer of this new product, Timber Products, needed to meter large batches of REZ-FLEX powder up to a batch mixer. A specified amount of the powder would be metered into the mixer so it could be combined with water and eventually made into high-quality glue for Timber Product’s particleboard products. KWS worked together with both Timber Products and WVC to develop a successful solution for this project.

Design Parameters of Application

  1. Product Type: REZ-FLEX powder (dry, free-flowing)
  2. Material Density: 22 Lbs. per Cubic Foot
  3. Capacity: 1247 Cubic Feet per Hour
  4. Duty: 24 Hours per Day, 7 Days per Week

Advantages Provided by KWS

Willamette Valley Company (WVC) contacted KWS at the preliminary stages of the project. WVC was looking for an experienced manufacturer to design and build a special hopper and screw feeder for Timber Products that could also be replicated at other plants. KWS’s regional sales manager and engineering manager met with engineers from WVC face-to-face early in the project so they could understand their needs. The direct involvement allowed KWS to learn as much about their process as possible to provide a great solution. WVC sent KWS a sample of REZ-FLEX for evaluation and testing. KWS also worked with Timber Product’s maintenance superintendent to engineer an equipment layout that was maintenance-friendly. After a few iterations to develop the ideal size and footprint, the screw feeder project proceeded. The good communication between companies continued throughout the entire process to ensure the equipment was sized properly and located exactly where Timber Products wanted it. Due to the large size of the hopper, KWS helped Timber Products arrange for a special permitted truck to ensure everything could arrive at the plant in one shipment.

Special Features of KWS Design

The REZ-FLEX powder packs and fluidizes easily. Conveying a 400-cubic foot batch from the hopper at an incline to the mixer requires a very precise design. KWS excels at process challenges such as this one. KWS designed a screw feeder with several pitch changes, a tubular profile, and a precise speed to meter the powder out of the hopper while preventing fluidization and fallback. The feeder was made with a heavy duty design and plenty of horsepower so it could unload a completely full, packed hopper. The hopper was designed with a special inlet and interface to the feeder to ensure the hopper could unload fully with proper head pressure from the powder batch. The screw was designed without the need for internal hanger bearings alleviate maintenance concerns. The hopper design also included a heavy-duty support frame and cover capable of supporting a bulk bag unloader and dust collector. KWS engineers also worked with Timber Products to make sure that support locations did not interfere with downstream equipment.

Testimonial

"Thank you for designing this equipment exactly like we wanted so it fits in our room."

Tim Marcoulier, Maintenance Superintendent – Timber Products

Additives

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