KWS Manufacturing

Inclined Screw Feeder for Sludgy Chemicals

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Plant Name and Location

BCP Ingredients, a Balchem Company
Salt Lake City, UT

General Description

Balchem Corporation, one of the market leaders in the production of nutritional supplements for animal feeds, needed of a solution for an existing outdated and problematic screw feeder in their facility. The screw feeder meters various hot and corrosive sludgy mixtures from the discharge of a batch mixer and elevates it at a 22-degree incline angle. The inclined screw feeder discharges into a twin screw conveyor that conveys the sludgy mixture throughout the remaining manufacturing processes. KWS was able to furnish a redesigned screw feeder that was tailored to fit Balchem’s precise requirements.

Design Parameters

  1. Product Type: Sludgy Mixture
  2. Material Density: 50 to 80 Lbs. per Cubic Foot
  3. Feeder System Capacity: 60 Cubic feet per Hour
  4. Material Temperature: 140-160º°F

KWS Advantages

KWS’s knowledgeable engineering and sales team was able to thoroughly comprehend the technical requirements of the application and implement a cost-effective, long-term solution. We worked directly with Balchem engineering and plant personnel to design the screw feeder to meet the needs and wants of the daily operators of the plant. The collaboration of all parties ensured that the new screw feeder would not only be functional, but easily maintainable on a daily basis.

Special Features

Because the various materials being conveyed were corrosive, hot, and abrasive, KWS implemented several unique features into this design. To combat the abrasive and corrosive characteristics of the materials, KWS utilized 304 stainless steel construction and weld-on hard surfacing on the leading edge and periphery of the screw flights. The hard surfacing improves screw longevity, reduces maintenance events and down time, and lowers the overall operating costs of the unit.

As a means of maintaining the cleanliness of the feeder, KWS incorporated two design features. The first was six flushing nozzles mounted to the top and bottom cover sections of the feeder. These threaded nozzles allowed the screw feeder to be washed without the need to remove the feeder’s covers. The cleaning fluid would exit via a drain near the bottom of the unit. The second design feature KWS incorporated was full length removal covers. The special tubular covers were installed using quick release toggle clamps on both sides to provide the plant personnel with speedy access to the entire screw.

Another KWS design feature was the customized tail end bearing configuration. Because of the inclined installation, high moisture content, and corrosive natural of the material being conveyed, KWS opted to substitute the traditional external seal and bearing arrangement with a special end shaft with internal bearing. The configuration utilized a sleeve bearing held in a moisture-tight, leak-free bearing housing. An easily removable access door was added for trouble-free bearing maintenance. The lower end of the inclined screw feeder was completely sealed preventing any product leakage.


"The KWS quote was not the lowest so initially I spent quite a bit of time discussing the proposals from the lower cost vendors. Eventually I discovered that KWS was the most helpful vendor in terms of meeting numerous changes of scope and new requests from our plant people. At that point I made out the purchase requisition to KWS Mfg. We were not disappointed."

Tom Cunard, P.E., Engineering Manager – Balchem Corporation (2012)

Biosolids / Sludge

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