German China India

Docking System

Flexible, Dust-tight Docking of Bulk Materials Containers at Dosing Units

| Author / Editor: Frank Pahl / Dr. Jörg Kempf

Dust particles stand no chance: The Clean-Dock system works with low generation of dust.
Dust particles stand no chance: The Clean-Dock system works with low generation of dust. (Source: ©underworld - stock.adobe.com, Ayzek - stock.adobe.com, AZO, [M]-Sahlmüller)

You are looking for an automatic docking system for containers? Exact dosing and weighing is just as important as contamination-free operation and product and operator protection? And last not least an easy to clean layout is a must for you? Then you will find here the right answer.

The quality of production lines for automatic bulk materials handling is determined, among other things, by the amount of dust generated. There are visual and organisational aspects which are relevant, but also safety requirements. Regulations regarding explosion safety (Atex in Europe) and additional conditions (e.g. elimination of dust on cooling fins in electrical equipment) ultimately require that the amount of dust generated is kept to a minimum.

In the materials handling industry, preference has traditionally been given to closed systems. Hence the risks of dust escaping are relatively low. In normal operation, there should be no evidence of significant amounts of dust being emitted in today’s bulk materials plants.

This contrasts with the situation when mobile containers are used. The use of this type of system means that there are transfer points between dosing units and the relevant bulk materials container. These transfer points have to satisfy several requirements simultaneously: First, the target receptacle needs to have a cover lid that prevents foreign matter from getting into the inside of the container during storage time. Residual quantities, which typically stick to the outlet of the dosing unit after dosing operations, should be prevented from falling into the plant.

Use of special docking systems rules out potential contamination of the plant. A sealed connection between the dosing units and the target receptacle while it is docked is critical to avoid dust from accumulating. An additional challenge is achieving maximum flexibility in decoupling the scales. A flexible connection with minimum force shunt is absolutely necessary. De-aeration of the bulk materials container being filled should be considered as an add-on.

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