The Archimedes screw has been around for many years and represents a deceptively simple way to move materials. From liquids to solids and everything in between, a rotating helix can propel a product and deliver the accuracy demanded by many Bulk Solids Handling machinery.
For over 21 years, Trantec Solids Handling Ltd, based in Clayton-le-Moors, Lancashire has been producing just such machines,taking the humble “auger” and putting it to work moving fine powders, granules, flakes and pellets with consistency and precision in their Metering Screw Feeders.
Today’s powder handling applications are demanding even greater efficiency and accuracy. Food and Pharmaceutical machinery has its own requirements for hygienic design and the cost of many process ingredients means over-feeding, or wasted product must be minimised. Machine reliability also takes centre stage, with active components such as Auger Screws needing to have a full and long productive life.
Original Trantec machines used augers manufactured by others. Whilst these screws were fully functional, Trantec craved a more accurate and consistent product which had tight tolerances and maximum life. In the early years of the new millennium, Trantec had developed a new range of Metering Feeders, which included many Quick-release, Easy-clean features. This new range demanded augers of high build quality at sensible prices and the decision was taken to begin development of our own Auger manufacture.
In more recent times, Trantec have focused their auger manufacture at the “High Tech” end and have embraced the latest computer-controlled machine tools combined with modern design and manufacturing software. This investment has given Trantec unique knowledge of auger production methods and has put Trantec at the cutting edge of world-wide auger manufacture for the process industry.
Trantec’s policy of continuous development pushes the boundaries of current engineering manufacture and produces augers of better quality and finish than ever before, whilst driving down costs at the same time.An improved quality product at a lower price is everyone’s target (of course) and Trantec believe they have done just that.
Five years ago, Trantec brought their Auger Screw manufacturing capabilities to the market place and now manufacture augers for use in any type of machinery. We now specialise in supplying full flight augers for all industries to very high precision. Our customer base includes many global players in the Food, Pharmaceutical and Chemical industries, providing new augers, replacement/interchangeable augers, hygienic augers or exotic development augers for the latest solids handling machinery.
Not all metering feeder manufacturers however use a full flight auger screw, with some suppliers opting for the simpler spiral/spring type augers. To ensure Trantec cover the full range of replacement spares, earlier this year a development program was established to manufacture spring-type augers at their Clayton-le- Moors production facility.
Augers of this type are usually formed by winding a wire form onto a mandrel. The wire can be square, round or rectangular and of stainless or carbon steel. The bar or wire stock must be accurately moved as the mandrel rotates to form the correct pitch of the helix. Trantec modified existing machinery to accomplish this task with accuracy and consistency being at the forefront of the process. Stock in-feed can have a significant effect on how the spiral is formed and careful consideration was given to the wire guide method. The angle of application, tension, speed of application and distance between the mandrel and the in-feed guide all play a part in the quality of the spiral produced.
Spring type Bulk Solids feed screws come in many shapes and sizes. All too often the wire form can be difficult to obtain, especially if only one auger screw is required. There are many established companies who can manufacture whatever wire form is needed but their minimum order quantities can be hundreds of kilos making one-off spirals prohibitively expensive. Trantec have added to their development program by including the manufacture of custom bar and wire forms by cold drawing. This well-established method of manufacture has many advantages and will allow very small quantities of custom wire shapes to be produced. Easily obtainable standard bar can be formed into custom shapes and sizes before being rolled into a helix.
The key element of Trantec’s manufacture remains their ability to produce tooling in-house using the latest CAD/CAM software and advanced computer guided machine tools. Custom draw tooling and custom forming mandrels can be manufactured quickly and cost-effectively, allowing small quantity production runs. Larger quantities offer the economies of scale and make the process even easier on your budget.
Trantec continue to grow and develop new auger making facilities and methods,challenging their customers to set ever more complex helix configurations for them to make. A real commitment to continuous development will keep Trantec ahead in auger manufacture.