Author Archives: Armani

  1. An Intro to Spiral Conveyors

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    What Are Spiral Conveyors? 

    Spiral conveyors—also known as screw or worm conveyors—are used to transfer material across an inclined or flat plane. The amount of material transported is regulated by the size and power of the conveyor. They are often used in elevated conveyor lines and multilevel buildings. 

    How Do Spiral Conveyors Work?

    Spiral conveyors utilize a rotating helical screw blade—i.e., flighting—to transport materials through a trough or tube component. The technology is based on the Archimedes screw, a device used to move water and other materials thousands of years ago. 

    Key Features of Spiral Conveyors

    In addition to the standard components found in all spiral conveyors, some of the additional feature options available include: 

    • Trough liners
    • Wear-resistant troughs
    • Wear shoes
    • Standard and special bearings
    • Standard and special drives
    • Ability to be made in sections
    • Engineered to fit within existing components
    • Ready to plug-in systems
    • Custom fabricated troughs
    • Variable pitch screws

    Advantages of Spiral Conveyors

    Compared to other material handling solutions, spiral conveyors offer a number of advantages. For example:

    • They are versatile. 
    • They offer efficient mixing capabilities. 
    • They are available with bi-directional and reversible operation capabilities. 
    • They can be used with abrasive materials and in high temperatures. 
    • They come in flood-loaded designs that can regulate feed downstream. 
    • They move small to large lump materials. 
    • They are totally enclosed.
    • They accommodate multiple inlets and discharges.

    Spiral Conveyors vs. Case Lifts

    Spiral conveyors are somewhat similar in function to case lifts. Both are designed to move products vertically within a facility rather than horizontally. However, there are many feature and function differences between the two that make them unique pieces of equipment. One of the main distinctions is that spiral conveyor’s transport loose bulk particles and powders, while case lifts transport cases, cartons, and other packaging containers. Spiral conveyors also use a more cutting-edged design that enables them to move loads with greater speed and reliability and require less maintenance, both of which can improve the productivity and profitability of a facility. 

    Applications for Spiral Conveyors

    Typical applications for spiral conveyors include: 

    • Bulk material handling
    • Machine tools
    • Metal chip removal
    • Off-road equipment
    • Sludge handling

    Styles of Spiral Conveyors

    There are many types of spiral conveyors available, each of which offers different advantages and disadvantages that make it suitable for distinct applications. Some of the common styles produced are: 

    • Horizontal
    • Incline
    • Non-standard diameter
    • Tapered OD
    • Tapered shaft
    • Variable pitch

    Construction Materials for Spiral Conveyors

    The screw component of spiral conveyors can be made from a variety of materials to suit specific material handling needs. Typical materials used include: 

    • Abrasion-resistant alloys
    • Hastelloy
    • Inconel
    • Mild steel
    • Monel
    • Nickel alloys
    • Stainless steel

    Reinke & Schomann: Your Spiral Conveyor Experts

    Want to learn more about spiral conveyors? The experts at Reinke & Schomann, Inc. are here to help! Equipped with extensive experience engineering and manufacturing custom spiral conveyors for use in various industrial applications, we have the knowledge to answer any questions you may have about these material handling systems. Additionally, if you need a spiral conveyor for your facility, we’ve got you covered.

    For more information about spiral conveyors in general or our custom screw conveyor capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your equipment needs with one of our representatives, request a quote.

  2. What Is a Sludge Conveyor   

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    What Is a Sludge Conveyor   

    Sludge conveyors are adaptable equipment built to move materials that are high in water and low in solid content. They are capable of moving challenging materials through difficult environments, such as up and down inclines or around corners. Sludge conveyors are made up of a power source, a trough, and either rotating helical screw blades or a conveyor belt. They can be constructed in varying inclines and diameters from a range of materials, such as stainless steel, abrasion-resistant alloys, and more. 

    Sludge conveyors are used in applications throughout several industries, such as mining, wastewater treatment, bulk material handling, and food processing. There are two primary conveyor types that are used throughout these applications: belt conveyors and screw conveyors. Choosing the best type of conveyor typically depends on what materials your application involves and their consistency. 

    Belt Conveyors vs Screw Conveyors

    When deciding between a belt conveyor and a screw conveyor, it is important to consider the application and the type of sludge being transported. While some applications are compatible with either type, there are some that require the use of screw conveyors. 

    For example, within the wastewater treatment industry, dewatered biosolids result in sludge that is 15-30% dried solid. For this type of sludge, either a belt conveyor or screw conveyor may be used. However, other wastewater treatment applications remove up to 95% of the biosolids’ water content, resulting in a dry product. In these instances, screw conveyors are best. 

    There are some key differences between these two types of sludge conveyors. For example, screw conveyors are completely enclosed. This provides an additional safety measure and also helps with odor control. Additionally, screw conveyors function vertically. Belt conveyors have more limited incline conveying capabilities but work well in long-distance applications. 

    Screw conveyors require fewer bearings than a belt conveyor and can be used in hopper live bottom applications. However, screw conveyors are not best when working with stringy materials, as they can rag on shafts or hanger bearings. They can also shear through your material, which may cause changes to the sludge, whereas belt conveyors move materials without mixing or disturbing them during transport. 

    Sludge Conveyors at Reinke & Schomann

    Sludge conveyors are useful for transporting many types of materials and can be adapted to meet the unique needs of each application. Reinke & Schomann engineers and manufactures centerless, solid shaft mounted, and pipe or tube mounted screw conveyors in customizable styles and materials. To get started on your custom solution, request a quote today.

  3. Metal Forming Steel Sculptures 

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    Metal Forming Steel Sculptures 

    Metal forming processes create structural metal elements from metal sheets and tubes by bending, deforming, or otherwise changing the shape of the workpiece. There are numerous different metal forming processes that are used to create parts across virtually every industry. This process is especially useful when fabricating metal sculptures. At Reinke & Schomann, our metal forming capabilities include custom metal fabricated stainless steel art sculptures.  

    Metal Fabrication of Stainless Steel Art Sculptures

    At Reinke & Schomann, we are well-known for our metal craftsmanship of custom ribbon flights, conveyor systems, screw conveyor flights, and unique sculptural artwork. We have experience fabricating custom steel art sculptures for customers in the architectural industry. With our on-site plate rolling, press brake, welding, and high def plasma equipment, we can meet customer specifications and achieve tolerances of 0.125″ throughout. We can create large and complex stainless steel structures using the following processes:

    • Cutting
    • Rolling
    • Twisting
    • Welding

    Our fabrication capabilities include stainless steel sculptures up to 25’ feet high, 1/2’’ in thickness and 10,000 lbs in weight. We also perform sideload stress testing on all forms to ensure optimal quality and accuracy.

    Steel Sculpture Fabrication at Reinke and Schomann

    Since 1929, our team has been creating precision metal forms, structural components, and sculptures from raw metal. We specialize in creating custom metalworks that meet our clients’ design specifications. Each of our sculptures is formed to match each unique sculpture design file and can be completed and ready for shipment within an average turnaround time of 16 weeks. Located near Milwaukee in Jackson, Wisconsin, our 20,000 square-foot facilities is equipped with modern tools to manage your sculptural project from start to finish. 

    To learn more about our custom fabricated stainless steel art sculptures or our other metalworking capabilities, request a quote today for your next project.

  4. Essential Design Elements for Auger Screw Conveyors

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    Essential Design Elements for Auger Screw Conveyors

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    Essential Design Elements for Auger Screw Conveyors

    Auger screw conveyors utilize a rotating screw blade to move granular or liquid materials. They create an efficient and consistent material flow, making them popular in a variety of bulk handling industries. Auger screw conveyors are highly versatile, also functioning well as agitators, blenders, and balers in addition to their use as standard media conveyors.

    5 Different Types of Auger Screw Conveyors

    Due to its popularity and versatile range of use cases, there are a wide range of variations on the basic auger screw conveyor design.

    Horizontal Screw Conveyor

    This type of screw conveyor is one of the most widely utilized options thanks to its simplistic design. It works well for both non-flowing and free-flowing media, conveying materials at 15-45% trough loading. Horizontal screw conveyors are incredibly cost-effective and ideal for applications that necessitate homogenizing mixtures.

    Inclined Screw Conveyor

    Inclined screw conveyors are available in inclines ranging from 0-45 degrees. The performance of this type of conveyor will vary significantly depending on the degree of incline, with higher inclines requiring higher amounts of torque. Ideally, the angle of inclination will remain lower than 10 degrees, as this will have a minimal effect on the conveyor’s efficiency. Incline screw conveyors are a popular option for applications such as feedlot dispensers and cement mixers.

    Shaftless Screw Conveyor

    While most screw conveyors feature a screw blade that rotates around a shaft, shaftless screw conveyors remove the shaft to allow more material to flow through the conveyor. These types of conveyors can move materials that would typically clog a screw conveyor. Featuring very high efficiency, shaftless screw conveyors have become popular in the following industries:

    • Mining
    • Chemical processing
    • Food processing
    • Wastewater

    Vertical Screw Conveyor

    Any screw conveyor with an incline greater than 45 degrees is classified as a vertical screw conveyor. This design features the advantage of taking up very little space and is best for transporting semi-fluid or dry materials. Vertical screw conveyors are common in applications such food production, chemical processing, and wastewater treatment.

    Live Bottom Screw Conveyor

    For applications that require a great deal of control over the flow rate of bulk materials, the live bottom screw conveyor is the optimal choice. This conveyor’s design features multiple rows of parallel screws, enabling even material discharge. This type of conveyor functions well with any type of material that would pack under pressure.

    Design Elements of Auger Screw Conveyors

    When designing a screw conveyor, there are several important elements to consider:

    • Capacity. To determine the appropriate screw diameter, calculate the volume per hour that the screw conveyor will need to transport.
    • Design and drive. Given the range of different screw designs, the design must consider the ultimate goal of the conveyor. For example, an application requiring the material to be mixed will differ from an application requiring an incline.
    • Load type, trough load, and trough design. To design the trough, determine the type of material conveyed within the intended application. Lightweight or hazardous materials will require a different type of trough than thicker, non-flowing materials.
    • Environment. Environmental factors, such as how much distance a screw conveyor must cover, will impact the final design of the conveyor.

    Custom Screw Conveyor Design

    At Reinke & Schomann, we provide engineering services and manufacturability consulting to assist our clients in developing the ideal custom screw conveyor for their needs. We offer a variety of features for our screw conveyors, including:

    • Wear-resistant troughs
    • Trough liners
    • Wear shoes
    • Standard and special drives
    • Ready-to-plug-in systems

    Since 1929, Reinke & Schomann has built a reputation as a dependable one-stop-shop for high-quality screw conveyors. We work with state-of-the-art fabrication equipment at our dedicated 20,000-square-foot facility to provide custom solutions that meet and exceed the expectations of our customers. To work with us on your next auger screw conveyor project, please contact us or request your quote today.

  5. Understanding Screw Feeders

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    Understanding Screw Feeders

    Screw feeders are used to accurately meter bulk materials. Usually employed at the start of an industrial process, their design allows for control over feed rate and capacity. Screw feeders come in a wide range of configurations to suit the requirements of various material handling applications

    The Basics of Designing a Screw Feeder

    A screw feeder’s most basic design features a screw conveyor that is fed by another conveyor, and the amount of discharged material is directly proportional to the amount of material introduced at the inlet. The inlet is always flood loaded and is typically mounted directly to some form of storage device such as a bin, silo, or hopper.

    To ensure efficient and even cycling, many factors must be considered when designing a screw feeder. During each revolution, bulk materials are supposed to move from one flight to the next, moving towards the discharge. If a screw feeder is improperly designed, it can cause issues such as stagnant material that affect the overall efficiency of the system. For even flow of bulk materials, it is crucial that each flight increases in available volume as the screw progresses towards the discharge.

    Other important design considerations include:

    • Flow characteristics of the metered material
    • Density of the material at all phases of handling
    • Minimum and maximum feed rate or capacity
    • Size of screw feeder inlet opening
    • Height of material within the storage device

    The Three Basic Types of Screw Feeders

    There are three basic types of screw feeders, each of which is ideal for different material handling applications. These designs include:

    • Variable or stepped pitch. Variable or stepped pitch screw feeders feature a design where the size of each flight becomes increasingly longer as you progress toward the discharge. As the flights move through the inlet section, the rear-most flights will continue to pick up additional materials as they make their way forward.
    • Tapered outside diameter. With this design, the outside diameter of the screw is tapered from the rear of the inlet to the shroud, allowing the screw feeder to accommodate larger volumes of bulk material.
    • Mass flow. This design combines the variable pitch and tapered outside diameter design. It consists of a tapered cone at one end with short flights, and as it progresses towards the discharge, it shifts into variable pitch.

    Reinke & Schomann: Craftsmanship in Screw Feeders Since 1929

    Reinke and Schomann has been a family-owned business since its founding in 1929. For generations, we have specialized in the manufacture of custom-built feeder screw systems. We are able to design and build screw feeders of all types and sizes to match your exact specifications, and we handle the process in-house from start to finish.


    Please contact us today to speak with one of our design professionals and begin creating your custom screw feeder system today.

  6. The Role of Grain Augers in the Agricultural Industry

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    The Role of Grain Augers in the Agricultural Industry

    Screw conveyors—also referred to as spiral conveyors, auger conveyors, or augers—are conveyance systems that consist of a rotating helical screw within a trough or tube. They are suitable for transporting a wide variety of bulk dry or wet materials, such as rocks, powders, and grains, on horizontal or inclined pathways. This quality makes them an effective conveyance solution for many industries. 

    Below, we highlight the role of screw conveyors in the agricultural industry. We discuss what grain augers are and how they work. 

    What Is a Grain Auger?

    A grain auger is a screw conveyor designed to handle agricultural grain products. It is used to deposit grain into a bin or silo for storage purposes as well as retrieve grain from a bin or silo for further processing or distribution. Agricultural professionals use it to facilitate various grain harvesting and transportation operations. 

    How Does a Grain Auger Work?

    Similar to other screw conveyors, grain augers are made up of a rotating helical screw component—known as flighting—contained within a trough or tube. A drive motor connected to the system turns the screw, which picks up and moves any material fed through the inlet to the discharge end. Depending on the configuration of the system, the material can be moved horizontally or diagonally to accommodate different material handling operations. 

    Custom Grain Augers at Reinke & Schomann

    Grain augers are essential for any grain farming operation. By allowing users to adjust the elevation and angle of conveyance, they make transporting grain from one location to the next easy. Custom ones offer even more benefits as they are tailored to the exact needs of the application. 

    Looking for custom grain augers for your agricultural facility? Reinke & Schomann is here for you! We have extensive experience engineering and manufacturing custom screw conveyors for a wide range of industries and applications. Our design capabilities include: 

    Style: We construct screw conveyors in both horizontal and inclined configurations. Other style options include a tapered shaft, variable pitch, and non-standard diameter. 

    Shaft Type: We offer centerless pipe, solid, and tubing shafts.

    Direction: We provide right-hand and left-hand screws.

    Screw Diameter: Our standard screws come in sizes ranging from 2–24 inches (51–610 mm). However, we can produce custom sizes depending on the needs of the customer. 

    Construction Material: Our conveyors are made from durable materials that can withstand the harsh conditions typically found within agricultural applications. Materials options include abrasion-resistant alloys, Hastelloy, Inconel, mild steel, Monel, nickel alloys, and stainless steel.

    Finish: We offer the following finishing options to increase the durability of our systems: flame spray, galvanizing, hard surfacing, and custom painting.

    Resistances: By carefully choosing the material and finish, we ensure each conveyor system exhibits the proper resistances to damage. They can have abrasion resistance, corrosion resistance, heat resistance, and/or wear resistance. 

    Features: Our experts customize each screw conveyor to the needs of the customer. Some of the feature options we offer include trough liners, wear shoes, standard and special bearings, and standard and special drives. 

    For more information about our custom screw conveyor capabilities, check out our custom screw conveyors page or contact us today. To discuss your equipment needs with one of our experts, request a quote.


  7. Auger Flight Comparison: Helicoid Flighting vs Sectional Flights

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    What’s the Difference Between Helicoid Flighting and Sectional Flights?

    Augers provide a critical function for the conveyance of materials. Smooth operation depends upon the precision of the auger fins or blades, commonly referred to as flights. There are two main processes used in the production of auger flights: helicoid and sectional.

    Formation of each type involves a different process and produces unique characteristics.

    What Are Sectional Flights?

    Sectional flights are auger blades individually formed from plate steel into a helix. The process for creating sectional flights goes as follows:

    • The process begins with a piece of plate steel cut into a donut shape with a specified inside diameter (ID) and outside diameter (OD).
    • A press shapes them into the form of a helix.
    • Each of these helixes is an individual component joined to create a series of flights or a continuous helix.
    • Final formation of the auger includes attaching the finished continuous helix to a shaft.

    Sectional flights are of uniform in thickness from their ID edge to their OD edge.

    The sectional flight process allows for a greater variation in design, material thickness, and material used, but more handling is required to form sectional flights into a finished auger.

    What Is Helicoid Flighting?

    Rather than formation in sections, helicoid flighting are created as a continuous helix formed from a single piece of carbon or stainless steel. This process includes:

    • Rolling machines with cone-shaped dies are set to specific ID and OD dimensions to transform a strip of steel stock by rolling it into a single continuous helix.
    • This compression process causes the OD edges to become thinner in contrast to the uniformity of sectional flights.

    Forming a single helix saves time and money, but there are limitations as to the materials, design, and material thickness using this method.

    Custom Sectional Flight Manufacturing

    Reinke & Schomann provides custom sectional flight manufacturing for a wide range of customers and applications in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

    We use highly advanced equipment and processes to work with various types of stainless steel, steel, abrasion-resisting steel and nickel alloys in the creation of all our precision sectional flights.

    All of our processes surpass CEMA standards. We can produce sectional flights, ribbon flights and helicoid flights in various OD’s, pitches and thicknesses.

    Meeting Customer Needs

    Reinke & Schomann has many capabilities to fit customer requirements.

    We can provide sectional and helicoid flights to best-fit customer applications. We also feature value-added services such as design engineering, assembly, and a variety of finishes and treatments.

    Other fabrication capabilities include:

    • Angle rolling
    • Bending
    • Plasma cutting
    • Plate forming
    • Plate rolling
    • Welding

    Quality and integrity are at the core of our operations at Reinke & Schomann, Inc.

    Contact us or request a quote for more information on how our sectional flight fabrication services can benefit your organization.

  8. Different Types of Screw Conveyors

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    2 Different Types of Screw Conveyors

    The function of a Screw Conveyor is to push material as the screw rotates in a fixed trough, pipe or housing.

    Using rotating helical screw blades (also referred to as flights or augers), screw conveyors appear in almost every industry and transport all types of materials.

    They consist of a tube or trough containing a helical screw blade, which transports material according to its rotational direction as driven by conveyor motors.

    Conveyors come in many different types, screw diameters, and material-moving capacities per hour. Screw conveyors can provide precise volumetric material-moving control, which makes them appropriate for dosing applications.

    Choosing appropriate screw conveyors relies on successful accounting of desired capacity, material particle size, viscosity, flowability, density, abrasiveness, flammability, toxicity, hygienic concerns, and chemical compatibility.

    Screw conveyors benefit a wide range of applications, including:

    • Grain transport in agriculture applications
    • Metal chip removal systems
    • Flow control of plastic pellets in injection-molding operations
    • Powder dosing in the pharmaceutical industry
    • Cement mixing
    • Petroleum refining
    • Mining and mineral processing
    • Mixing, blending, and agitating materials or solutions
    • Conveying nonflowing caking materials

    Characteristics of Screw Conveyors


    Horizontal Screw Conveyors

    The most widely used conveyor type, horizontal screw conveyors move material depending on its characteristics at a range of 15–45% trough loading.

    Operators use higher feed ranges for lighter, free-flowing materials, whereas lower feed ranges aid with sluggish, more difficult to move, and abrasive materials.

    Inclined Screw Conveyors

    Typically operating at angles between 0° and 45°, inclined screw conveyors transport and elevate material through different levels of your facility.

    However, note that increasing the incline degree increases friction loss, thus reducing conveyor efficiency.


    Screw Conveyors are specified by:

    • Outside Diameter of Flighting
    • Pitch
    • Inside Diameter of Flighting. This is also the size of the pipe or tube the flights are mounted on.
    • Flight Thickness
    • Material
    • Overall Length
    • The direction of Flighting: Right or Left hand


    Screw material types include carbon steel, abrasion resistant steel, and stainless steel. Wear resistance can also be increased by adding hard facing material to the edge or the entire flight.

    Type of Screw – With or without a center core

    Screw Conveyor

    Flights mounted on a pipe or tube. Typically screw does not contact the bottom of the trough. The screw is supported by bearing and hangers


    Flights are fabricated as a continuous ribbon. Typically centerless ribbon will ride in the bottom of the trough or tube. Often used with chip conveyors and sticky material

    Screw Conveyors for All Occasions

    Let us help you find the best screw conveyor design for your facility. Reinke & Schomann Inc. has more than 90 years of experience in providing custom metal fabrication services, and we also offer custom spiral screw conveyor design and fabrication for your unique needs.

    We’ve implemented our solutions in industries ranging from food and beverage, bulk handling, water treatment, waste treatment processing to heavy industrial machinery.

    Request a quote or contact Reinke & Schomann today to discover custom screw conveyor and metal fabrication solutions tailored to your needs and budget.