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:
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
Metal chip removal
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
Standard and special drives
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.
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.
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.
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:
Quality and integrity are at the core of our operations at Reinke & Schomann, Inc.
Contact us orrequest a quote for more information on how our sectional flight fabrication services can benefit your organization.
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
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
Inside Diameter of Flighting. This is also the size of the pipe or tube the flights are mounted on.
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
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.
The term “metal fabrication” encompasses the entire process of building machine parts and structural components from raw metal materials. This means that everything from cutting and shaping to final assembly falls under the umbrella of metal fabrication. The various forms of custom metal fabrication are responsible for projects as small as part casting and can scale up to include entire pieces of equipment and machinery.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1.425 million workers are employed by the metal fabrication industry. Other industries, such as auto, energy, and aerospace, heavily influence research and advances in metal fabrication. For this reason, many machine shops and manufacturers work to create a solid organizational strategy that allows them to make it through highs and lows in the market without worry.
8 Steps in the Custom Metal Fabrication Process
Typical metal fabrication will typically encompass some or all of the following eight steps:
Most metal fabrication processes begin with cutting sheets of metal into smaller sections. The size of these sections will depend largely on the product design and the limitations of any necessary machines.
In the folding process, metal surfaces are bent into various shapes. Press brakes and folding machines may be used to accomplish these bends, depending on the requirements of the design.
Welding bonds two separate metal parts by melting them and forcing them to join together. This could involve welding together two individual components to create a larger component, or putting large finished pieces together to complete a final design. Sheets, panels, bars, and a variety of other metal parts may be welded together.
In machining, a variety of different cutting and shaping tools are used to remove sections from a piece of metal. The metal will usually be rotated against certain tools to cut away pieces of the product until it’s reached its desired shape or size.
Punch presses use force to create holes in a piece of metal where other parts can be secured. This process may be used to allow fastening of other parts to a larger object or to create holes in a sheet which is later cut into smaller parts. Based on the design and size of the metal to be punched, this operation can be performed by a small manual punch press or a larger, more complex CNC punch press.
Shearing involves making long cuts in sheets of metal. This technique is often used to trim edges on long metal sheets.
Like punching, stamping uses compressive force against a die to shape a metal sheet, though stamping does not puncture the base material. Metal stamping has broad applications, such as putting branding or lettering onto a metal object, creating a specific design shape. More complex designs may use a series of progressive dies to create incremental changes in the object as it moves through the process.
In casting, molten metal gets poured into a mold and is left to solidify into the final design shape. This flexible fabrication process is frequently used to create complex shapes.
4 Common Metals Used in Metal Fabrication
Pipe & Tube
Pipe & Tube are hollow. Pipes are always round in shape. Tubes can be square, rectangular or round. Pipes are pressure rated and intended to be used for the transference of fluids or gas. Tubes, on the other hand, are used in structural applications. Available in Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminium, and other materials in various grades
Any prefabricated piece of metal designed for standardized assembly is considered structural metal. This material is a key facet of the construction and engineering sectors, and common examples include bars, beams, angles, and channels.
Plate and Sheet Metals
Flat metal is a raw material and comes prefabricated in a range of thicknesses, although pieces are often fairly thin. Types of flat metal include leaf metal, sheet metal, and plate metal. Applications vary widely, from construction to home appliances, to military and defense.
Round, Square, Rectangular Solid Shapes. Available in Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminium, and other materials in various grades. Can be machined, bend, rolled and cut to length for various applications
Custom Metal Fabrication Services at Reinke & Schomann
At Reinke & Schomann, we’ve been building our reputation as a quality partner since 1929. Our customers return to us for a project after project because they know that when a job needs doing, we’re the company that’ll do it right.
Contact us today to discover more about our custom metal fabrication capabilities and how they can help you succeed with your project.