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Vibrating equipment manufacturer offers alternate pre-packaging, processing solutions

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The expected increase in food production, in conjunction with challenges, such as water scarcity and economic restrictions, will force the agriculture and food and beverage (F&B) sectors to adapt packaging, and processing practices to improve performance and reduce operational costs, says vibrating-equipment manufacturer Kwatani (Kwatani) service GM Theresa Walton.

Kwatani has, therefore, positioned itself in the past year as a key supplier of equipment to the F&B sector, having taken cognizance of the need for increased agricultural production to feed a growing population and innovative ideas to negate the constraints caused by the drought.

Walton points out that the company has the technology and economic advantage to support these industries, adding that it has secured several new clients in the past nine months.

Kwatani industrial business development manager Ana Freire notes that the company’s round and rectangular separators have been manufactured to meet the stringent hygiene standards of the F&B industries.

Capable of screening down to 50 µm, Walton notes that the rectangular separator is easily disassembled for cleaning and maintenance, and has a gentle gyratory action that improves screening efficiency. The separator uses stainless steel screens with screening areas of between 0.5m2 and 10m2 and thus varying throughputs of dry food substances achievable, depending on the application.

Walton maintains that Kwatani, as a South African manufacturer using local suppliers, offers a commercially attractive product, with “most of our competitors based internationally”.

Freire adds that Kwatani products are competitive in terms of exports while remaining cost effective locally and, “because of its proximity to its client base, the company is well positioned to provide maintenance, spares or processing advice”.

Kwatani has been involved in several projects in the sugar industry for refining processes such as sugar grading, or scalping, with clients predominantly situated in South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia, she notes. The company is also involved in other projects in the sugar industry in Africa.

Kwatani’s multideck rectangular separator can yield multiple grades of sugar in one screening, Freire mentions, adding that the screening can produce fine-granulated, extra-fine sugar or even icing (confectioners) sugar, depending on client requirements.

The company has also worked with clients that produce other dry products such as ground coffee, tea, salt, fruit, confectionery, crumbing and breweries.

New Manufacturing Facility

Walton says Kwatani acquired assets and technology from a vibrating equipment competitor Lockers Engineering in February 2012. This included feeders and screens, round and rectangular screens and separators, conveyors, as well as thermal heating and cooling technologies. She states that this acquisition was instrumental in enabling the company to diversify into other industries.

Kwatani subsequently opened a new 5 000 m2 manufacturing facility, dedicated to non-mining applications – such as the F&B, petrochemicals, pulp and paper, metallurgical and foundry markets – in February last year. This division also has dedicated technical field support available for problem resolution.

The facility, in Kempton Park, houses the company’s industrial division that includes support staff, as well as research, manufacturing and production teams. It also includes a laboratory, which is predominantly used to examine and evaluate rare or complex products; this enables Kwatani to adapt current, or establish new screening and separation processes to specific products, Freire explains.

It also has in-house design capabilities for the custom design, manufacturing and assembling of round and rectangular separators for industrial products. Kwatani is one of the largest OEM suppliers and manufacturers of custom designed vibratory equipment solutions that is a wholly-owned, proudly-South African company with a level 3 BBBEE rating.