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Tea Conveying

CFW provides lean phase pneumatic conveying systems to a range of industries. At the same time, we know that every application is different. As a leading firm in air systems technologies, we provide the tea industry with custom solutions. We design, fabricate and install the necessary equipment. Screw conveyor systems can be supplied as an alternative solution. Components such as fans, valves and airlocks and spare parts are also available.

tea plantation

Tea conveying poses special problems. Tea is a friable product that is easily bruised when handled roughly, and also generates dust. Damaging tea in this way results in unacceptable flavour variation in the final product. If tea particles are too fine or covered with dust, problems can arise in separation, blending and packaging processes, or from pipeline blocking. The product may be less attractive and particle size distributions may be uneven and difficult to control.

Pneumatic conveying of tea is a cost-effective solution to a challenging problem. These systems are compact, easy to clean and flexible. Since they completely contain the tea, it is protected from contamination by particulates, microorganisms and chemicals in the outside air. Likewise, tea fines that can damage or clog equipment, or produce an uncomfortable working environment, are prevented from leaving the conveying system.

Ease of cleaning is particularly important when different tea blends must be conveyed by the same system. Proper food-grade ducting designed for easy material flow makes this possible in a well-designed pneumatic conveyor, assuring product quality and hygiene.

Compared with labour-intensive conveying of tea by vehicles, pneumatic conveying requires little manual work and can reduce downtime by ensuring continuous and well-regulated feeding of the tea into processing machines. The tea is fed into the system from bins and directed to the right destination by means of diverter valves, ensuring optimal utilization of machine capacity and control over processing operations. Equipment investment may also be reduced compared to mechanical conveying systems.

While product degradation is a concern the tea industry may have with lean phase (or dilute phase) pneumatic conveying, this technology is better suited to tea than is often realised. Especially light and delicate particles such as tea flakes are easily blown at relatively low air velocities, making dilute phase pneumatic conveying a gentle solution. These systems are ideal for the fines that are used in teabags. In general, vacuum (negative pressure) systems are preferred.

Lean phase vacuum conveying is most cost effective and efficient when conveying material over short distances.