tna has announced that it recently upgraded its flagship NID M3000 mogul to improve operational efficiencies and ensure the equipment adheres to the highest hygiene and safety standards. Since its acquisition of confectionery specialist NID back in March 2017, tna has made some considerable investments to accelerate the development process and equip NID’s starch moulding technology with a range of new features that further increase operational reliability, enhance quality control and improve overall system performance. As part of the latest upgrade, any internal parts of the feeder and stacker that are in regular contact with starch trays are now manufactured in stainless steel for advanced hygiene and consumer safety. In addition, the new range of NID moguls was specifically engineered to achieve full compliance with the EU’s latest ATEX directive on the use of equipment in explosive environments. This has resulted in the incorporation of ATEX-certified electrical devices, temperature sensors and the repositioning and redesign of key mechanical components to mitigate the hazards associated with the handling of starch.
“ATEX compliancy has become increasingly important to our customers over the last few years,” comments Edward Smagarinsky, group product manager at NID (from tna). “Although starch moulding itself is not generally considered a high risk process and accidents are extremely rare, there are hazards associated with the handling of dry, uncontained starch due to its combustible nature. For us, the health and safety of our customers, and in particular the operators, has always been a number one priority, so any changes we can make to our equipment that can help eliminate these risks take precedence. At the same time, we’ve also made some operational improvements to ensure our starch moguls continue to deliver the highest level of performance and reliability.”
Some of the most notable changes include an upgrade to the recently introduced tray turntable. This is now equipped with a vibration mechanism to ensure the starch is fully discharged when trays are emptied. Further improvements include a newly designed hopper with automatic starch gate and starch level sensors for advanced control over the tray filling process. NID engineers have also developed a new mechanism for the automatic tray insert/eject station, which is offered as an upgrade on all new and some existing NID moguls. The new mechanism enables the insertion and removal of weight control trays without stopping the machine and can also be used to eject inadequate trays, delivering advanced product quality assurance and a more continuous production process.
“It’s not even been a year since tna acquired NID and the number of new developments and upgrades our team has delivered are really impressive,” adds Mark Lozano, sales manager – confectionery at tna. “Our engineers have worked tirelessly over the last few months to ensure our starch moulding technology meets the strictest guidelines. The hard work has definitely paid off and we’re about to deliver four new moguls, with more orders in the pipeline. We’re also planning to set up an annual ‘Starch Mogul Hazard Mediation Forum’ to help start an industry dialogue about dust control and mitigation strategies and to ensure that we continue to develop solutions that meet all our customers’ requirements.”