Come and visit us at the 2017 Australian Renderers Association International Symposium.

The Australian Renderers Association Bi-Annual Symposium is just over a month away. The event will be held from 25-28 July 2017 at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. Over 20 speakers will cover numerous key topics.

Also, the symposium is an opportunity to discuss your equipment needs with key suppliers. iBulk is proud to be part of this event and we look forward to meeting you in person.

Oyster farmers use Sweco Separators for sizing oysters to accelerate growth and provide uniform harvests

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images News / Getty Images
Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images News / Getty Images

Oyster farming takes place year round. The shell sh come into contact with a Sweco screening device for a short timeframe toward the middle of summer. It is at this time when the oysters are “graded” prior to their placement in a nursery. This grading is to maintain the appropriate dimensions for a maximum number of fully matured and sized oysters available at harvest in late summer. Formerly, this sorting was done by hand before the introduction of Sweco Separators into the process. 

On one farm, seeds begin in small bags of about 800,000 oysters weighing about two pounds. Within 18 months, they grow from about 2 mm to the perfect 76 mm desired size, weighing 113.400 kg and covering an acre of the bay’s floor. 

In early spring, the seed oysters from a hatchery are transferred to wooden boxes with mesh bottoms and placed in salt water alongside docks. Water is continuously pumped through the boxes to bring food and nutrients to the small oysters. The oysters grow at different rates so the oysters are graded by size during the 10 to 12 weeks they remain in this controlled environment. Oysters of similar size allow more water ow and this allows the oysters to grow more quickly during the summer months. 

Oysters are screened and placed in boxes during this early part of their lifecycle where progressively larger shells are stored in each box until they reach a size where they can be released to final maturity into the open bay. By placing like sized oysters in the individual boxes of this progressive series, the interstitial space between oysters can be maximised so the greatest water ow and nutrient can be supplied to the young oysters. In this way their growth cycle can be accelerated and controlled for more uniform harvests later. 

Boxes containing immature oysters are lifted from the water and taken to the Sweco Round Separators for grading. These oysters were formerly graded by placing the oysters on a sieve for hand sifting. As the baby oysters grow, their fragile shells must be handled with care to prevent breakage. In many installations, a phase inverter and speed control unit is used to vary the vibration to prevent damaging the oysters. 

A Sweco 24” Round Separator has been used successfully in this application - after the hatchery and before the nursery - to grade the baby oysters and maintain similar size oysters in each of the growing boxes. Starting with about an 18 Mill Grade Screen (L), the boxes are screened weekly to as often as every couple of days with screens progressively larger. Once the oysters are large enough they can be released into the bay. 

The Separator significantly speeds up the screening operation and saves manpower and time during the grading operation, formerly done by hand. It allows more “cycles” of screening to be conducted to maximise growth. 

A double deck separator is often used with these mesh sizes selected for the growth rate and growth cycle of the oysters. Oysters are graded into three size ranges with the double screening. As the season progresses, larger mesh openings are used in the grading process. Typical meshes used range from 6 mm to 25 mm. This is only one part of the operation where screening is presently used in this year-round process. 

The new Muson Miniature Rotary Batch Mixer blends up to 28 LITRES (1 CU FT) in less than three minutes

A new Miniature Rotary Batch Mixer model MX-1-SS from Munson Machinery blends up to one cu ft (28 ℓ) of dry bulk ingredients, with or without liquid additions, in ratios down to one part per million with total uniformity in two to three minutes, regardless of disparities in the bulk densities, particle sizes or flow characteristics of batch ingredients.

It is equally efficient down to five percent (0.05 cu. ft. / 1.4 ℓ) of rated capacity, making it suitable for accurately determining outcomes when scaled up to larger Rotary Batch Mixers.

The mixer is constructed primarily of stainless steel with brass components. Parts produced from other metals, such as the motor shaft, are shielded with stainless steel.  It is also equipped with grounding lugs, and is powered by a gear-reduced TEXP (Totally Enclosed Explosion Proof) industrial electric motor which has a NEMA 7/9 junction box.

Proprietary mixing flights within the rotating drum gently tumble, turn, cut and fold material, and evacuate blended batches through a stationary plug gate valve with no segregation or residual “heel” of material remaining. Unrestricted access to all interior surfaces allows rapid cleaning and inspection.

The company offers six Miniature Rotary Batch Mixer models in maximum batch capacities of 0.25 to 15 cu ft (7 to 425 ℓ) or 2 to 1200 lbs (1 to 544 kg).

Also offered are large-scale, in-line Rotary Batch Mixers with capacities of 5 to 600 cu ft (142 ℓ to 17 m3), Continuous Rotary Blenders, Ribbon/Paddle/Plow Blenders, Vee-Cone Blenders, High Intensity Blenders and Fluidized Bed Mixers.  Size reduction equipment produced by the company includes Screen Classifying Cutters, Centrifugal Impact Mills, Rotary Lump Breakers, Attrition Mills, Hammer Mills and Shredders.

iBulk to represent Bepex

Bepex Logo
Bepex Logo

“We are very excited to include a comprehensive range of size reduction, thermal drying and agglomeration equipment by adding Bepex to the American Companies we currently represent,” said Tony Webber, managing director of iBulk Solutions.

Bepex already has a history of installations in Australia, which they have achieved by combining technology with a detailed understanding of the customers' applications. The applications include food, chemical and mineral industries. We will be adding some additional information to our website to highlight the world-class equipment of Bepex manufacturers. These include the MS Roll Compactor, REH Disintegrator and Solidaire.

Bepex’s origins date back to the 1900s in the form of three separate entities: Strong-Scott, Komarek Greaves and Rietz Manufacturing. After acquiring all three brands, Berwind Corporation launched a line of products under the Bepex banner in the 1970s. Th e Hosokawa Micro Group owned Bepex Corporation from 1993 to 2004, when a management buyout led to its current incarnation as Bepex International LLC.

iBulk: Finding the Sweet Spot

Finding solutions to assist clients get themselves out of sticky situations is a challenge that the team at iBulk® always enjoys. So when Bilfinger Berger Services knocked on the door to discuss the screening requirements for the rebuilding of the Yarraville Sugar Terminal in Melbourne, they knew it was a project that they could really sink their teeth into.

The requirement was to provide a solution to screen 120tph of sugar into the requirement of graded and caster sugar.

“It sounds simple when you describe it like that, but we actually worked on this project for two years prior to the order placement,” remarked Tony Webber, managing director, iBulk® Solutions. “This process involved working closely with several consulting engineers who were specifying the machinery for this plant upgrade.”

iBulk’s work history proved invaluable in the research and design phase, as they were able to draw on their broad range of experience to correctly specify the right machinery for the job.

“We were fortunate to have worked on many similar installations at a number of local sugar refineries and this experience played a major role in our ability to meet the client’s requirements,” explained Tony. “In addition, our long association with Rotex enabled us to access additional research data from installations around the globe.”

After all the options were considered, the final solution was to install three iBulk® Rotex 70 Series Gyratory Screeners to handle the grading and screening requirements at the sugar terminal, each of which handles one third of the total tonnage required.

“In addition to this requirement there was the need to ensure that at the out loading end of the graded sugar process all oversize contaminants were removed” explained Mr Webber.

This resulted in iBulk® installing three more Rotex Gyratory Screeners. Two of the machines have been installed to serve as Graded Sugar Scalpers and the other as a Caster Sugar Scalper.

Because of the unique challenges that working in the food industry brings, iBulk® had to ensure that in all cases clean surfaces were maintained through the use of stainless steel, aluminium and FDA approved materials. In addition, all carbon steel was hot dipped galvanised and intrinsically safe instrumentation was installed to monitor heat to prevent potential dust ignition.

“The success of this project is really a testament of our ability to work closely with the client and their consulting engineers to ensure the right outcomes for all parties involved,” added Tony.

Beefing Up the Profit

In a recent study, Meat and Livestock Australia investigated the cost of rendering at several plants throughout Australia*. Their investigations revealed that the cost of producing one tonne of rendered product ranged between $130 and $253.

Meat Technology update has reported the rendering product contributes approximately three to seven percent of the revenue from cattle and sheep processing. Whilst there is some fluctuation there has been little change over the last 15 years.

“As you can see there is a massive variation between the per tonne cost and we believe that much of this can be associated with selection of the correct screening equipment,” said Mr Tony Webber, managing director, iBulk® Solutions Pty Ltd.

iBulk has been a major supplier of screening equipment to the industry and Tony was kind enough to share a little insight into the importance of selecting the correct equipment for processing Meat and Bones Meals (MBM).

“The obvious choice is Rotex. Its horizontal gyratory screening motion rapidly distributes the meat meal over the entire screen surface and conveys it without vertical vibration or hop,” explained Mr Webber. “This motion causes the hair and fluff to ball up and ride on top of the meal for easy removal by aspiration and/or discharge with other rejects.”

Tony went on to explain that the importance is retention time on the screen surface, which is increased when using the longer rectangular design of the Rotex compared to the use of circular screeners.

“Consider a round screen that has a nominal diameter of 1.8 m (72”); that means the average distance of travel from the inlet of the screen to the outlet can be as little as 915mm. In the case of a similarly sized Rotex machine, the transit distance from inlet to outlet is 3000mm and this increases the yield from the process.”

Yield is the amount of material separated out as product through screening and by increasing screening accuracy Rotex helps you maximise the recovery of on-size product and therefore increased profit results.

The Rotex screener features a unique bouncing ball system under the screen surface that helps prevent plugging and grease build-up. This freedom from screen blinding permits the use of smaller openings on the Rotex screens and thus more accurately sized meat meal product passing through the screen mesh.

“Accurate screening improves profitability and lowers processing costs,” remarked Tony. “Inefficient screening leaves excessive usable product in the rejects, so in effect it amounts to throwing money straight into the garbage,” he added.

To discover how iBulk® Solutions Pty Ltd can help you beef up your profits, call (03) 9768 3955 or visit


Ecutec - A Fine Addition to iBulk’s Tailored Solutions

iBulk Solutions, are delighted to announce the introduction of Ecutec Barcelona S.L. to their range of top quality handling and processing equipment. This comes about as the result of Sweco’s recent acquisition of Ecutec Barcelona S.L. for whom iBulk is a licensed manufacturer.

Ecutec is a supplier of classifying, coating and grinding products for fine and ultra-fine powders from 150 microns to
1 micron specialising in wet and dry processes for products of 5 microns and below.  

“The addition of Ecutec to our already extensive range is a real coup,” said Tony Webber, managing director, iBulk Solutions. “If you take into account that we’re adding it to a list of world renowned brands like Rotex, Carrier, you’ll begin to comprehend the breadth of product and expertise we can access.”

Through the use of highly advanced computation flow dynamics modelling software Ecutec’s processing and handling equipment offers unprecedented performance in terms of capacity, fineness of cut, durability and cost effectiveness. Ecutec’s proprietary rotor manufacturing technology takes this performance even further providing the ability to operate at high tip speed leading to finer, more accurate separation.

Brenda Beers-Reineke, Sweco President said “This natural extension of the Sweco product line offers significant synergies....This addition of Ecutec positions Sweco as a single source for classifying material from 1 inch to 1 micron.”  

Tony Webber, expanded on Brenda Beers-Reineke’s statement adding, “The synergies this acquisition provide for Sweco are increased exponentially for iBulk.  This is the result of integrating the new range with our existing Rotex, Carrier Vibrating Equipment and iBulk® ranges in addition to the Sweco range. iBulk is now positioned as a single source for tailored solutions in classifying, conveying, screening and drying of materials of virtually any size.”    

The introduction of Ecutec serves as an ideal complement to iBulk’s existing range and is yet another step in their continued commitment to source and provide their customers with a tailored approach to the provision of bulk handling solutions.  iBulk® now boasts one of the broadest ranges of handling and processing equipment in the business.

Tony Webber remarked “What this really means for our clients is that we give them solutions that are tailored for their needs to an extent that was not previously possible. This ensures greater efficiency and cost effectiveness as well as broader application with less downtime and wastage.  At the end of the day they get a better solution with lower installation, operation, maintenance and opportunity costs.”

Full contact information and details of the products currently offered by iBulk Solutions Pty Ltd can be found on their website at