iBulk Introduce Rotex High Capacity Mineral Separators to Australia

iBulk, one of Australia’s leading separation technology companies, recently announced the addition of the Rotex Mineral Separator and Megatex XD to their already impressive product range.

“The tendency for the process industry to want a greater capacity through screening equipment has been a common request in recent years,” said Tony Weber, managing director, iBulk Solutions. “We have seen mining screens increase in size and the “banana” styled screening machines that were once quite rare, are now more common place.”

The fine particle dry screening industry has not been resting on its laurels whilst these jumps forward in capacity have been taking place. Building on their strong relationship with Rotex Global LLC, iBulk has introduced the Minerals Separator and Megatex XD into its range to satisfy this demand.

“Three model series are available for a variety of general purpose and finer process screening applications,” explained Tony.

Included in the new range Minerals Separators are:

  • 100 Series Screeners with 11.1 and 16.7 square metres of screen surface area.
  • 200 Series Screeners with 19.5 and 26.0 square metres of screen surface area.
  • 300 Series Screeners with 32.5 square metres of screen surface area.

“The iBulk Rotex Minerals Separator is ideal for applications in mined minerals and abrasives,” suggested Tony. “Their unique, vertical design allows operators to enjoy a higher capacity per square metre of cloth in a compact footprint compared with more conventional machines.

“The new range will provide superior performance in the separation of industrial sand and we’re confident of building our market share in this important industry segment,” he said.

In addition to innovative vertical design, the new Rotex Minerals Separators also have a number of other important features that set them apart from the competition including:

  • Screen deck slope of 6o to meet demanding glass, filter and frac sand specifications and maximise screen efficiency.
  • The external drive cartridge allows continuous operation up to 200oC.
  • Abrasion resistant steel construction and “rockbox” landing areas for continuous impact on high-wear surfaces.
  • Single or double inlet plenum options with sliding inlet connections and long life “Teflon” wear rings.

“We’re very excited about making these new products available in Australia and we’re confident that the unique design, high capacity and build quality will ensure their long term success,” added Tony.

For further information on the new range of Rotex Minerals Separators, contact iBulk® Solutions on (03) 9768 3955 or visit www.ibulk.com.au.

Picking up the Crumbs

iBulk: Tailoring Solutions for Clients Not Clients for Solutions

Quite often we take the simple things for granted, and one would imagine that making bread crumbs wouldn’t pose too many challenges, but think again.

New Food Coatings, a food product manufacturer found themselves facing quite an unusual problem, how to effectively and efficiently dry bread crumbs in order to prevent contamination, reduce the likelihood of mould setting in and ultimately prolong product life.  

“This was never going to be an off-the-shelf fix,” remarked Mr Tony Webber, managing director, iBulk. “When we started out, it quickly became obvious that our experience in dealing with unusual requests would really assist in providing a workable, cost effective solution.”

To identify, develop and design the process that would provide the desired results, iBulk’s R&D team worked closely with the client, whose parent company also provided valuable information, to bring together various elements that would ensure the project’s success.

iBulk is gaining a reputation in Australia for their ‘can-do’ attitude and when you consider that they combine this with A-grade manufacturing capabilities, you’ll quickly understand that their ability to design and build fine particle separation and processing equipment for the solid processing industry  is unique in this country.

“Delivering a solution that completely addresses the unique requirements of the project for New Food Coatings required us to work closely with the client and bring together a number of variables,” said Mr Webber. “But at the hub of this solution lies a fluid bed dryer and a SWECO separator.”

In this case the individually tailored solution included a fluid bed processing unit in which air or gas is passed through a bed of particulate matter via a perforated plate. This process lifts and mixes the solids as required.

“In addition we also added mechanical vibration to the system,” explained Mr Webber. “By continually agitating the material, the solids attain fluid like properties. This maximises the exposure of the particle surface areas to the process air, resulting in higher heat transfer rates and increasing operating efficiencies.

To top it all off, the process system that iBulk designed also allows New Food Coatings to mill the crumbs to specific sizes as required so it can be used in a wide variety of popular food items.

“You don’t find the question to fit the answer, you find the answer to fit the question and this is what we do at iBulk.  Our success lies in tailoring solutions for our clients not trying to make our clients fit our solutions” added Mr Webber.



The Sands of Time Never Stand Still


For the team at iBulk® even the most simple request can often lead to the development of interesting and innovative solutions that are designed to meet the exact requirements of a client’s specifications. A great example of this was when they were approached by a major mineral sand miner to screen titanium sand at 300µm.

“At face value that seemed a reasonable and run of the mill request that in most cases would be handled more than adequately by one of our standard screeners,” said Tony Webber, managing director, iBulk® Solutions. “But as we worked through the project specifications further with this particular client, it became more obvious that there were some unique requirements that we’d needed to consider to ensure their expectations were completely fulfilled.”

The research and development team at iBulk® had to contend with two major issues that separated this project from a standard screening install, dust extraction and space. Dust encapsulation was particularly important to reduce the chance of product contamination, while the iBulk® engineers also had to contend with a site where limited space was available in which to install the machines.

“These two individual, but equally important factors changed the ball game completely,” remarked Tony.”And combined they really set our design team with an interesting challenge.”

The solution was to start with Rotex 521 Gyratory Screener as the basis before making a large number of design modifications that would be incorporated into the build. The Rotex Screener is a highly efficient separator of dry bulk solids when presented with very fine particles.

“We redesigned the screen frames and the top cover of the machine so as to accommodate our client‘s requirements. At iBulk® we’re not just proprietary equipment providers, our design engineers are able to assess the customer’s needs and provide a suitable solution,” Tony explained.

To make matters even more complex, a key feature of the Rotex 521 Gyratory Screener is a unique ball cleaning system that is unsurpassed when working with products that have the tendency to blind screen surfaces.

“It was paramount to keep that feature intact no matter what other modifications needed to be made to the machine,” said Tony. “The ball cleaning systems sets this machine head-and-shoulders above the competition and our engineers didn’t baulk at the challenge, delivering a final design that maintained this feature by introducing new screen fixing methods to maintain a fully isolated system so as to ensure no contamination of the fines in the underflow could occur.

“When we measure screening efficiency we are determined that our machines offer efficiencies of greater than 95%,” Tony stated.  “This is what sets iBulk® apart from other types of screening machine equipment providers.”

Scalp more effectively with iBulk and Skim a bit more off the top


It’s quite common for industrial and mining businesses to focus on removing a specific size fraction of product from their feed stock before it is sent for future processing or packaging.

Often this is done with a vibrating screen requiring large vibrator motors and a considerable amount of steel for strength to perform a basic duty.

However, with the introduction of the revolutionary Hi-Cline™ machine to their already extensive range of screeners, iBulk® Solutions Pty Ltd can assist business owners scalp product more efficiently.

“It’s time for industrial and mining businesses to stop wasting money scalping product inefficiently,” said Mr Tony Webber, managing director, iBulk® Solutions Pty Ltd. “Our new Hi-Cline™ machine is designed to be the most efficient scalping machine for lump removal at higher capacities.”

Unlike conventional mechanical screens, the Hi-Cline™ body remains stationary and only the screening surface is excited. Excitation of the screen mesh is achieved by a series of out-of-balance vibrating motors connected to the screen surface by a specially designed torsion bar.

“The influence of these vibrators on the screen surfaces generates up to 11 G’s of screen force during operation, a value that is impossible to achieve with conventional screening equipment,” explained Tony.

Since the flow of material is achieved through stratification the Hi-Cline™ is installed at an angle greater than 30O. Single and double deck configurations are available and typical applications include Urea, Lime, Abrasives, Animal Feeds, Chemicals and various Minerals just to name a few.

“The introduction of the Hi-Cline™ is set to revolutionise the way that products are scalped and in these challenging economic times, innovations like this help reduce the cost of production and ultimately increase profit at the bottom line,” added Tony.

To discover how iBulk® Solutions Pty Ltd can help you reduce scalping costs and increase profitability, call (03) 9768 3955 or visit www.ibulk.com.au.

Back to Basics, What exactly is Separating?

Photo by buchachon/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by buchachon/iStock / Getty Images

Industry has many descriptions for the process of separating and it is subject to whom you are talking and what you are talking about. Some industries are familiar with the terminology separating whilst others would refer to it as screening.

To give us a better understanding of the basics about the separating business, we’ve enlisted the services of Tony Webber, managing director of iBulk Solutions, one of Australia’s leading separation technology companies.

“There always seems to be some confusion surrounding what exactly we are talking about when it comes to describing the process of separation and this tends to stem from that fact that there are a number of words that are frequently used to describe the process,” explained Tony. “Some industries are familiar with the terminology separating whilst others would speak of screening, but essentially they are one and the same.”

As a short list of terms that are commonly used to describe the process of ‘Separating’ include:

  • Separation / separating
  • Screening
  • Sorting
  • Sieving / Sifting
  • Sorting
  • Filtering

“In every case there are people who will not divert from their pet terminology,” explained Tony. “As a stakeholder in this industry it is essential to be flexible and adaptive to the way this process of sorting different particles into different sizes is referred.”

“For example, in the dry bulk solid industry the term filtering is not common as this is more applicable to solid / liquid separation.”

By looking at the type of process that is being performed through the application of one of the above it is likely the end user wishes to achieve an objective that could be:

  • Size / sizing
  • Dewater
  • Drain and rinse
  • Washing

“Yet again, each of these terms is applicable  to a specific industry and taking a cross section it would seem that we all agree that sizing is yet another list of methods including Grizzly Screening, Single or multiple deck screening / separating, Grading or Scalping,” said Tony.

“Originally, I set out to provide an insight into this veiled industry by providing a range of commonly used terminology in the hope of providing a starting point from which we can all clearly reference when we’re talking separating,” he added.

For further information on any issues regarding separating,  contact iBulk® Solutions on (03) 9768 3955 or visit www.ibulk.com.au.

What is Screening Efficiency?


What is screening efficiency? In the bulk solids industry this is the one question that is often asked, but rarely understood. Nine times out of ten it is related to the performance of a vibrating screen, and in many of these cases a lack of performance is the issue.

To help us unlock the secrets of screening efficiency, we’ve enlisted the services of Tony Webber, managing director of iBulk Solutions, one of Australia’s leading separation technology companies.

“The key to lifting the veil that shrouds the question of screening efficiency is to correctly identify the application requirements,” said Tony. “We help our clients with this task right from the first instance and then ensure that the specifications are supported with correct and clear documentation so there is no doubt regarding the exact level of performance a vibrating screen needs to achieve.”

Technically, screening efficiency is described as the comparison of the undersize material carried over the screening media and discharged with the oversize product in contrast to the input amount of undersize that was initially fed into the screen.

This result is expressed as a percentage and given the term screening efficiency.

“Simply put, to increase screening efficiency you want to reduce the amount of undersized material that gets thrown away with the oversize material that you are trying to extract it from, the more undersize material that  gets thrown away the less effective the screen is,” explained Tony.

Experience has shown that often the performance of vibrating screens falls below operational expectations. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that the data provided to machine designers and manufacturers is often incorrect.

Over the years Tony and the team at iBulk have faced some significant challenges in identifying the exact screening needs for their clients.

“Sometimes it’s hard to convey just how important it is to ensure users of vibrating screens have documented their requirements accurately. It never ceases to amaze me that professional engineering consultants offer screening specifications that are ambiguous and unachievable,” remarked Tony. “This is where our team of highly experienced engineers can assist to ensure our client’s screening efficiency requirements are not only met, but often exceeded.”

Tony went on to explain the simple things he would include in the basic documentation if he was developing a set of specifications for the design of a screening machine:

  • What is the product that needs to be screened?
  • What is the products bulk density?
  • Is the product dry and free flowing, or is it moist?
  • If moist, what percentage is moisture?
  • Is the product abrasive?
  • What is its continuous temperature?
  • What is the feed rate to the screener?
  • What is the cut size that needs to be removed?

“In addition, the provision of a full Particle Size Distribution (PSD) of the feed material needs to be presented with the enquiry as well as a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS),” said Tony. “The above list is in no way exhaustive and can go on for several pages, but even if answers were only given for these questions, the machine selection would become more accurate and application difficulties would be all but eliminated.”

This brings us back to screening efficiency. After installation it is essential to determine if the equipment is fit for purpose and if it’s achieving the client’s objectives.

Tony favours the use of the Taggart (1966:7-04) formula for this purpose. It is a simple formula and easy to apply:


“At iBulk, we endeavour to achieve the highest screening efficiency required in our customer’s applications. We understand that our success is linked to that of our customers, hence a mutual understanding of the key terms used in our industry is fundamental,” Tony said in closing.

For further information contact iBulk® Solutions on (03) 9768 3955 or visit www.ibulk.com.au.

Australian Innovator Assists Industry Save Water


As Australia faces its greatest battle against drought in recorded history, one company is doing their best to assist industry to make more efficient use of our most important asset, water.

iBulk, a leading producer of internationally renowned process equipment, has a long history providing unique, cost effective and environmentally friendly process solutions across a broad range of industries.

“Our expertise lies in our ability to identify smarter and more efficient ways of utlising available resources,” said Mr Tony Webber, managing director, iBulk. “And with the recent water crises, our R&D department has been working overtime to assist industry save this precious resource.”

iBulk has developed water saving solutions for a broad cross-section of industry segments including agriculture, minerals and pharmaceutical to name a few, but the most impressive results have been achieved in both laundry and food preparation areas.

“We take a holistic view of our client’s problems and try to provide solutions that in many cases, provide additional benefits than those flagged in the initial brief,’ explained Mr Webber. “Case-in-point is our work in the laundry industry.

“Initially we were approached to assist commercial laundries reduce sewer charges by removing solids from waste water’” remarked Mr Webber. “But on further analysis our team was able to reduce water consumption through the filtering and reuse of recycled water.”

iBulk’s solution included the installation of vibrating Sweco screens that proved extremely efficient at removing lint from waste water, improving the quality of this grey water to a point where it can be used in a number of additional applications. The team at iBulk truly believes that the reuse of high quality grey water will become a major contributor to water saving in Australia and around the world as it will become suitable to use in more and more situations.

“Static sieves have long been the standard in this field, but they have a tendency to clog and therefore require a large amount of maintenance, including frequent washing,” said Mr Webber.

“Following the development and installation of our vibrating sieve, we found that the cleaning and maintenance cycles were reduced and they were actually able to reuse the higher quality grey water in the heat exchanger. In the past, drinking water would have been used in this application.

“Our vibrating sieves also assist companies save water by reducing the cleaning and maintenance cycles, compared with static sieves and, of course, the quality of waste water was also vastly improved, definitely a win-win on all fronts,” he said.

The 48inch separator installed in this case example has the ability to handle flow rates of 280-570 litres per minute making it perfect for high volume applications.

“At iBulk we pride ourselves on providing innovative solutions that not only increase productivity and reduce costs for our clients, but in the long run, will also have a positive effect on the environment,” added Mr Webber.

For further information contact iBulk (03) 9706 6430 or visit www.ibulk.com.au.

iBulk, a Company with its Finger on the Pulse


You know what its like, your brow starts to sweat and your pulse quickens. It’s the feeling you get right before something big is about to happen.

Working in the pharmaceutical industry provides plenty of these moments as the team at iBulk discovered recently.

“We enjoy relationships with a number of the larger pharmaceutical companies in Australia,” said Mr Tony Webber, managing director, iBulk. “A number of our products are ideally suited to pharmaceutical applications and we’ve been able to provide many solutions to often difficult processing problems.

“But I must admit that our recent work with Aortech really got the heart racing.”

Aortech is an innovative Australian Biomaterials company that develops and manufactures leading edge polymers for use in critical medical and pharmaceutical applications, with a significant focus on cardiovascular applications.

“Everybody understands the care that has to be taken when dealing with matters of the heart,” remarked Tony.

Working with Aortech staff at iBulk’s test lab the project team quickly identified the critical design requirements and it was down to work to source a processing machine that would provide the best solution.

“Amongst a number of considerations, biggest problem facing Aortech was inconsistencies in the plastic granules that form the base material of their products,” Explained Tony. “To ensure high quality moulding it is imperative that the plastic granules used in production are a uniform size.

“The granules also need to be free from polymer dust to ensure the finished product is produced to the highest sanitary levels.”

After investigating a number of alternatives, the SWECO Circular Separator was identified as the best match to the design parameters.

“The SWECO separator looked like it stood head and shoulders above the rest when measured against the specifications required for this application,” said Tony. “Its stainless steel design combined with the fact that the screens are manufactured using Supertaut really illustrated that it provided the best outcome.”

For those who may not be familiar with Supertaut, it’s a revolutionary bonding material which encapsulates and locks every wire into place eliminating crevices and pits found in typical spot welded screens.

After settling on the SWECO, it was straight into iBulk’s test laboratory to make sure it would provide the results that its specifications promised.

“Our stringent testing regime proved that the SWECO was the best choice and from there we quickly intergrated the unit into Aortech’s production facility.

“Looking back it was a great result for all parties and it’s nice to know that you can play an integral role in producing products that will improve the health of so many Australians, ‘added Tony.

For further information contact iBulk (03) 9768 3955 or visit www.ibulk.com.au.