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Safety Sieves For Big Bag Tipping

Clipper Teas install big bag tipping station to improve screening capacity of tea products

Clipper Teas is one of the UK’s most established hot beverage brands. As a leading manufacturer of green, white and black teas, Clipper was the first Fair-trade tea company in the UK and the first to introduce green tea to the mainstream market. Clipper proudly state their ethos of being, ‘Natural, Fair & Delicious’; meaning they use only the purest ingredients to supply the highest quality tea and all Clipper products are ethically sourced.

The company has one of the widest ranges of teas available, with over 200 products from Sleep Easy and Detox Infusions to Earl Grey and Assam Speciality blends to the everyday English cuppa. On average, Clipper Teas produce 7000–8000kg of tea per day. With handling and blending critical to the production of high quality tea, Clipper are continuously looking for ways to enhance product quality.

Clipper initially used one loading system to transfer big bags of raw material onto a bucket elevator. The tea was then processed through a reciprocating screen to remove any contamination, and then fed into two cone blenders.

Having one loading system proved to be problematic, as production stopped if the system required cleaning or maintenance, compromising business continuity. In addition, the reciprocating screen was difficult to dismantle and clean, requiring three people to handle it, this resulted in production downtime and increased labour costs. Furthermore, the screen could not be visually inspected, without dismantling the unit, contributing to further inefficiencies. An efficient solution for check-screening raw tea was needed.

“It became clear that to efficiently meet demands, the process would need to be reviewed, not only to maintain business continuity but also to improve the screening process”, says Steve Norris, Engineering and Maintenance Manager.

The company decided to search for a big bag loading and sieving system that allowed easy changing of screens and the ability to visually monitor the tea as it is screened. A solution which could service two identical production lines was also necessary, to ensure production would not be disrupted during maintenance. This allows Clipper to expand and increase capacity at busy periods.

Following tests with various tea products, it was determined that the Russell Compact 3in1 Sieve™ would be the most appropriate machine, meeting both bag loading and screening requirements.

Two large diameter safety sieves were incorporated, large enough to manage big bag tipping. Designed for loading and check screening food ingredients safely through low-level bag emptying, the Russell Compact 3in1 Sieve™ is easy to assemble and disassemble and enables screens to be changed quickly and efficiently.

Norris concluded: “The two Compact 3in1 sieves have enabled screening capacity to be doubled, allowing for greater flexibility, improved screening and therefore a reduction in waste and labour costs. With the new machines in place, we have been able to enhance their quality control procedures, ensuring that every box of tea that leaves the warehouse is of the highest quality