• Feeders for Extruders

    September 18th, 2014


    Just as the extruder is capable of making a wide variety of different products, there are different ways to feed the extruder. I’ll use this discussion to explain over the top feeders, side feeders, mass flow feeders and the types of products they are used for.

    Over the Top Feeders- This feeder gravity feeds into the top of the extruder inlet chamber and is used for coarse ground, dense products, like soybeans, corn /soy, and other grain combinations. On older model extruders, the feeders were mounted on a swing arm assembly that was attached to the frame 0f the shaft and bearing housing. The modern version bolts on to same framework, directly above the inlet chamber. This type of feed system represents our most basic configuration and accounts for a high percentage of the equipment that goes out the door.

    Force Feed or Side Feeders- Some products that we extrude present a challenge in keeping products feeding to the extruder and require direct feeding into the inlet chamber. This is normally due to characteristics such as low bulk density or high moisture ingredients. Bulky ingredients are hard to feed fast enough to keep the extruder full and cause a constant problem with bridging or hollowing out the area around the feed auger. In the industry this is also known as {rat- holing}, which causes an interruption in the flow of product to the extruder.  Products that are noted for this are cottonseed, rice bran and wet waste products.

    To keep these types of products feeding fast enough to keep the extruder full and operating in a consistent, smooth and efficient manner, a special inlet chamber with a built in adapter to allow the feeder to be direct coupled is used.   In some cases a larger feed auger, with more horsepower, a different ratio gearbox and an agitator can be used to keep the product moving to avoid the problem of bridging. These types of feeders are either mounted on a swing, arm or on framework with wheels so it can be moved for easy wash down.

    Mass Flow Feeders- The mass flow type of feed system is used in combination with the preconditioner for products that require fine grinding or pulverizing. These products include shaped products like fish feeds, pet feeds and texturized soy proteins.  Most fish feed is made thru very small die plates, requiring the pre-extruded ingredients to be finely ground so they take on the characteristics of flour. These flour type ingredients can be difficult to feed and present some of the same bridging problems you see with the bulky products.

    Consistent feeding is critical as it relates to making shaped products. To produce the same shape hour after hour requires consistency in everything including moisture, temperature, particle size and feed rate. The mass flow hopper can hold up to 500 Kg of pre-extruded product. It has steep side walls, and depending on the model, one or two augers in the bottom to positively feed the product to the conditioner vessel.

    The difference in feeders is something to consider before purchasing a new extruder, or expanding your existing product line.  Remember, the Insta-Pro nutrition, sales and service team is available to discuss your goals and help you make the decision that’s right for your operation.

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Who is Insta-Pro?

Founded in the 1960's, Insta-Pro invented and patented high shear extrusion technologies and systems, bettering lives and businesses around the globe.

Today, Insta-Pro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of human food and animal feed processing equipment. Insta-Pro products are used to transform raw ingredients into nutritional feed for livestock, pets and fish as well as vegetable oil, flour, cereals and meat extenders for the food processing industry. The Insta-Pro product line of extruders, oil presses, preconditioners and coolers have earned the reputation as the preferred choice of food and feed producers in more than 100 countries across the globe.


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    October 6-8, 2014

    Insta-Pro International will be present at the Women in Agribuisness Summit in New Orleans, LA USA.

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  • Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit

    October 7-9, 2014

    Insta-Pro International will be present at the Oilseed & Grain Trade Summit Oct 7-9, 2014 in New Orleans, LA USA.

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    October 15-17, 2014

    Insta-Pro International will be present at the VIETSTOCK Expo and Forum, Saigon Exhibition & Conference Centre HCMC.

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  • World Food Prize

    October 15-17, 2014

    Insta-Pro International will be present at the World Food Prize, October 15-17, 2014; Des Moines, IA.

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  • FIGAP Mexico

    October 22-24, 2014

    Insta-Pro International will be present at FIGAP Mexico, October 22-24, 2014; Guadalajara Mexico.

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  • AVIANA Uganda

    October 30-31, 2014

    Insta-Pro International will be present at AVIANA Uganda, October 30-31, 2014; UMA Show grounds, Lugogo, Kampala, Uganda.

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