Gimat solutions for food industry

The transport of material in the food industry, where a contamination-free conveyance is paramount, always offers us stimulating challenges that we face with high-quality engineering solutions

Mixing and packing of Vegan powders with different recipe mixes (and packing needs)


  • Horizontal ribbon blender
  • Check sieving machine
  • Semi-automatic bagging machine

Customer: Vegan food company

Customer requirement: A UK manufacturer operating in a high growth market had a requirement to produce various individual Vegan product mixes to be used both for their in-house range of Vegan food products and to be sold to other companies requiring Vegan ingredients.

The customer required a full system to mix various recipes of Vegan powders, check screen after mixing and then to be packed into multiple bag sizes of 5 to 25kg using a semi-automatic system for maximum efficiency. The customer had a myriad of recipe mixes but needed production scale equipment to produce consistent products and pack for either use later on in other processes or for sale onto other companies producing Vegan food products.

Gimat solution: The GIMAT engineering team discussed the whole process with the customer, to understand their requirements and what additional equipment would be needed to deliver a fully contained production scheme, where the customer would mix, discharge (from the mixer), check sieve the products and use an inclined variable speed drive flexible screw conveyor to feed the bagging machine for the packing of the final blender products.

  • GIMAT manufactured a suitable galvanised support platform with pallet gates and handrails, to allow easy access to the inlet on the horizontal ribbon blender.
  • GIMAT supplied a 1000 litre Ribbon Blender a sack tip hood arrangement and pneumatically operated inspection hatches for cleaning and inspection.
  • Once blender the system would automatically discharge the blended powders into a flat deck vibratory check sieve, to guard against any lumps or foreign contaminates that may have been present in any bagged ingredients.
  • Depending on the program selected by the operator, the GIMAT pneumatic semi-automatic bagging machine pack bag sizes of 1 – 25 kg.
  • All of the process functions were controlled by two separate electro-mechanical control panels, with easily changed functions for maximum customer flexibility.
  • As part of this project GIMAT provided a complete project management service that included the installation and commissioning of the system at the customers site.

bulk bag unloading and conveying in a restricted space environment


  • Bulk bag emptying station
  • Flexible screw conveyors
  • Custom transfer manifold

Customer: Convenience food producer

Customer requirement: A major UK manufacturer of convenience food sandwich fillers had the need to feed chickpeas into a new optical sorting machine automatically. The optical sorting machine would increase customer production and eliminate manual inspection of chickpeas prior to cooking, however the amount of space available for the platform mounted sorting equipment and the unloading system was both floorspace and headroom restricted.

  • The key ingredient in this application was chickpeas which the customer makes a range of humous based sandwich fillers.
  • To keep pace with demand automation was necessary to eliminate manual inspection of chickpeas prior to cooking and the manual handling of 25 kg bags. The customer wanted to buy raw ingredients in 1000 kg bulk bags which has the added benefits of reduced costs when buying in buy bags and reduce manual handling for the operators.
  • The customer needed a method to discharge the bulk bag into a conveyor/elevator system to feed the platform mounted optical sorting machine without the use of forklift truck movements due to the limited floor space in the production area.
  • The optical sorting machine required a constant supply of product and any delivery equipment had to have built in safety features to alert operators to lack of product in the system.

Gimat solution: The GIMAT engineering team looked at the available space in which to incorporate a bulk bag unloading system and produced a bespoke low level bulk bag unloading frame with buffer hopper and twin flexible screw conveyors, one to elevate the product vertically and a second conveyor to transfer the product horizontally into the feed hopper for the optical sorting machine, due to the space limitations it was not possible to feed the optical sorting machine with a single conveyor.

  • The GIMAT bulk bag unloading system floor mounted and had its own lifting beam and hoist system to take bulk bags from floor level onto the bulk bag frame and discharge the chickpeas into conveyor buffer feed hopper.
  • The loops of each bag were placed onto a lifting frame at floor level and the operator would control the lifting of the bulk bag with the hoist push button control - untie the bulk bag outlet and allow the chickpeas to flow out of the bag and into the conveyor feed buffer hopper.
  • The vertical flexible screw conveyor fitted on the outlet of the unloader feed hopper and is controlled by a variable speed drive via the frame mounted PLC control panel to allow the conveyor speed to be adjusted to the optimum speed for consistent vertical conveying of the chickpeas.
  • To transfer the product horizontally the GIMAT engineering team designed a transfer manifold that would fill with product to feed the horizontal fixed speed conveyor.
  • The horizontal conveyor would run at a maximum rate to fill the optical sorting machine feed hopper until the high level switch on the sorting machine was initiated and the system would stop and then start automatically when the system required more product, this process would continue until the bulk bag was empty and the conveyor feed hopper low level sensor was triggered which would give a visual and audible alarm to the operators to change the bulk bag.
  • For customer troubleshooting and assistance the control system was configurated for remote access to allow off-site service and support to the customer.

This system provided a number of challenges to the GIMAT engineering team but we were able to product a tailored design to fit equipment into the limited space available and provide installation and commissioning to the customer.