Vulhopper | 3D Cadworks

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What if you want to have containers filled automatically up to a certain weight?

For one of our customers in the petrochemical industry in the Port of Antwerp, we therefore developed the vulhopper installation. This tower serves as a funnel to fill containers (bins) with used, contaminated catalyst from a reactor. 



The tower itself contains 3 separate hoppers: from top to bottom a filling hopper, a weighing bunker and a dumping hopper. 

The hopper will fill the weighing bunker until it holds a weight of 1500 kg. The filling hopper has a volume of several times the bins, so we have enough margin here to use a crane with a squeeze tray to fill this hopper continuously. 

The hopper is equipped with a valve at the bottom. By opening the valve of the hopper, the weighing bunker below is filled. This weighing bunker is equipped with a continuous weighing system, which in turn is also self-learning.  

Because the closing of the filling hopper is not immediate, but takes a few seconds, the system will learn by itself how long the filling hopper should be open to get the desired weight into the weighing bunker. This allows the system to determine a weight of 1500 kg to an accuracy of 5 kg.

As soon as the preset weight is in the hopper, the control system closes the hopper valve. After this step, the contents of the weighing bunker are emptied into the hopper, which in turn directs the catallist to the bin. In this way, the bins are filled to the maximum.


Furthermore, the plant was designed according to current safety standards. A risk analysis was carried out, which was included during the design. 

There are now stairs and landings on all sides of this entire installation, so that there is easy and safe access to the various hoppers, weighing cells, cylinders and all kinds of other components. This is in contrast to the previous installation where a rack was built around the installation to reach all of this. 

Also, the moving parts are shielded to prevent jamming. Finally, in consultation with the customer, we fitted the tower with strategically placed tarpaulins and walls. This is to stop any dust being blown up during the filling of the hopper, so that an office building in the vicinity is no longer affected by this.

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