Powder and Bulk Engineering
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Publication Date: 03/2008
Pages: 4
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New conveying system cleans up railcar unloading operation

A detergent producer installs a semidense-phase conveying system to improve its railcar unloading operation.

Procter & Gamble Co., headquartered in Cincinnati, operates the Vallejo manufacturing plant in Mexico City. The plant produces several popular brands of dry laundry detergent, including Ariel, Bold, Safe, and Rindex, that are distributed throughout Latin and Central America. A key ingredient used in making the detergent is sodium carbonate (soda ash), a fine, dry particulate with a bulk density between 32 and 60 pounds per cubic foot. The plant annually receives more than 100,000 tons of sodium carbonate in 90-ton-capacity railcars and transfers it to two large storage silos that feed the downstream production process. In 2005, the plant decided to improve the railcar unloading operation to increase the material unloading rate and decrease maintenance costs.

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