WBM - Wet Hopper Destoner
From Wet & Dry Hoppers
The WBM Wet Hopper Destoner is a compact solution that offers both a stone and heavy clod removal system while ensuring your line is fed at a steady and consistent rate. The produce is fed onto the in-feed flume where it is washed down a chute and over a gap that has water flowing in an upward direction.
Due to the fact that most produce is lighter than stones, the produce floats over the gap while the stones and heavy clods fall down into the gap and are removed by a side discharge elevator and discharged into a bin. The produce then continues into the wet hopper where it has a chance to presoak, prior to entering the next phase of the line; typically the washing system. As most produce tends to be buoyant in water, and with the elevator designed at just the right angle of incline, the wet hopper also evens out any ebb and flow in the volume of produce being fed into the line. This will usually allow for a better and more consistent cleaning action to the produce while reducing much of the mud and dirt prior to the washer thus extending the life of equipment further down the line.
An air sparge agitation system can also be included which further helps to remove mud and dirt from the produce. This is done by pumping air into the bottom of the wet hopper making almost a Jacuzzi bubbling action which effectively works away at the dirt on the produce.
There are several options with regards to how to deal with the dirt/sand that settles into the water throughout production. If waste water can be washed down a drain and into a settling pond or other sediment reservoir then purging the water in small increments while running is a very effective way to prevent dirt/sand from building up in the bottom of the hopper. By opening a valve on preset intervals for short periods of time the dirt can be flushed away making cleanup at the end of the production cycle quick and easy. Another method that works quite effectively on heavy soils such as sand is to constantly send a portion of the recirculated water into a separate settling tank which can be emptied as needed throughout the day.
The WBM Wet Hopper Destoner is available in several sizes to suit your production requirements. It can be provided in mild steel, blast, primed and painted with high quality enamel or in stainless steel construction.