KICE, Industries

Case Study 1983: New Flour Distribution System for Pillsbury Mill


  • Put 65,000 pounds of flour per hour into any one of the 31 holding bins
  • Convey from any of those 31 bins to bulk truck load-out
  • Convey from any one of the remaining 30 bins to packing
  • Recirculate from any of the bins to a different bin or to a bulk rail load-out
  • Replace existing worn out, unsanitary screw conveyors as a distribution method
  • Make it automatic

In 1983, Pillsbury came to Kice to design a system that would modernize and streamline their flour distribution load-out system. Kice engineered the sanitation, dependability, and flexibility which was required for this project at the time. By using three 100 HP power units, four airlock injectors, (17) 2 and 3-way diverter valves and 28 bin fill valves; the system was designed.

Use of Valves

All of the valves were air operated for remote control. Pillsbury then interlocked all of the equipment with scales and bins so a program could be initiated to automatically control (distribute and record weights of) the operation.

By using the Kice Hi-Pressure Diverter Valves and bin fill valves, the amount of tubing was reduced, and the “distribution maze” was eliminated. The close-machined clearances minimized leakage and made it practical to stage valves in series or in parallel without fear of cross contaminating the products. The bin fill valve design vents the bin as it was being filled and allowed all of the bins to exhaust to a common filter, thereby eliminating a maze of suction ducting.

All of the suction duct fittings were selected from the Kice dust duct catalog to make a customized installation using standard fittings. Kice provided a M168-8 filter to provide suction on surge hoppers, packers, and the flour bins. The old distribution system of screw conveyors was removed, and the new system was installed, all done with no down time.

The final result gave Pillsbury a new installation of then state-of-the-art automatic, sanitary equipment to allow them more flexibility to better serve their customers.

KICE, Industries