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Efficiency & hygiene gains impress global giant (Food)


Global food and biotechnology giant Ajinomoto has had a presence in Brazil for over 50 years, and its plant in Limeira, northeast of Sao Paulo, is now the world’s largest producer of MSG. They had a particularly challenging transition point between a centrifuge and vibrating conveyor that required frequent connector changes, causing extensive production downtime. By redesigning the transition point to replace the single large connector with multiple BFM® fittings, they’ve both improved plant hygiene and production efficiency dramatically - so much so that BFM® fittings are now being standardized across all 4 of Ajinomotos plants in Brazil.

Ajinomoto Brazil connector before BFM fitting


The Challenge

The large, single connector between a Conturbex centrifuge and the vibrating conveyor was fastened with a traditional hose clamp which would wear easily and leak product into the production area. Because of the constant wear, it needed frequent replacement which was a difficult process due to the location of the connector, as well as the size of the connector itself.

Besides the hygiene and wastage issues, the amount of production downtime was not sustainable as each change required shutting down the machine for several hours. They needed to rethink the whole transition point between the centrifuge and vibrating conveyor to reduce the dust problems and the maintenance issues.

Multiple BFM's at Ajinomoto Brazil


The Solution

In conjunction with BFM®’s Brazilian Distributor, Suprir Industria de Metais, the whole connection was redesigned, replacing the old, single connector with the new solution of multiple BFM® fittings. The physical location of the transition was also moved to a lower platform to allow better access for engineering staff.

The BFM® fittings installed now provide visibility of product flowing through the system and have eliminated any dust leaking into the production area. Production downtime has also been dramatically reduced not that only regular scheduled maintenance stoppages
are required.

Ajinomoto’s management has been so impressed with the results achieved at the Limeira plant that they have now decided to standardize all their plants in Brazil with BFM® fitting flexible connectors.

The Benefits

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No more regular shutdowns to replace worn hose-clips means productivity has been increased significantly.
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No more product leakage into the plant means the overall plant hygiene has been improved with less clean-ups required.
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The fast, snap-fit installation means replacing the BFM connector when required is now a quick and easy operation.
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The plant is cleaner for production staff and the ease of replacement for engineering staff has reduced the need for tools and potential injury.

“The installation of the BFM® fitting connectors in this initial location has made a massive difference to our overall production efficiency. No more shut-downs to change failing connectors means our engineering staff can focus on more productive projects.”

– Paulo Camargo, Engineer in charge at the Limeira Plant, Ajinomoto Brazil

Case Study courtesy of BFM® distributor Suprir Industria de Metais, Brazil.

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