IFR Introduction

Iron is probably one of the most abundantly available materials in nature and is also being used to a large extend in various products. The use of iron is extensive in all walks of life due to its inherent superior mechanical properties and its availability as compared to other materials. Most of the products are manufactured / produced on machines / equipment which are built using iron. This leads to iron contamination of the products.

The iron contamination may be in the loose form or compound form or it could be in the alloy form depending on the process. Though this is part and parcel of the process, the iron contamination is undesirable in most of the products and contamination levels are governed by guidelines set by BIS and other international standards. This is more so in food processing industry.

IFR drawing-1

One of the most common methods of mechanical separation of iron is by using magnetic field / equipment. Essentially an Iron removal system. All food processing units are using magnetic equipment either using permanent magnet equipment or electromagnets. There are several permanent magnetic equipment / devices available for iron separation purpose. They are magnetic drum, magnetic pulley, magnetic grill, magnetic plates, over band magnets etc.

All these equipment are being used by various food processing industries but in isolation. However till date, there was no comprehensive magnetic separation system was available encompassing various above equipment with their pros and cons were put together and used as a effective iron separation solution.

IFR drawing-2


This iron filing removal machine is one such effort and system approach for removal of iron in effective manner from tea.This system is to be installed before tea blending station and after the tea go downs. The system is designed for removal of iron particles and tea particles carrying iron particles. The system is designed to process max of 4500 kg of tea in one hour. The output quality of the tea processed through this machine is required to give 30 ppm of remnant pure iron or 400 ppm of iron + tea.

However, it may be noted that the output quality of tea is dependent on input quality of tea as well as flow rate of tea through such separation system, iron contamination size and no of magnetic systems with their sizes put to use. There fore it will be more appropriate to find cleaning ratio for the separation system to have some measure of the efficiency / usefulness of the system.

IFR drawing-3

The machine occupies a floor space of 15 sq meters approx and has a height of 5.5 meter. It consists of Input Bin, Base Frame Assembly, Vacuum Feeding System, Tea Feeding Hopper, Drum Separators Along With Geared Motor Drives, Control Panel and Associated Electric Wiring.

IFR drawing-4

The tea from the go down comes in packing bags of 35 Kgs and needs to be emptied into the input bin. The input bin is kept at ground level. The tea is sucked by vacuum feeding system (VFS) which is installed at the top of the main frame and is fed into the hopper (Adapter) installed just below the VFS. The tea from the hopper is discharged on the three magnetic drum separators installed one above the other. The drum housing of the magnetic drum separators serves the purpose of guiding the tea over the drums during its gravitational fall from top drum till lower magnetic Drum. The drum are driven through the gear drives which are connected to the drum through chain and sprocket. When the tea falls on the drum, the iron particles are attached on the drum surface because of the powerful magnets inside. The iron particles move along with the drum due to the magnetic effect. Once they move out of the magnetic zone, they fall down and are collected in the iron collecting tray through the ducts. The tea then passes over the second drum and the third drum for further removal of iron. The clean tea then passes to the shifter through the delivery spout placed below third drum. The tea coming out of Shifter is taken for further processing.

This system cannot be used for materials with higher viscosity or liquid. It is also not preferred  with materials with higher particle sizes by volume / weight.


IFR drawing-5

 Advantages of using IFR:

  • It’s a complete system which will give a guaranteed efficient iron separation in terms of ppm.
  • The system comes with PLC control for flexibility on flow rate, sequence, safety features.
  • The production rate can be scaled up from 3.5 tons /hr to 4.5 tones/hr.
  • The m/c with three drum separators placed one above the other and magnetic grill is capable of giving the output ppm as low as 30 ppm from an input ppm of 400.