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At the time that Sferes are required in a drum for processing, they must be transported from the storage to the drum. A variety of mechanisms for transport exist, ranging from a fully automated system (e.g., using pneumatic pumping) or a manual system such as using cranes. Typically, the more automated the system the greater the capital expenditure required.
In order to ensure that the chemicals from the previous cycle do not contaminate the next process, the Sferes must be cleaned before they are returned to storage. Qualus has designed a machine, the SCS Station, that has been tailored specifically to clean the Sferes. This is the only component of the SMS System provided by Qualus.
At the end of the processing cycle, the contents of a drum are emptied into a large container. As the Sferes are designed to fall off the substrates, a simple lifting and shaking of the substrates is required to remove any Sferes from their surface. To ensure that the lifting and shaking is done systematically and efficiently, some tanneries may choose to implement an automated hoist system or a water bath to help move the substrates from the container to the next stage of processing.
Qualus’ technology works with existing drums with minor modifications to ensure that the Sferes are retained in the drum during mid-cycle drains.
Sferes need to be stored somewhere when they are not being used in a drum for processing. The containers for storage can vary from one large silo to small containers, depending on a tanner’s needs and constraints (e.g., available space.)