Case Study: Dairy Plant Pneumatic Conveying System

We recently worked with a large milk and cheese producer in South Dakota who came to us looking for help with their process.

In this case study, we will describe their problem, our solution, and what the end results were.


The salting process at most dairy plants is a manual process. Salt arrives in 50 pound bags on a pallet. Each bag of salt needed to be carried in manually to the curd table, which was at least 200 yards from the salt storage room. This is a tremendous amount of man-power and frankly, caused a high turnover of employees. It became a major worker’s comp problem as well.


Apex designed a solution utilizing Vac-U-Max Pneumatic Conveying along with Loss-In-Weight Feeding. Our system allowed for dairy plant to change their salt receiving from 50 pound bags to Super Sacks which are 2,000 pounds. Super Sacks are much more sanitary, more inexpensive by volume, and allow for a speedier process.

Dairy Plant

The convey line was as follows:

  1. First, convey from the Bulk Bag Unloader to a Pneumatic Surge Hopper on a scale
  2. Then, from The Surge Hopper by weight onto the correct convey line
  3. Lastly, into a receiver rated for full washdown duty and located directly in the curd table room

This allowed the salt to be accurately pneumatically conveyed to the point of use without using any additional manpower, eliminating human error, and limiting any potential contaminations.


Apex successfully eliminated hundreds of hours of labor per month while maintaining the highest standard of product integrity. The end result was a more reliable system that increased production capacity by 25%. Apex allowed the plant to produce more cheese , with less labor hours, less employee turnover, and less worker comp claims. We also protected the brand from a possible catastrophic contamination event.

Apex has built an impressive offering of some of the most respected Dry Bulk Material Handling brands in the industry. They are all USA made! Apex has the ability to design a turn-key Material Handling System for your application. In addition, we offer Explosion Protection Equipment so you can count on apex to keep your plant, process, and people safe.


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