Historique de l'entreprise
Au début des années 20, un cousin d'Alfred Herbert, ce dernier propriétaire de l'une des plus grandes sociétés mondiales de machines-outils du même nom dont le siège social se trouvait à Coventry, inventa un nouveau concept exclusif de chauffage des fours rotatifs de sa cimenterie. L'idée était de pouvoir alimenter une machine en continu avec du charbon provenant d'un stock extérieur où il serait séché, pulvérisé en grande partie à moins de 100 microns, sélecté simultanément et soufflé dans le brûleur du four grâce à un ventilateur intégré à la machine à des débits allant jusqu'à 10 tonnes par heure.
Having only a cement company, this cousin had no means of turning his idea into a reality and so he turned to Alfred with the blueprint and asked him if he could make such a multifunctional machine, and make it robust enough to withstand the rigours of coal pulverising, which was known to be potentially highly abrasive. The machine was ultimately developed with high chrome iron castings providing the wear resistant grinding media, cast in Alfred Herbert's own foundry, which is still in operation at Atritor. After some initial prototype adjustments the machine was introduced to the kiln and boiler-firing market and quickly became a global success; the machine was named the ATRITOR.
The 'Atritor' was marketed worldwide for over 50 years during which time the technology of simultaneous milling and drying was expanded primarily in the chemical, mineral and waste product sectors. The modern 'Atritor' remains a core product of the company. The transition into food and pharmaceuticals began in 1980, when Atritor Limited was formed and proceeded to extend its product range and expertise.
The Cell Mill (left), with optional integral classifier, is suitable for finer grinding and drying applications than the Atritor. This introduction of this mill/dryer increased the range of applications in minerals and chemicals and also proved to be particularly suited to food ingredients, with wheat gluten, cocoa, starch, soyameal and carageen being a few examples.
The introduction of the Dynamic Classifier Mill (DCM) has proved equally successful in many industries. It is used extensively for the grinding of bulk pharmaceuticals. The pharmaceutical DCM (below), is manufactured in accordance with good manufacturing practices (GMP): in this case, a surface roughness of Ra 0.4µm, a mirror polished finish and a clean in place (CIP) design.
In 1990 Atritor Limited purchased the intellectual rights for a range of spiral jet micronising mills. These have been supplied to many industries, especially food and pharmaceuticals, and are custom-designed to suit specific client requirements. These requirements may range from a simple stand-alone microniser and collection sock, to special design microniser as shown suitable for locating inside an isolator for active pharmaceutical ingredients.