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ETI is the established leader in providing equipment for the high volume transfer of damage-sensitive products. There are over 1300 of ETI's TRANSVAC® fish transfer systems operating around the world. The largest of these units are PLC controlled, three tank systems, that pump fish at average rates of over 300 tonnes per hour, at distances exceeding 1500 meters. ETI's SILKSTREAM live fish transfer system is operating successfully at over 150 locations around the world. ETI has a commitment to total customer satisfaction and understands the importance of immediate customer support. ETI's FEEDMASTER™ automatic feeding system is the current state of the art in feeding system technology and design. The FEEDMASTER™ has been engineered and manufactured to ensure that there is no mechanical or thermal damage to the feed during transfer. The system incorporates high quality components and manufacturing with "operator friendly" control systems and operating features. ETI maintains its primary office and factory near Seattle, WA, USA and has agents and representative offices in many locations around the world.

The FEEDMASTER™ Automatic Feeding System
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The FEEDMASTER™ feeding system is a high quality, high capacity, technically advanced automatic feeding system, designed specifically for the aquaculture industry. This system utilizes the highest quality equipment and components to provide you with accuracy, capacity, and reliability.

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Performance

The FEEDMASTER™ feeding system has an average feed throughput capacity of up to 100 kg/min, the highest in the industry (over 250 kg/min - peak rate). With farms increasingly going to larger cages and more fish per site, the feed throughput capacity of other feeding systems present an unacceptable limitation for many farms.

The ETI FEEDMASTER™ system will support up to 60 separate 3 inch diameter feed outlets per system. This allows a single automatic feeder to feed up to 60 cages or alternatively to provide multiple feed outlets to very large cages. ETI's optional feed distributor, the patented Cyclone Spreader, spreads the feed evenly over the whole surface of the cage to optimize feeding efficiency. Up to five, 24 to 60 outlet indexer, feed systems can be controlled by a single computer, if necessary. Designs for different numbers of outlets per indexer (24, 36, 48 and 60 feed points) are also available.


Equipment Description

The FEEDMASTER™ automatic feeding system consists of a bulk feed storage module (s) with rotary airlock valves, blower skid, indexer skid, multiple diverter valves for each tank, PLC based feeder control system and PC operator interface/control system.

Bulk Storage Hoppers (Optional)

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The standard feed storage module contains two bulk feed storage silos to allow two different sizes of feed. The storage system is a high capacity, high quality, corrosion resistant unit with a strong emphasis on operator safety and convenience. The ETI FEEDMASTER™ can also be integrated with your existing feed silos, or local manufacture of the ETI designed modules, using ETI's drawings, can be accommodated.

 

GANTRY CRANE (Optional)

The gantry crane will be integrated into the storage module structure in accordance with Drawing No. 1033 (See Appendix B).  The crane will be a Yale Model KEL2-20RT15S2 two ton electric chain hoist with 20'-0" lift, 15 fpm lifting speed and a 30 fpm electric trolley, complete with a chain container and upper and lower geared limit switches. This will accommodate the largest (1500 Kg) bulk bag. (A shorter gantry can be produced, if smaller bags are intended to be used). The gantry crane allows the bulk bag to be picked up from either end of the feed storage module.

The crane supporting structure is galvanized carbon steel construction for a long operating life in a marine environment. Crane operation is via a control pendant. Electrical power and control wiring will be all NEMA 4 rated. The gantry crane is furnished complete with a Tagline (festooning) system for the power lead to the electric chain hoist and trolley. (In the diesel driven version of the FEEDMASTER, a manually operated crane hoist would be provided).


Standard 20 FT ISO Container System (Optional)

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ETI has engineered its "UniPak" System to fit into a standard 20 foot ISO container. This system provides a very strong, weather tight, integrated package, with two 4 metric tonne silos and all system operating components located inside of the container. (See pictures below). The storage silos can be manufactured from painted carbon steel, which is welded to the sides of the container, or from marine grade aluminum.

 

Rotary Airlock Feeder Assembly

The rotary airlock feeder is used to meter the feed from the silo while isolating the hopper from the conveying air stream. It has six or eight "cavities", each cavity containing the same quantity of feed. The rotary airlock feeder is driven by a 3/4 hp, 1800 rpm, TEFC inverter duty variable torque AC (or DC) electric motor through a double reduction worm gear speed reducer at a nominal speed of 18 rpm. The speed can be varied from 1 turn per minute to 27 rpm. The rotary airlock feeder is indexed in increments of one cavity volume (1/6 or 1/8 revolution). Positioning is via an encoder mounted on the output shaft of the speed reducer. Motor control (starting and stopping) is via a vector type variable frequency drive. The use of variable speed control on the airlock allows the operator to optimize the speed at which feed is delivered to each cage, based on the size of the cage and the biomass in each cage/tank. Use of an encoder ensures that exact doses of feed (in single cavity increments) can be feed to each cage. Other feed systems use single speed control and have no control of the airlock cavity position. This "one size fits all" approach will not provide the accuracy allowed by the FEEDMASTER System.

The rotary airlock valve is specially designed to allow the entire rotor to be easily removed and cleaned within minutes. The valve is manufactured with materials that minimize the sticking of the feed and for ease of cleaning.

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The rotary airlock valve is supplied with a pellet valve to prevent shearing of the feed pellets. A scissor action where the rotating rotor vane and feeder housing meet will cause this shearing; it occurs when the rotor pockets are 100% full. The pellet valve prevents the rotor pockets from becoming 100% full.


Blower Skid

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Electric Powered Option: The blower skid provides the motive air for conveying the feed pellets from the silo to the fish cages. The blower is a positive displacement (rotary lobe) type blower driven by a 30 hp, 1800 TEFC electric motor. The electric motor is provided with electronic frequency control to allow adjustment of the speed of the blower and also acts as a soft start to limit starting current when energizing the motor.

Diesel Powered Option: ETI also offers a direct diesel driven version for the FEEDMASTER™ blower. The System uses a high quality marine grade, diesel. Variable speed control of the blower is readily obtained by controlling the speed of the diesel. For the diesel driven version, the indexer and rotary airlock feed valves are equipped with AC electric motors. These AC motors are provided DC power from the diesel alternator and/or the system battery, which is converted to AC power with an inverter.

Blower: ETI has selected a positive displacement blower in lieu of the regenerative blower used by other manufacturers for several important reasons. A positive displacement blower is much more efficient than a regenerative blower. As a result, this type of blower uses less horsepower, has a lower discharge air temperature, a much flatter performance curve and a higher discharge pressure. This provides several tangible benefits, including:

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  • Reduces the power requirements of the system by 30%
  • The discharge air temperature is approximately half of that of a regenerative type blower. (120o F vs. 246o F at 0.33 bar) This much reduced discharge air temperature does not soften the Polyethylene pipes, resulting in a longer operating life. (The strength and abrasion resistance of Polyethylene pipe is greatly reduced above 120o F.) In addition the lower air temperature does not soften the feed pellets, causing a release of the oil (fat) content and breakage of the pellet. This lost oil can accumulate in the low point of the transfer line, resulting in a blockage.
  • The "flatter" discharge curves for this type of blower means that there is less change in feed velocity from the closest cage to the furthest cage.

  • The higher pressure capability (0.67 bar) of this blower reduces the likelihood of released oil resulting in a blockage and provides for longer feed transfer distances.

The FEEDMASTER™ system uses an M-D Pneumatics (or equivalent) positive displacement blower. This is a high quality blower, built, with the following features:

  • Carburized, precision ground timing gears reduce gear noise and provide for long gear life. Gears are taper mounted to rotor shafts with locknuts for easy removal and installation.

  • Oversized bearings are used on the drive shaft and rotors for long operating life.

  • Timing gears and gear end bearings are oil lubricated. Drive end bearings are grease lubricated. Lubricant chambers are isolated by Viton lip seals, and blower end plates are vented to atmosphere to prevent pressure accumulation against the seals. A hypocycloidal gear housing provides extra gear and bearing lubrication.

  • Extra heavy, single piece housing of machined gray iron.

  • High strength, ductile iron rotors are dynamically balanced for vibration free, bi-directional rotation.

  • Drive shaft is supported by a cylindrical roller bearing

  • The blower is fitted with a discharge silencer and an inlet filter/silencer. A diverter valve can be mounted downstream of the discharge silencer to allow use of the blower to power an algae diffusion curtain, if desired.

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Indexer Skid (Feed Distribution System)

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The standard Indexer provides 24, 36, 48 or 60, 3 inch feed outlets from a single feed inlet. This will allow feeding 24 to 60 cages or multiple feed outlets to very large cages. The Indexer is driven by a 3/4 hp, 1800 rpm, Canned Stainless Steel, inverter duty, variable torque AC electric motor through a double reduction worm gear speed reducer with a nominal speed of 12 rpm. Positioning of the Indexer is via an encoder mounted on the output shaft of the speed reducer. Use of the encoder ensures that the Indexer pipe matches within 1/1000 inches of the Indexer plate connections to the feed tubes and guarantees no mechanical damage to the feed pellets. Motor control (starting, speed and stopping) is via a vector type variable frequency drive. This allows rapid movement of the Indexer to the selected cage and slow speed just before final positioning. The net result is less time wasted indexing the feeder to the feed tubes and more time available for feeding.



Control System

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This system utilizes a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) based feeder control system for maximum flexibility and ease in operation and troubleshooting.  The basic system will allow operator interface with the PLC via a touch screen display.  The functions that are controlled from the operator’s station are:

Feed Time Plans: This function automatically starts and stops the feeding system (including the diesel), up to 5 times per day and feeds the programmed dose to each Fish pond.

Feed Dose: This function programs the daily amount of feed that is delivered to each of the Fish ponds.  This amount of feed can then be divided into 5 doses per day as a percentage of the daily feed amount.

Flush Cycle Times: This function sets the amount of time that each of the feed lines is flushed with water at the end of each feed dose.  This ensures that all of the feed is distributed to the ponds and is not left inside of the feed piping.

Manual Operation: This function allows the operator to control the water pump and select a pond for distribution, when lime or fertilizer is to be added.    

 

The Control System includes the following features / Remote Control

A wireless, remote control pendant is provided for manual operation of the feeding system. This allows for automatic feeding of all or any portion of the feed and manual "topping up" by the operator at the individual cages using the remote control pendant. The computer keeps track of the volume of feed which is "hand fed" and automatically includes this information in calculations and reports.

 

Calculation of the quantity of feed:

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The computer calculates the quantity of feed for each cage based on information regarding the number of shrimp in the cage, the average weight of the shrimp and the actual water temperature. The operator can, at any time, alter the quantity of feed for all the cages or for each cage individually.

 

Calculation of the growth of the shrimp or fish:

Once a day the computer automatically calculates the growth of the shrimp/fish and increases the average weight of the biomass in each tank by this amount.

Time periods:

The operator can divide the day into as many as twelve time periods. All or any portion of the total daily feed amount can be fed to any or all cages during each time period, giving the operator complete flexibility.

Printing:

After completing the last feeding for the day, the computer will print out a complete report of the days feeding activity. This data will also be saved on the hard disk for later use or importation into database or a spreadsheet program.


Parameters

  • Feeder ON/OFF: Used to enable or disable feeding of a tank.
  • Number of Shrimp: The number of shrimp/fish in the tank.
  • Average Weight: The average weight of each shrimp/fish in the tank.
  • Feed Conversion Ratio: The ratio of the weight of feed delivered to the tank to the weight gain of the fish in that tank.

  • Activity Factor: This parameter gives the operator the ability to alter the daily quantity (weight) of feed the computer has calculated to feed to each tank.

  • Activity Factor: This parameter gives the operator the ability to alter the daily quantity (weight) of feed the computer has calculated to feed to each tank.

  • Appetite Factor: This is the global equivalent of "Activity Factor" parameter. It is used to alter the daily quantity fed to all tanks, as opposed to each individual tank.

  • Feed Type: This parameter is used by the operator to select which silo to feed from.
  • Feed Capacity: This is a factory set parameter based on the feed transfer rate of the sluice valve. It would not be altered by the operator unless the system capacity had been changed.

  • Max Feed Per Dose: The quantity of feed to be delivered in one dose is calculated based on the "Feed Capacity" parameter.

  • Flush Time: This is a parameter, set by factory personnel during system startup. It represents the time delay required to clear the line of feed before the system indexes to the next tank to be fed.

  • Time Plan: One time plan consists of up to sixteen time zones (intervals) each of which can be programmed to deliver a specified amount of feed to a specified tank at a specified time. The operator can have up to eight time plans.

  • Feed Dose: The quantity of feed delivered at one time to one tank.
  • Feedings Per Hour: Number of doses delivered to one tank in one hour.
  • Feed Today: Calculated quantity of feed to deliver today to one tank.
  • Feed Given Today: Quantity of feed already delivered today.
  • Feed Yesterday: Quantity of feed delivered yesterday.
  • Feed Given Total: Total quantity of feed delivered to this tank since set up.
  • Dead Fish: The number of dead shrimp/fish today (at day's end) to be subtracted from the number of tank in a specified cage.

  • Last Change: The date of the last parameter change (s).
  • Feeder Set Up: The date the feeder was initially started.
  • Hand Feed: The quantity of feed delivered to the pen manually (using the remote control pendant).

The control system has three settings, selectable by the operator from the main control panel, those being: Off, Test or Feed. In the Off setting, all equipment is de-energized and the system is safe for the conduct of repair and maintenance activities. In this setting the system will not perform automatic feeding sequences in accordance with the time plan.

In the Test setting, the operator can manually initiate indexer operation from the main control panel. This setting is used during repair and troubleshooting. In this setting the system will not feed, but the indexer and blower with both function for testing purposes.

In the Feed setting, there are two operating modes, Automatic and Manual. Automatic Operation is displayed when the system is feeding in accordance with the preprogrammed time plan. A preset time before the start of an automatic feeding sequence, the control system will automatically start the diesel engine to allow it to come up to normal operating temperature before an electrical load is applied. Automatic Operation is displayed at the control panel. The control system then executes the feeding sequence in accordance with the time plan. Following the feeding sequence, Standby is displayed on the control panel and unless "hand feeding" is initiated, the engine is shut down after a pre set period of time. Hand feeding can be initiated by the operator at any time the system is in Manual. If the engine is not running, it will automatically start when the operator initiates hand feeding from either the remote pendant or from the control panel. The control system will keep track of the amount of feed which is given to each cage during hand or automatic feeding. This will be included in all feeding reports and will be included in all automatic calculations. If automatic feeding is desired, but the operator does not wish to use a Time Plan and automatic calculations, the Time Plan can be selected to Plan "0" and the amount of automatic feed can be manually entered for each cage.


CYCLONE SPREADER™

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One of ETI's patented centrifugal feeder distributors is offered free with each FEEDMASTER™ system. The spreader will provide even feed distribution over 75 % of the surface area of a large cage (30 M X 30 M square or 130 M circumference) and is adjustable for varying sizes of cages and wind conditions. The unit uses the feed transfer air to power a turbine inside of a cyclone. The turbine spins a distributor plate at speeds up to 800 rpm, which spreads the feed evenly around a radius of up to 18 meters. The spread radius is adjustable by controlling the speed of the blower and by field adjustments that can be readily made to the distributor plate and the height of the cyclone above the water level. The Cyclone Spreader has been carefully designed and fabricated to ensure that no damage will occur with the feed pellets.

 

PROPOSAL

General: The customer will be provided the system, as described in this proposal and below. The customer will be required to provide the system installed piping, air control lines and electrical control lines (or purchase these from ETI). All prices are Ex-works, ETI's factory near Seattle, WA

 

Electric Powered Model, suitable for barge or shore installation and comes complete with:

  • M-D Pneumatics (or equivalent) positive displacement Blower, Direct Coupled 30 HP TEFC electric motor, Inlet filter/silencer and discharge silencer. Electric motor is provided with electronic frequency control.
    24, 3 inch diameter Indexer with 3/4 HP, DC electric motor with motor controller and Browning double reduction speed reducer.

  • Two Rotary Airlock Valves, with direct coupled 3/4 HP, AC electric motor and Browning double reduction speed reducer.

  • Siemens PLC for controlling the feeding system, complete with programming.

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    INSTALLATION AND TRAINING

ETI offers optional assistance for installation and commissioning of our systems, on-site startup supervision, including calibration, programming and training in the operation of the system as noted in the pricing section. Off site assistance and consultation is provided by ETI at no additional costs.

 

TERMS AND DELIVERY

Terms of payment: 50 % on placement of order; with 50 % paid prior to shipment.
The delivery time for one of these units is 18 - 24 weeks from our receipt of order.

 

WARRANTY & GUARANTY

Warranty: ETI's warranty covers any defects in parts and factory labor for a period of twelve months. On all major third party components, manufacturers warranty conditions apply, but will be covered for at least twelve months by ETI's master warranty.

Guarantee: ETI guarantees that, with proper operation, this feeding system will perform in accordance with this proposal.

 

CUSTOMER RESPONSIBILITY

 

The user will be responsible for providing the following:

  • Adequate electrical power supply
  • Hoppers or storage Silos for bulk storage of feed materials
  • Technicians for installation and commissioning the system.
  • All Polyethylene pipe and fittings, wiring and air control line for the feed distribution system (or purchase from ETI).