NEW TECHNOLOGY The newly developed short retention time refined sugar conditioning silo enables reduced residence time of 16 hours, compared with the standard period of between 65 and 72 hours
A recent milestone for project manager and equipment designer Bosch Projects, in conjunction with its technology partners in Thailand, was the development of a new short retention time (SRT) refined sugar conditioning silo, designed to significantly reduce conditioning time and capital investment expenditure.
The first installation of the Bosch Projects SRT silo – beginning in mid-2017 in the western cane growing region of Thailand and commissioned at the beginning of 2018 – has been designed to process 35 t/h of refined sugar.
Granular white sugar leaving a refinery requires conditioning to prevent lumping and caking in the final packaged product. The major advantage of this new SRT silo process over conventional conditioning of refined sugar, is the reduced residence time of 16 hours, compared with the standard period of between 65 hours and 72 hours.
This new SRT silo, which is completely automated for continuous output of conditioned sugar to the packing station, comprises a sugar in-feed conveyor system, dual air-conditioning plant and blowers, four silos, a silo discharge elevator and a system for dust extraction.
The SRT conditioning process, which operates in a batch sequence, makes use of three or four equally sized smaller silos. As one silo is being filled, one will be discharged and simultaneously, two silos will be undergoing conditioning phases that are staggered by eight hours. With the correct scheduling, this arrangement permits the silo to operate continuously, with two conditioning phases and two material transfer phases active at any one time.
The key to SRT success is in the humidity and volume of air, which is introduced during the conditioning phase. The air passes through a filtration system before being dehumidified to a specific value and then transfers into the duty blowers. Downstream of the blowers, the air is cooled before being independently introduced into the two silos which are in the conditioning phase.
Bosch Projects focuses on multidisciplinary projects – integrating engineering technology and project management – to provide specially tailored solutions for diverse industries, including sugar, power utilities and materials handling, as well as commercial and industrial projects.
The company, with over 55 years of service in the global sugar sector, offers a comprehensive service encompassing strategic planning and feasibility studies, sugar technology development, project structuring and funding, plant design and engineering, design and supply of sugar processing equipment, project delivery, operational support and training.
“An important part of the company’s service to the sugar industry is in equipment design. The Bosch Projects team – which works closely with sugar growers, millers and refiners globally – has a thorough understanding of current trends in the industry and is able to identify exactly where opportunities exist for future improvements in mechanical design,” explains Bosch Projects sugar equipment project manager Neil du Plessis.
He adds that the company has developed advanced equipment designs by combining the latest technologies and manufacturing trends, while retaining the tried and tested technology principles favoured by the sugar industry.
“By modernising the design of equipment to optimise efficiencies and enhance performance, the cost of sugar processing is reduced, productivity is improved, maintenance requirements minimised and the service life of every system is significantly extended.”
Bosch Projects provides a range of sugar equipment designs through its international partners in South-East Asia, the US, India, Brazil and directly to its clients for various prestigious projects in global sugar producing regions.
Bosch Projects designs and supplies a full range of equipment from the front-end cane preparation and juice extraction through to processing, refining and packaging.
The Bosch Projects team works closely with its technology partners and various fabricators to ensure the manufacture of all equipment adheres to stringent international quality standards and exact design specifications. The company has an extensive network of offices in Africa, South and Central America and the UK.