Engineering study: Solving a blending problem
If your equipment isn't doing the job it was designed to do and you're losing product and production capacity as a result, it may be time to replace or retrofit the equipment. But how do you find the right solution? This article is a step-by-step account of a chemical plant's engineering study to solve their batch blending problem. The plant engineers' study included their own investigation of the problem, blender tests at an equipment manufacturer's test center, the plant's statistical analysis of the test data, and the blender manufacturer's support at startup. While this story covers a batch blending process, you can apply the principles to almost any bulk solids processing or handling application.
Batch consistency is particularly important for a plant that produces specialty chemicals or other complex, high-value products. Such products are often made in batch reactors, and the plant may produce several similar products or grades of a single product. To control batch-to-batch variation of product properties within statistical limits, the plant typically blends the final reactor product into larger lots before shipping.