HEINKEL – Focus on Processes: Trials, Scale-Ups and Optimizations

Analyzing complex relationships and exploiting potential – these are the challenges that process engineers in the process industry are facing. In order to fulfil the operational requirements in the best possible way and to ensure the optimum economic operation of a centrifuge, the HEINKEL experts support their customers: Extensive tests, process simulations, process optimizations and not least experience and sound know-how ensure an efficient operation.

The mechanisms of solid-liquid separation are very complex. In order to describe the complexity of the separation processes exactly, all relevant parameters have to be considered. In this respect, the two different approaches are possible: process definition for new applications and process optimization for existing processes.

Defining processes for new applications

When defining the process for a new application, the selection of the optimum centrifuge is a basic precondition for success. Which centrifuge type suits best is depending, among other things, on the filtration characteristics, the desired capacity and the type of solids discharge. In a Nutsche trial, the HEINKEL process engineers evaluate the feasibility of filtration and thereby gain first, fundamental knowledge about porosity, permeability and where appropriate, also about compressibility. This ultimately leads to the selection of the suitable centrifuge type.

If required, pilot tests can be performed in the next step together with the customer to confirm the filtration properties in the selected centrifuge. The optimum operating mode of the centrifuge can then be tested and determined as this has a decisive influence on the process result. To confirm the suitability of the selected centrifuge, the customer always has the possibility to test the product properties as well as the washing quality or the residual moisture with his own analysis. In case of an inverting filter centrifuge, there are additional tests to see whether the advantages of the PAC system have a positive effect on the respective filtration result and on the product. After that, the determined parameters can be used for scale-ups by means of simulation software in order to achieve the highest possible level of safety also when determining the size of the production machine.

Optimizing existing processes

Other requirements apply to optimizations of processes in existing machines. Customers often face the challenge of implementing defined parameters from another production plant with other centrifuges for the first time, or of adapting the process parameters to a product modification. The process engineers also support with their experience from different industries. The considered parameters are rotational speed, filling times during washing and spinning as well as filling quantities and cake heights. The current operation can be continued with the exception of, for example, a filter cloth change. When optimizing processes, the experts also respond to individual customer requirements, depending on whether the focus is on a low residual moisture, maximum throughput or improved washing results.