Steam advice from ERIKS/Econosto reduces maintenance costs by 60%

   

Promelca, a milk powder producer from Gorinchem, is continuously focused on improving and optimising its production processes in order to guarantee optimum product quality. The Technical Services of Promelca work closely with ERIKS/Econosto during this process and the results are well worth the effort. Technical changes that were recently introduced on the recommendation of ERIKS/Econosto resulted in a safer production process and annual savings of nearly € 4,000!

The problem that Technical Services of Promelca faced for which they called in the services of ERIKS/Econosto involved a few leaking ball valves in the spray drying towers that could potentially have an impact on the quality of the product - specifically on the storage life, which is one of the most important properties of milk powder.

The old situation

The pipes through which milk lecithin and steam are injected into two spray drying towers during the drying process are cleaned with steam after each production batch. Promelca uses pneumatically actuated ball valves to control this cleaning process.
Due to high pressure during operation, steam leaked out through the seals of the ball valves, which caused condensate to collect behind the ball valve. This created a leak in the ball valves: in the closed position condensate leaked into the spray drying towers, which could potentially have a negative impact on the required product quality. To prevent this the Technical Services of Promelca replaced the ball valves on average every two months.

Process optimisation

After taking an inventory of the situation and collecting the process data of the steam installation, ERIKS/Econosto recommended that the system be adjusted by installing alternative components at a different location. The leaky ball valves were replaced by pneumatically operated Schubert & Salzer piston valves, in combination with an aerator and a drain valve. The lecithin line can now be closed as soon as the production batch stops to allow for the line to be dewatered after cleaning it with steam. This stops condensate from leaking into the spray drying towers, which will safeguard the quality of the final product.



 

 

Direct savings

These technical adjustments allowed for bimonthly maintenance to be replaced by annual inspections, resulting in a structural saving in maintenance costs of nearly € 4,000.00 per year for the two spray drying towers. The payback period on the investment is therefore less than 10 months!
 

 

   

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