Improve Capacity: Quick Fixes for Evaporators and Spray Dryers

Schedule a conversation with Jim Kent to discuss your processing equipment.

Processors continually review their equipment operations for opportunities to improve capacity of their evaporators and spray dryers. We’ve been getting more and more questions recently about squeezing out more pounds per hour and more hours per month for production. Capacity expansions, to the degree that they are possible, usually can be done much less expensively than building a new plant and thereby reduce the cost per pound produced.

Not all capacity expansions require major surgery on this equipment. Plant operators can often fall into a groove of potentially bad conservative habits because the equipment is operating “safely,” but not necessarily correctly or efficiently, especially compared to the original parameters established for those units. Correcting these bad habits, returning to standard operating procedures and making other tweaks to the process may be all that is required to boost capacity.

Meet The Engineer

Jim Kent

Jim Kent

Business Development Manager

Process Adjustments to Increase Capacity

1. Temperature Optimization

Adjusting the temperature can impact the efficiency of evaporators and spray dryers.

Sometimes there are good reasons to change to new operating parameters. For instance: formulation changes. But often as staff turns over, operating temperatures drift lower, capacity is reduced, and the capacity is never regained.

Let’s study where your plant is currently operating and see if there are sensible adjustments that can be made. Many dryers and evaporators are well maintained and operating well. If we find this to be the case, we’ll be upfront about it. But often we find opportunities.

Contact us to schedule a review of your equipment operating parameters.

2. Feedstock

Making sure the feedstock is at the solids concentration you expect provides a lot of bang for your buck.

Line and tank flushes that dilute product after it is batched or pre-concentrated will negatively impact the throughput of the plant. We see it time and time again: water is added in a genuine attempt to flush systems and improve yield, but sometimes these flushes get longer and longer, thereby diluting the product and reducing capacity.

Heating to the proper liquid feed temperatures in both evaporators and dryer is another crucial control point that can get overlooked.

Contact us to go over your feed and associated systems.

3. Evaporator Vacuum Optimization

We may sound like a broken record at times, but being able to maintain vacuum levels in an evaporator is crucial to the proper operation of the plant. Evaporators are just not meant to operate with air inside them. And vacuum leaks within the evaporator system are a constant maintenance issue.

Our best advice is to regularly check your systems for vacuum leaks and then correct or repair the ones you find.

Contact us to request a review of your evaporator system for vacuum leaks and other potential problems.

Equipment Maintenance and Habit Changes to Help Improve Capacity

Here are some more ideas for improvements that can help boost capacity.

1. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

  • Regular cleaning and maintenance are critically important for optimal performance
  • Examine your CIP and maintenance routines. Are they consistent across shifts? Establish SOPs if they don’t already exist.

2. Monitoring and Troubleshooting

  • Regularly monitor equipment performance for changes that should be addressed.
  • Your facility should be tracking current operating data and comparing it against historical data to identify and remedy anomalies that occur.

3. Operator Training and Best Practices

  • The role of operator training cannot be overstated in achieving capacity expansions
  • Best practices for operators (e.g., monitoring, adjustments, record-keeping) should be emphasized and reinforced on a regular basis. Contact us if you would like a customized training course for your team.

If you want to improve capacity of your processing equipment but fear you don’t have the budget to make major changes, there are many other tactics to employ. Contact us if a process review of your equipment is of interest, or if you need assistance establishing SOPs or training your team. Call 410-822-6900 or send email to problem.solved@caloris.com to be connected with an engineer.

 
 

About Caloris

Caloris transforms process systems design for the better with unexpected, future-focused solutions that solve real operational problems. We engineer efficient, dependable and productive solutions that also improve environmental sustainability where practical. Designed with the end user in mind to drive plant productivity. Caloris offers evaporation, membrane filtration and spray drying process systems for food and dairy industries, as well as for water reuse and wastewater treatment applications. Both Caloris’ custom and pre-engineered packaged systems are designed to meet our customers’ specific concentration/purification needs utilizing the most cost effective and energy efficient technologies available. Whether concentrating dairy, food or juice products at a high-volume production facility, or processing industrial wastewaters to reduce transportation and treatment costs and recover re-usable water, Caloris provides a range of options and technologies.