A customer recently asked for Caloris’ help with spray dryer troubleshooting due to excessive buildup in the drying chamber near the air exhaust that was shortening run duration, extending CIP times and generally causing significant downtime.
To tackle such an issue, Caloris will send a process engineer to the facility to investigate the root causes of the problem, validate the fluid bed dryer operation and optimize the overall drying process.
For this type of scenario, the engineer visiting the facility observes the dryer under typical operating conditions in order to assess system components, interviews dryer system operators and supervisors, and collects process measurements. The engineer will seek to determine the current operating parameters and performance of the dryer.
The next step in the process is to prepare new process flow diagrams and/or general arrangement drawings, as needed, to accurately document the existing configuration of the dryer. These drawings are then updated to depict options for achieving improvements in the dryer system.
The engineer’s observations and recommendations are put into a report for the customer to address issues of production capacity, quality control and utility demands that may be required to implement specific recommendations.
In this particular example, our engineer made recommendations for modifying the equipment to combat ambient humidity during warmer months, which was affecting product consistency. He also recommended adding diagnostic instruments throughout the system and suggested a powder study to better understand how parameter changes on the spray dryer and fluid bed dryer affect the powder characteristics.
The facility was interested in increasing production capacity and so the engineer also offered suggestions for process improvements to make this possible. Finally, our engineer also made recommendations to improve CIP performance along with other maintenance items for sustained successful operation.
Such process assessments result in multi-page reports with photos and drawings to illustrate various points that plant staff can refer to. Additional reference material was also included in this case to help plant operators understand the powder characteristics for their particular product line.