The design of a sugar plant is driven by a number of variables that are unique to the location of the facility, as well as the specific objectives of the operator. Careful evaluation of these variables is critical to determining the optimal type and size of equipment to be used in the production process. Here are four important factors to consider when making equipment decisions.
- Raw material quality –The quality of sugar cane or beet can vary over the course of a season. This can impact the production process in a number of ways and should be taken into consideration when sizing equipment for a facility. Two of the most notable raw material qualities that will affect equipment selection are brix (the ratio of dissolved sugar to water in an aqueous solution; and non-pol (brix minus sugar content).
- Crush Rate –The length of the milling season and the total quantity of raw material to be crushed will determine the daily and hourly crush rates required for the sugar plant. Determining crush rates early on is critical to ensuring optimal selection of equipment due to the fact that as the development schedule progresses it will become increasingly difficult and costly to make design changes.
- Project-Specific Objectives – The design of a sugar facility can be limited by any number of variables, including CAPEX, OPEX, power consumption, emissions, raw material quality, etc. As a result, when designing a process, the goal should not be to choose equipment that is the least costly or easiest to install, but rather to determine which equipment aligns optimally with project-specific objectives.
- Possibility for Future Expansion – Plans for future expansion of a sugar facility should be considered in the early stages of the plant design process. Calculating the cost implications of over-sizing equipment or allocating extra space for future increases in capacity will allow plants to be configured in a manner that makes them flexible in the event that large-scale design changes need to be made.
Honiron is an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of processing equipment, including heat exchangers, condensers, strippers, evaporators, and extractors. For more information or to speak with one of our qualified experts, contact us today.