New Static Fluid Bed Dryers for Salt Drying Replace Old Vibro Equipment: Less Maintenance - Less Energy
GEA Barr-Rosin has recently secured a second order from Jumsal SA in Spain for a static fluid bed dryer for the drying and cooling of salt. The order continues GEA Barr-Rosin's initiative to replace aging vibrating fluid beds, commonly used for salt drying, with more efficient static equipment which requires much less maintenance. Operators can also save up to 20% in energy costs alone, compared with vibrating equipment, by adding contact drying/cooling to the static bed. This saves money and significantly reduces the environmental impact of the process.
Salt is one of the largest volume inorganic raw materials used in industry worldwide. To convert it from rock salt into free-flowing crystals that are easy to transport, handle and feed, it needs to be dried from a water content of around 3% to 0.2%. Until now this operation has been very difficult to perform on static equipment as the deposits tend to build up at the inlet causing blockages. For this reason processors have traditionally used vibrating fluid beds which perform well but have very high maintenance costs due to their constant motion.
Redesigning the static dryer
To combat this problem GEA Barr-Rosin has redesigned its static fluid bed dryer to provide efficient salt drying without the high maintenance and energy costs of vibrating equipment. The new design includes a system that prevents condensation on the surface of the dryer and therefore avoids salt build up; and the opportunity to add contact heating/cooling via submerged heat transfer units (HTU) which in return significantly reduce overall energy costs and the carbon footprint of the process.
"Contact heating/cooling is not possible on a vibrating fluid bed," explained Dominique Kuehner, Sales and Marketing Manager for GEA Barr-Rosin. "By replacing 50% or more of the heat/cooling load from the air system, we can achieve an enormous reduction in airflow and consequently reduce the overall energy usage by more than 20%."
But by far the most important benefit of using static equipment is the reduced mechanical stress and consequent savings in maintenance costs. "Vibrating fluid beds are in constant motion," said Dominque. "That high level of movement means that things wear out quickly and break. Static equipment does not suffer in this way so maintenance costs are much lower and both reliability and availability are improved."
Barr Rosin has also taken steps with the new design to eliminate other problems associated with drying salt: the depth of the fluidised material can be adjusted to prevent fouling; reducing the fluid velocity of the drying section as the product dries cuts product losses; a high-efficiency cyclone collects fines from the exhaust system to produce a valuable by-product; special corrosion-resistant materials are used to further reduce maintenance costs and extend service life; and advanced control allows easy selection of the required water content.
The obvious choice for replacement technology
"Our new static machines are much more efficient and economic than the vibrating equipment currently used by most salt processors," said Dominique. "The order from Jumsal is yet another example of how we have been successful in replacing old equipment with a more modern, economic and environmentally sustainable system."
Dominique went on to say that the market for the new technology was vast and is continuing to increase as the global population rises. Salt, and other inorganic chemicals, are processed in this way all over the world and the old vibrating fluid beds, many of which were installed 15 or 20 years ago, are wearing out. "When the time comes for processors to renew their equipment, it now makes sense for them to choose static equipment," said Dominique.
GEA Barr-Rosin is a market leader in the supply of industrial drying systems and technologies with more than 40 years of experience. To date the company has installed over 2,500 industrial drying systems worldwide.
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About GEA Barr-Rosin
GEA Barr-Rosin, a member of the Process Engineering Segment of GEA Group, is a leading supplier of industrial drying systems, offering numerous technologies to dry wet materials, ranging from granules, cakes, sludges, powders and slurries. With thousands of references worldwide, GEA Barr-Rosin drives for excellence and maintains their leading position by continually focusing on product quality, system reliability, energy savings and emission control. For further information visit www.barr-rosin.com.
About GEA Process Engineering
GEA Process Engineering develops, designs, and markets production plant equipment and processes for the dairy, brewery, food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. With sales close to EUR 1.7 billion in 2012 and 5,500 employees working in more than 40 countries, GEA Process Engineering is recognized as a world leader within liquid processing, concentration, industrial drying, powder processing & handling, emissions control, solid dosage forms & sterile products, and aseptic packaging. GEA Process Engineering is a business segment of GEA Group, headquartered in Germany. For further information visit www.geap.com.
About GEA Group
GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft is one of the largest suppliers for the food processing industry and a wide range of other process industries. As an international technology group, the Company focuses on process technology and components for sophisticated production processes. In 2012, GEA generated consolidated revenues in excess of EUR 5.7 billion, 70 percent of which came from the food and energy sectors, which are long-term growth industries. The group employed about 24,750 people worldwide as of June 30, 2013. GEA Group is a market and technology leader in its business areas. It is listed in Germany's MDAX stock index (G1A, WKN 660 200) and the STOXX® Europe 600 Index. For further information visit www.gea.com.