Over the past decades we have learned from our experiences and honed in on the most efficient process from initial testing through design, manufacturing, and commissioning.
As standard practice, IPA conducts a preliminary analysis on all feed materials for roll compaction projects. Several tests make up our prelim process, including a pressure vs. density curve, moisture analysis, and tapped bulk density (TBD). These results provide necessary information to properly set up the roller compaction equipment for testing.
Applying What We’ve Learned
In order to conduct a successful lab test, it is essential to be properly prepared. IPA takes two main factors into consideration:
- Data from the preliminary analysis
- The customer’s desired objectives
From this information, we determine an optimal roll surface, a roll pressure start point, optimal compact density, mill screen, screener set up, and whether or not vacuum deaeration will be of benefit to the process. After successful testing is achieved, IPA uses all test data to scale a system that meets the customer’s requirements.
Scaling to a Larger System
Testing is conducted for several reasons, with the following being most significant:
- Meeting the customers objectives – particle size, density, dissolution, etc.
- Optimizing system performance once the objective has been met
- Scaling the system’s performance to meet the required production rate
Allow us to give a simple analogy. Operating a roll compaction system at 50 lbs/hr vs. 3000 lbs/hr can be compared to driving a small economical car vs. a semi-truck. Acceleration, braking, turning radius, and changes in speed while driving each vehicle is very different. Similarly, when scaling from a lab test to a larger system producing 3000 lbs/hr of final product at 50% system yield (6000 lbs/hr through the rolls), there is minimum 100 lbs/min traveling through the system. At this rate, if a problem occurs at some point during the process, it will quickly cause a significant overload and back up the system. If a problem occurs in a smaller system, or a smaller vehicle, with 1 – 2 lbs/min traveling throughout, it is much more forgiving.
It is important to acknowledge the high flow rates in large systems and to design & size the equipment accordingly. Specifically, when starting, stopping, and changing flow rates in a system, proper controls play in integral part in maintaining system balance.