Can Inline integration systems be used to eliminate other bulk mixing limits?
Drum pumps may be used to transfer liquid to the tank based on weight. Small pairs of material will be rolled up to the top of the tank and discarded by hand. A centrifugal or PD transfer pump can be transported by wheels and connected to a tote as many of the materials used are also transmitted by weight gain.
Large production sites with a large budget process can be complicated in their own way by making these transfers automatically and will generate mass storage compared to tote, drums, etc, where possible. These ingredient supplements are still discarded one at a time by weight. Load cells or floor scales should take into account the weight of the tank, so their adjustment is usually poor when it comes to small dumping of the ingredient, thus providing poor balance control between the ingredients.
The most advanced industries can use expensive bulk flow meters to fly in liquid vessels at the same time, but without a guarantee that the right amount was discarded, as flow meters will not take into account the residual in plumbing, drainage rates, etc. Usually, manufacturers’ recipes include large amounts of water or a specific ingredient. Transferring water to a bulk tank is a wasteful practice, but we will get to that later.
What exactly is linear integration?
Mixing is done in one tank where all the ingredients are usually added one at a time. This method has many problems:
- A large, expensive tank is needed.
- The tank (s) use an important floor area.
- The ingredients are usually added one at a time.
- A bulk material or water that is transferred to this tank consumes an important area. High movement HP is required in the tank.
- The rate control is inaccurate due to low adjustment flow rates or load cells.
- Many tanks are added, and more ground space is used as the demand for additional capacity increases.
Online integration systems are used to eliminate these limitations and errors. The standard system uses many PD pumps with different types of flow meter technology to measure liquid ingredients simultaneously in a standard pipe with vertical mixers or another in-line cutting device. These PD pumps are connected to bulk storage tanks, totes, drums, or industrial water supplies. PLC automation on a skid ride will start and stop these pumps together and provide control for each PID rating
In-line integration systems usually include their own internal controls, which can be as simple as PLC, Wahal Engineer uses HMI panel, and the VFD inverter cabinet. VFD drives connect to motors connected to each PD pump to pump the pump at a certain speed. The flow meters read the flow from the PD pumps, and the PLC PID control block compares the actual flow with the directed flow and automatically adjusts the vehicle speed (pump flow rate) via VFD to track the flow rate accurately.
In the simplest sense, every process manufacturer should avoid transferring water to the batch tank. Doing concentration where possible and using a 2-feed inline combination system to measure water and concentrate at ratio is the best option. You still have to fight for a certain level of the pile by following a fixed premix, but the process is simplified. Eventually, it reduces the amount of water, or other liquids in bulk, significantly, allowing more product yield to given tank size. The idea is to grow from there and weigh as many or as many ingredients as possible.
In the case of air washing machine fluids or non-gel hand sanitizers, for example, there is a limited and minimum amount of liquid at a meter from bulk storage and tote, so zero concentrates or premixes are required, and everything is calculated from the source (tots) , drums, bulk storage. In some procedures, you may not have the luck to measure everything because you will have powders to deal with, and the premix becomes inevitable. Also, the focus is on increasing productivity in a given tank area and floor area while reducing overall tank sizes.
The benefits of inline blending
Let us review the numerous advantages of inline blending over conventional batch mixing methods. Moving water or other bulk materials around frequently is wasteful. And moving from bulk to batch tank than from batch tank to hold tank or fillers is also wasteful. Inline blending systems move finished products while mixing on the go, in essence eliminating the middle-man batch mixing tank. This saves process time by reducing transfers and eliminating batch tank agitation times. Also, the larger your batch tanks, the larger the agitator motors. Inline blending systems can meter up to four fluids at 100 GPM total flow at less than 10 HP in some cases.
- Elimination of batch mixing tank.
- Elimination of multiple transfers.
- Increased product yield for any premix tanks used.
- Increased accuracy of ingredient ratio — 0.25-0.35% (flow meter dependent).Reduced process cycle times. Reduced energy consumption.
There are other considerations, as well:
- In dealing with flammable fluids, for example, drawing from bulk tanks located safely outside the building allows you to keep the building interior safe and reduce costly fire code issues.
- In the case of ethanol or methanol in the manufacture of hand sanitizer or windshield washer fluid, the bulk of the material that releases larger quantities of flammable vapors is kept outside.
With batch mixing, those materials get transferred inside in large quantities that now render an XP hazard rating inside the building. An inline blending system is a closed system that contains only minor volumes of vapor-releasing liquids inside pumps and piping, which is insufficient to require an XP rating.
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