Bosch Projects together with its technology partners in Thailand, has now developed a new short retention time (SRT) refined sugar conditioning silo designed to significantly reduce conditioning time and capital investment expenditure.

The first installation of the Bosch Projects SRT silo – which started mid-last year in the western cane growing region of Thailand and was commissioned at the beginning of 2018 – was specifically designed to process 35 tons of refined sugar per hour.

Granular white sugar leaving a refinery requires conditioning to prevent lumping and caking in the final packaged product. The major advantage of this new SRT silo process over conventional conditioning of refined sugar is the reduced residence time of 16 hours, compared to the standard period of between 65 and 72 hours.

This new SRT silo, which is completely automated for continuous output of conditioned sugar to the packing station, comprises a sugar infeed conveyor system, dual air conditioning plant and blowers, four silos, a silo discharge elevator and a system for dust extraction.

The short retention time conditioning process, which operates in a batch sequence, makes use of three or four equally sized smaller silos. As one silo is being filled, another is discharged and simultaneously, two silos will be undergoing conditioning phases staggered by eight hours. With the correct scheduling, this arrangement permits the silo to operate continuously, with two conditioning phases and two material transfer phases active at any one time.

As a result, he said, the company had developed advanced equipment designs by combining the latest technologies and manufacturing trends, while retaining the “tried and tested/proven technology” principles favoured by the sugar industry.

“By modernising the design of equipment to optimise efficiencies and enhance performance, the cost of sugar processing is reduced, productivity is improved, maintenance requirements minimised and the service life of every system is significantly extended,” du Plessis said.

The Bosch Projects team works closely with its technology partners and various fabricators, to ensure manufacture of all equipment adheres to stringent international quality standards and exact design specifications.

The company has an extensive network of offices in Africa, South and Central America and the United Kingdom.

The key to SRT success is in the humidity and volume of air, which is introduced during the conditioning phase. The air passes through a filtration system before being de-humidified to a specific value and then transfers into the duty blowers.

Downstream of the blowers, the air is cooled before being independently introduced into the two silos which are in the conditioning phase.

Bosch Projects provides a wide range of sugar equipment designs through its international partners in South East Asia, the USA, India, Brazil and directly to its clients for various prestigious projects in global sugar producing regions.

Bosch Projects designs and supplies a full range of equipment, from the front-end cane preparation and juice extraction, through to processing, refining and packaging.

Neil du Plessis, business manager, Sugar Equipment, Bosch Projects, part of the Bosch Holdings Group, said an important part of the company’s service to the sugar industry was in equipment design.

“The Bosch Projects team – which works closely with sugar growers, millers and refiners around the world – has a thorough understanding of current trends in the industry and is able to identify exactly where opportunities exist, for future improvements in mechanical design.”

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