In today’s world, if you run separators, you run with automation. Sure, you might have components of your process that are still manual, but overall, automation is what’s responsible for the performance of each centrifuge. Feedback from pressure transmitters, temperature meters, and back pressure valves communicate with a control system, telling the automation how to adjust processes in real-time. That, in effect, is what controls the machines.
And when we talk about optimizing centrifuge technology, it’s important to remember that every machine does something different from the next. It’s not like you can take the automated system from one machine, put it on another and say, here, it’s going to work. It’s not going to work.
In times when centrifuge technology isn’t properly adjusted for the equipment, all sorts of issues can present themselves. Here’s an example:
Some facilities end up running at too high of a flowrate. When a machine is laid out to run at a certain gallon-per-hour, overfeeding the machine will cause efficiency ratings to drop down. When this happens on a flowrate-dependent separator, it can be an issue with back pressures where the machine needs to be adjusted so that it holds the appropriate back pressures.
If automation technology isn’t monitoring and adjusting pressure levels adequately to prevent the overfeeding of the machine, efficiency ratings are going to drop. This results in material that does not meet quality standards.
So, if you want to improve your automation technology, here are some options that will increase separation efficiency.
1. Fine-Tune Existing Software
The automation that comes with new or remanufactured centrifuges doesn't come right out of the box with stock settings. Even custom-designed automation needs to be troubleshot and fine-tuned during startup. During this time, the rough settings that were pre-set in the software are ready to control your unique process.
2. Update Old Automation Technology
All types of technology age. The cutting-edge, top-of-the-line automation technology from a decade ago is clunky by today’s standards. And when separator technology gets old, it’s not going to operate at peak efficiency because what centrifugal technology is capable of has evolved.
3. Automate Previously Manual Processes
Remember at the beginning when I mentioned that you might have some components of your process that are still manual? For the longest time, having certain areas manual might have made sense based on your specific process and production yield, but that may have changed.
For example, some dairy companies running low volumes on a single machine might have an individual employee who monitors the equipment day in and day out for valve pressure, temperature, etc. But, what happens when that employee retires, takes vacation, or needs to take sick time? Sometimes filling positions like this can be extremely difficult, and if that’s the case for your dairy, updating your previously manual processes can alleviate the difficulty of replacing a retired employee.
More Sophisticated Technology Can Increase Profits
At the end of the day, facilities have to do what makes sense to their individual goals and specific processes. Fine tuning, updating, and automating separation technologies can have a big impact on things like production workflow, product quality, and your bottom line.
Having inadequate automation technology running your centrifuge equipment is the same as leaving money on the table. At Separators, we program separators and automate programs for machines running any application in any area of industry.
By custom designing automation based on any and all variables related to your process—and ensuring everything is working as it should before concluding startup services—we’ll help you avoid the challenges that come along with automated separation technology.