Factories advance in good grinding practices with the support of Cenicaña
The new version of Cenimol and the online imbibition technique are some of the tools that are being validated and tested in the mills.
In order to be more competitive, the sugar agribusiness, in addition to needing a high quality cane (determined in part by the varietal aspect, agronomic work and harvesting), requires good practices in industrial processes.
For this reason, today the mills are increasingly committed to the implementation of measures and technologies with which greater control is exercised over the equipment, the cane preparation process is improved and, consequently, extraction is more effective in the grinding.
Cenicaña, through its Factory Processes program, has been key in this evolution of the industry in order to achieve better results. "For example, as part of this management, the Center promoted, almost from the beginning of Program activities in 1992, the adoption of shredders for the preparation of sugarcane in the sugar mills of the region, and accompanied them in their implementation ”Recalls Adolfo León Gómez, Cenicaña's advisor in Mechanical Processes.
Currently, the Center works in three areas: efficiency of the preparation and extraction processes against new scenarios (mechanical harvesting and more foreign matter in the cane), automatic control of the processes and management of equipment maintenance.
An adequate adjustment of the mills is a necessary practice to offer better results in the extraction process, since it allows control of the losses of sucrose in bagasse, contributes to guaranteeing efficient operation of the boilers and prolonging the useful life of the mechanical elements of the mill.
Thinking about it and also about how to offer more precise, useful and simple tools to the mills, Cenicaña recently delivered a new version of Cenimol to the sector for the calculation and evaluation of mill adjustments. This tool, whose antecedents are the Settings programs developed in spreadsheets (1995) and the first versions of the Analimol tool (1998), allows determining the adjustments required in the mills on a digital platform.
The latest version of Cenimol (1.2) generates detailed information on the mill assembly with the help of graphs that allow the assembly plan to be carried out quickly and accurately, as well as calculating operation indicators, energy indicators and basic analysis of the conditions of loading of the mechanical components of the mill, while the previous versions provided a list of variables for the person in charge to interpret and make the respective plan.
During 2013, the Factory Process Program carried out promotion activities for Cenimol 1.2 and training sessions for its adoption, since despite its advantages, many mills continue to work with previous versions or even with the first Settings and Analimol programs.
Another practice to guarantee the efficiency of extraction in milling is the online imbibition control technique, which Cenicaña has successfully implemented in three mills in the region and is in the implementation and validation phase in five more mills. This technique (which uses Australian milling theory and adapts it to the conditions of the Colombian industry) is based on developing for each mill a model of the Online Fiber Estimator (EFL) and consists of applying the right water depending on the fiber processed by the tandem, in such a way that the bagasse comes out with less sucrose and humidity and, consequently, better performance is obtained from the extraction, the boilers and the energy system.
The results of this technique are evident. In one of the mills where in-line imbibition works since May 2013, a saving in imbibition water has been achieved (18 kg / ton cane) and therefore a decrease in the requirement for exhaust steam (9 kg / ton cane) . This means a consumption saving of 4.65 kg of bagasse per ton of cane. Additionally, on the sugar side, the sucrose content in bagasse is reduced by 0.04%, which considering a BHR of 0.9, produces an additional 21 tons of sugar per month.
The evaluation of the processes in the factories is carried out with the Mobile Laboratory and its tools to determine the individual and collective performance of the milling units and the cane preparation station. These elements and procedures support efficiency improvements in the extraction process in the Colombian sugar industry.
“Cenimol is a very complete and useful tool for all mill engineers, since it allows us to quickly make the setting (adjustment) of each one, with the confidence of obtaining very good extraction indicators and low sucrose losses. In addition, it has the advantage of failure analysis and warning when applying high torques, which prevents shaft breakage. In the mill, the time to make a setting went from 6 hours of work to 1, in addition in the drawing it is possible to include all the parts of the mill, mounted on their carriages and to verify any interference. Also when the hubs wear out, the mill adjusts quickly with few modifications. "
Head of the Milling department. La Cabaña sugar mill