Management of a high grade pan stage schedule to reduce the steam consumption

Broadfoot, Ross & Mann, Anthony P. (2014) Management of a high grade pan stage schedule to reduce the steam consumption. In Bruce, RC (Ed.) Proceedings of the 36th Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, Publishing Project Management, Gold Coast, Australia, pp. 361-372.

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MOST PAN stages in Australian factories use only five or six batch pans for the high grade massecuite production and operate these in a fairly rigid repeating production schedule. It is common that some of the pans are of large dropping capacity e.g. 150 to 240 t. Because of the relatively small number and large sizes of the pans, steam consumption varies widely through the schedule, often by ±30% about the mean value. Large fluctuations in steam consumption have implications for the steam generation/condensate management of the factory and the evaporators when bleed vapour is used. One of the objectives of a project to develop a supervisory control system for a pan stage is to (a) reduce the average steam consumption and (b) reduce the variation in the steam consumption. The operation of each of the high grade pans within the schedule at Macknade Mill was analysed to determine the idle (or buffer) time, time allocations for essential but unproductive operations (e.g. pan turn round, charging, slow ramping up of steam rates on pan start etc.), and productive time i.e. the time during boil-on of liquor and molasses feed. Empirical models were developed for each high grade pan on the stage to define the interdependence of the production rate and the evaporation rate for the different phases of each pan’s cycle. The data were analysed in a spreadsheet model to try to reduce and smooth the total steam consumption. This paper reports on the methodology developed in the model and the results of the investigations for the pan stage at Macknade Mill. It was found that the operation of the schedule severely restricted the ability to reduce the average steam consumption and smooth the steam flows. While longer cycle times provide increased flexibility the steam consumption profile was changed only slightly. The ability to cut massecuite on the run among pans, or the use of a high grade seed vessel, would assist in reducing the average steam consumption and the magnitude of the variations in steam flow.

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ID Code: 73817
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: steam consumption, pan boiling, crystallisation, supervisory control
ISSN: 07260822
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (090400) > Process Control and Simulation (090407)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 13 Jul 2014 23:45
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 07:18

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