…there is no substitute for the ease of use and accurateness of the Sugars™ program at such a reasonable cost.
A great added value of Sugars™ is that you can learn with it.
In our opinion, Sugars™ is one of the most useful tools for simulation, calculation, and teaching that we have ever used in the works for improvement of our facilities.
…we use it for our daily operations. It gives us an opportunity to test possibilities prior to implementing them. The model is built so that it mirrors our factory conditions almost exactly.
…we were able to model a unique approach to processing. The factory was modified according to the model and it exactly produced the results predicted by Sugars™.
Sugars™ helps us avoid those unforeseen problems that can occur with a new project.
In the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota, sugar refining is usually a lengthy processing period that lasts over 240 days that starts in the fall and progresses through the winter and spring seasons. Throughout the processing time frame, the sugar beet raw material can change significantly as fed to the refinery. It starts out as fresh during harvest and ends up being deeply frozen stored for 240 days and can be characterized by every quality condition in between based on the storage conditions throughout the campaign. With this in mind, the refinery mass and energy balances change significantly throughout this time frame based on the raw material and weather conditions. By utilizing the Sugars™ program, the factory operating numbers can be matched with the current model to optimize the processing configuration for a given set of conditions. The exercise enables the operations staff at the facility to use the information within the model to change/modify equipment during the summer months to help eliminate bottlenecks in the operation during the challenging times. The Sugars™ program has been a very useful tool in understanding the relationships ranging from color generation to waste heat recovery within the refining process. That knowledge can then be utilized to make sound economic decisions that ultimately add to the bottom line of the organization.
Recently, the Amalgamated Sugar Company factory at Paul, Idaho utilized the Sugars™ program for the evaluation of waste heat recovery to reduce steam consumption during both the beet processing and juice processing campaigns.
The Mini-Cassia factory located in Paul, Idaho, processes up to 3.2 million tons of beets per season while operating for approximately 180 slicing days. Thick juice produced from the crop is processed over a period of approximately 280-300 sugar end operating days. The company elected to install the necessary equipment to reduce energy consumption to the world-class standard of 19% steam on beet from its current consumption of 23-24% steam on beet using a thorough application of waste heat recovery.
Detailed process models were constructed with Sugars™ for the beet and juice campaigns to evaluate the installation of equipment to give the best overall waste heat recovery strategy for the factory. The models also allowed a full analysis of the effects on cooling water requirements and total condensate production from the plant. Thus, a full evaluation of the impact of the aggressive waste heat recovery strategy on not only steam consumption but also on plant utilities and waste water production were possible using Sugars™. The Sugars™ modeling software, when correctly utilized for the detailed construction of process systems model, has proven to be quite capable of precise prediction of the effects of process modifications on energy consumption and process material flows.
Rogers Sugar operates one cane refinery in Vancouver, Canada and one beet factory in Taber, Canada – each has a copy of Sugars™. An associated company, Lantic Sugar in Montreal, Canada also has a copy of the program.
We have used Sugars™ since 1989. Our principle use has been for material and energy balances around evaporators and heaters. On first receiving the program, we were quite happy to save the full cost of Sugars™ on one evaporator calandria replacement. We used the program to calculate a heating surface area that was smaller than the one that we were replacing and the difference in cost was more than enough to pay for the program. In 1997, we used the program for the heat and material portion of a 50% expansion of our beet factory. The consulting engineering firm for the expansion wanted to do this work and pass on substantial charges for doing it, but we opted to use Sugars™ and our own personnel. The expansion is now complete and the steam and material balances have proven to be very accurate. The work involved the installation of a complete new evaporator station and the addition of a number of new heaters.
Prior to getting the program, I personally did many evaporator calculations and wrote programs to assist in this work. However there is no substitute for the ease of use and accurateness of the Sugars™ program at such a reasonable cost.
Together with other models and programs developed by our process engineers, Suiker Unie is using Sugars™ for heat- and sugar- balances. Once you have a model of the factory, changes can be made rapidly. User-friendliness has improved dramatically during the 25 years that we have used Sugars™. The last major project was the reconstruction and optimization of the evaporator station in our Vierverlaten Factory. Many different concepts had to be evaluated. This was fully done using Sugars™. We think it is a powerful engineering tool and the results are accurate and reliable.