Solutions Ahead Blog

4 Pieces of Advice before Starting your Next CPI Project

Posted by Jennifer Mayo

Mar 23, 2017 11:00:00 AM

PID.pngStarting any new project can be overwhelming.  From reorganizing your garage to planning a large event, there are many details that need to be considered.  It’s quite intimidating to be at square one and imagine how you are going to get to the finish line when there are so many obstacles you’ll inevitably encounter along the way.  And when there are multiple items that need to be worked on, it’s daunting to figure out the right order in which to tackle each task.

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Topics: engineered systems, engineering services

Optimizing your Mixing System: A Compilation of Posts

Posted by Jennifer Mayo

Mar 16, 2017 11:00:00 AM

agitators.pngIf your reactor isn’t operating at the productivity rate it used to, there are a number of reasons that could be causing this.  It depends on the symptoms, but usually one of the first items you should look at is the mixing system.  After all, agitation is a primary part of the reaction process and it is one of the technologies that can be tweaked or upgraded to help optimize the performance of the entire operation. 

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Topics: Mixing, Agitation, process optimization

Why it’s Sometimes Better to Buy a New Heat Exchanger than Keep your Old One

Posted by Jennifer Mayo

Mar 9, 2017 11:00:00 AM

QVF_heat_exchanger.png“They don’t make them the way they used to,” is a common saying that can apply to many appliances and other products that are simply not made with the same quality today as they were constructed 20, 30, or 40 years ago.  While you can brag about your ancient toaster oven that’s still consistently browning your english muffins to perfection, there are certain types of equipment when it actually becomes counter-productive for you to keep in use.

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Topics: process optimization, heat exchangers

Factory Acceptance Tests: What They are and Why They’re Important

Posted by Jennifer Mayo

Mar 2, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Lilly_652 015.jpgThe hassle of dealing with issues when equipment is built and operated the first time around can be a huge headache if you are the one with the task of installation and start-up.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get some reassurance prior to receiving your equipment?   That’s what Factory Acceptance Tests, or FATs, are for.  Conducted at the manufacturer’s site prior to delivery and installation, these tests help to identify any issues and correct them prior to shipment.  Basically, an FAT is a “factory debug” to assure that when the system arrives on site, it should be able to be installed and get up and running quickly and smoothly.  If you’ve been wondering what exactly an FAT entails and why should get one, we’ve got some answers for you in this post. 

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Topics: process optimization, engineered systems, validation

What Can I do to Automate my Reactor?

Posted by Jennifer Mayo

Feb 10, 2017 11:19:01 AM

IMG_0626.jpgIf you have an application that employs batch reactors and you are looking for a way to improve the efficiency of your operation, seeing what process automation you have (and don’t have) in place is a good way to start.  When automation technologies are integrated into your system, they not only improve process control but they can also be an effective way to increase productivity, minimize costs and make your facility operate more ergonomically. 

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Topics: Reactor, process optimization

How Wall-Mounted Baffles can Boost Glass-Lined Reactor Performance

Posted by Jennifer Mayo

Feb 2, 2017 11:00:00 AM

OptiMix-HE.pngNowadays any mere mention of the word “vortex” might have you thinking about the Star Wars series and the windy, ice-capped planet that is affiliated with the Galactic Republic.    Chances are, though, if you are reading this post you are more concerned with the kind of vortex that is associated with mixing, especially if you have one in your process; it is the undesirable swirling effect that can occur in your glass-lined reactor if it is not properly baffled. 

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Topics: Vessel, Reactor, glass-lined equipment, Mixing, process optimization

Bringing New Life to your Old Glass-Lined Reactor through Reglassing

Posted by Jennifer Mayo

Jan 25, 2017 11:22:09 AM

HemiCoil_Jacketed_reglassed_reactor.jpgGlass-lined steel reactors are a substantial investment for any company to make, so it’s not the kind of equipment you want to simply discard once it becomes old or inoperative.  Most likely, you are using glass-lined equipment because your process requires a high level of corrosion resistance or other unique property that only glass lining can provide.  But after years of service (the number of years can vary greatly depending on the service conditions), your vessel will eventually require some sort of refurbishment.  Damage from mechanical or thermal shock can also prematurely cause your vessel to be out of commission, but in most cases when operating guidelines are followed, normal wear and tear will be the cause of erosion to the glass lining.

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Topics: Vessel, Reactor, glass-lined equipment, refurbishment, reglassing

“That Doesn’t Look Right”: How to Evaluate Glass Lining Damage [Part 2]

Posted by Jennifer Mayo

Nov 19, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Glass damage - alkaline corrosionIn last week’s post we talked about mechanical and thermal stresses and shock that can be imposed on glass-lined surfaces, how the damage is caused, and how it can be avoided.  This week, we’ll pick up where we left off and dive into the different types of electrical issues and chemical attacks that can arise with glass-lined equipment operation.   As with the problems we talked about in part 1 of this post, the good news is that most, if not all, of this damage is preventable by following operating guidelines and through proper care and maintenance of your equipment.  But it’s always important to educate yourself on every aspect of your equipment, and knowing the various types of damage can help you to better evaluate what’s going on if something “doesn’t look right”. 

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Topics: Maintenance, glass-lined equipment

“That Doesn’t Look Right”: How to Evaluate Glass Lining Damage [Part 1]

Posted by Jennifer Mayo

Nov 12, 2015 12:00:00 PM

We’ve written about the benefits of glass lined equipment in another post, but we thought it might be helpful to explore what happens when things don't go as planned.  If you follow our guidelines on proper operation, maintenance and storage/handling you can prevent bad things from happening to your glass-lined equipment.  However, we know that in the real world sometimes things happen…mistakes, accidents, misunderstandings.  Use this post as a brief guide to give you an idea of what could be going on with your glass-lined equipment if something “doesn’t look right” to you. 

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Topics: Maintenance, glass-lined equipment

5 Questions (and Answers) about the Pneumatic Conveying of Solids

Posted by Jennifer Mayo

Nov 5, 2015 12:00:00 PM


Pneumatic Conveying System installed on reactorGetting solids from one place to another can present a variety of challenges in any process.  Whether you are transferring high value API’s, explosive organic powder, or food grade materials in bulk, the goal in all of these applications is to transfer the solids in a safe, contained, and efficient manner.  There are various types of equipment for conveying solids, and most fall into one of three major categories – manual, mechanical or pneumatic.  In this post, we’ll answer some basic questions about pneumatic conveying.

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Topics: powder handling, pneumatic transfer