Olds USA Helps Solve Production Problems With Combination Elevator/Heat Exchanger

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Olds USA, a provider of engineering and design for material handling elevators solves production problem for leading chemical company with a custom elevator/heat exchanger.

Olds Elevator LAS Heat Exchanger Bulk Material Conveyor

Olds USA, (http://www.OldsUsa.com) a provider of revolutionary engineering, design, and manufacturing of bulk material elevators has recently helped a prominent company solve a potentially expensive material handling problem.

A chemical company that specializes in producing surfactants had experienced chronic material handling problems with a popular flake surfactant product: Sodium Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate (LAS). Surfactants (surface active agents) are often used in practical applications such as detergents, fabric softeners, emulsions, adhesives, paints, and more, however – the chemical properties of surfactants can present companies with issues when it comes to bulk material conveyors.

The LAS in question is produced by spray-drying a liquid formula over a hot drum dryer. The LAS then exits the dryer as a flake at 110°F and is immediately elevated 20 feet for milling, screening and packaging.

Elevated temperature and humidity conditions can cause the LAS to transition from a flake to an intractable solid mass which makes conveying it difficult. In the warm summer months temperatures in parts of the plant exceed 120° F and production of LAS is frequently interrupted by failures of the material handling equipment, increasing costs and slowing down production.

Olds Elevator LLC was contacted to see if the company could eliminate these material handling problems, with extensive testing conducted at the Olds Elevator labs in New Hampshire as well as at the customer’s plant in New Jersey.

Ultimately Olds Elevator designed and built an Olds elevator that also served as a Heat Exchanger to cool the LAS immediately upon entering the elevator. This is achieved by using a hollow-shafted static screw elevator and circulating cooling water through the screw. The screw elevator flighting was continuously welded, top and bottom, to the shaft to create a large heat exchanger from the screw – completing a bulk material elevator that eliminates setbacks for even the most sensitive products and compounds.

Even through this warmest summer in decades the LAS production has continued without interruption as the Olds combination Elevator/Heat Exchanger has kept the product moving from dryer to packaging without fail.

Located in Hudson, New Hampshire, Olds Elevator designs, engineers, and manufactures innovative bulk material handling equipment for a variety of industries. For years, the Olds elevator has revolutionized the bulk material handling industry by introducing a vertical conveyor system that maximizes efficiency and minimizes hazards. For more information, visit http://www.OldsUSA.com


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Richard McIntosh
Olds USA
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