When I was asked to upgrade a process using a coatings mix tank that blended and dispersed powders in a high viscosity mix, I knew it would be difficult. DSM NeoSol/Soluol had an existing tank and mixing technology that was inadequate to meet the requirements for scale up production and current environmental and safety regulations. Although the client knew what they wanted to accomplish with the upgrade, they needed help figuring out the best way to do it.
Because SPEC has a variety of process engineers, we are all familiar with current and different types of technologies. I was, therefore able to identify the best mixing technology for the application, composed of a 2 agitator dual shaft mixing system that could be installed in a closed tank at a larger scale.
The new system was able to increase the client’s batch size three-fold, from 500 to 1,500 gallons, as well as reduce the overall batch time significantly. And because the new system could be installed in a closed tank, we were able to provide an inert, safe atmosphere and reduce operator exposure to vapors. And finally, because we build to operational completion, we did a pilot testing of the new technology to confirm it was working.
Steve Freitas is a chemical engineer and has almost 25 years of experience in the process design and construction industry. He brings a broad based knowledge of different industries and different process designs to SPEC projects including: pharmaceutical, chemical, bioprocessing, and hazardous chemical manufacturing. Steve is a Senior Process Engineer and the Process Department Manager at SPEC and has been with the company since 2000.