Mining Metals refining
Aug 29, 2017

Filter Upgrade boosts capacity and efficiency at AB Amilina

Outotec’s PF30 filter endless cloth modernization enabled a 12 percent capacity increase, reduced maintenance times and spares costs, and eliminated the need for shutdowns during cloth changeovers.

Starch producer AB Amilina, a major supplier to the European paper industry, turned to Outotec to help it achieve its aim of doubling capacity and improving production stability at its plant in Panevėžys, Lithuania. With limited floor space, modernizing the existing filter was a more feasible and cost-effective option than installing a second filter. Outotec’s endless cloth upgrade, completed in only seven days, not only delivered the required capacity boost, it also improved the filter cloth lifespan, increased maintenance efficiency, and improved the reliability of the cloth steering.

AB Amilina runs a modern wet wheat mill in Panevėžys in Lithuania, at the heart of the Baltic wheat belt. Opened in 2008, the mill processes wheat into starch and vital gluten fractions, primarily for the paper industry. The by-products of the wet process are concentrated before being mixed with wheat bran, dried, and pelletized into animal feed. Amilina is the largest starch producer in Eastern Europe and recently introduced glucose production at the Panevėžys mill.

“We investigated several different options when planning the best way to increase capacity,” says Raimundas Kazlauskas, head of maintenance at the starch plant. “These included adding a buffer silo before the dryer to complement the existing filter, or even installing second filter, but these options wouldn’t have given us the required gains. After we learned about the endless cloth design, we asked Outotec to investigate the feasibility of modernizing our existing filter equipment.”

Outotec endless cloth modernization

We presented a proposal for upgrading the starch plant’s existing filter that would deliver the desired capacity increase without the need for an additional filter, while simultaneously addressing mechanical reliability issues and improving the efficiency and cost effectiveness of maintenance activities.

Outotec’s PF30 endless cloth modernization replaces the conventional filter cloth operation with the latest endless cloth design. As well as increasing capacity, it also increases availability by making cloth changes quicker and easier, and reducing the number of maintenance shutdowns needed. The modernization also solves cloth tracking problems by using the filter cloth more efficiently.

Outotec's endless cloth modernization will help us achieve our goals for capacity increases and production stability.

Improved filter performance, better availability, and easier maintenance

Outotec personnel supervised the modernization project, with Amilina maintenance personnel carrying out most of the installation work. With our experts on hand, the process was completed on schedule, in only seven days, keeping starch plant downtime to a minimum.

With the new endless cloth system in place, the filter capacity has increased by more than 12 percent for starch production, helping the mill make significant progress towards its long-term target of doubling overall production capacity. The modernization also means than the cloth changeover is not only much easier, but significantly faster, with changeovers now taking 15 minutes compared to two hours prior to the upgrade. The filter now uses one cloth instead of three, the cloth itself is shorter and has a longer lifetime due to reduced wear, and also has fewer seams. All of this adds up to quicker installation and reduced replacement costs.

Furthermore, because replacement can now be done without the need to halt production, there are significant economic and efficiency benefits for the starch plant. Our endless cloth modernization also improved cloth tracking in the filter, which helps to increase the roller lining and bearing lifetime and so reduces spare part costs and maintenance-related downtime.

Amilina also installed a high-pressure cloth-washing system, which further increases capacity by improving filtration efficiency and lowering the moisture content of the cake. Regular washing also further extends the cloth lifetime. The modernization has also improved the reliability of the filter’s hydraulic components, which had previously suffered from frequent breakdowns.

A reliable solution from a trusted partner

Amilina has been extremely satisfied with the results of the modernization project. Outotec’s technological expertise and efficient project management ensured that the work was completed on schedule, with minimal disruption to production at the mill. Starch plant personnel also benefit from ongoing technical support provided by Outotec specialists.

“The endless cloth modernization will certainly help us achieve our goals. As well as being simpler, maintenance is also much more economical. The fact that we no longer need to shut down completely to change the filter cloth is a huge benefit,” Kazlauskas concludes.

*This case study has been written prior to the merger of Metso and Outotec.

The fact that we no longer need to shutdown completely to change the filter cloth is a huge benefit.
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