Member of Bosch Holdings Bosch Projects completed four major projects at a sugar factory in Dalton, KwaZulu-Natal last year. These projects comprised of engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services for the raw house expansion, process equipment supply and front-end modifications.
The entire design and the preceding detailed feasibility study were completed during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown period, which necessitated new and innovative means of working.
The EPCM team evolved to incorporate highly collaborative design methods utilising state-of-the-art software, to allow the project team to effectively deliver the design solution working completely remotely. This adaptation has now allowed projects to be seamlessly executed in collaboration with the other group companies, making use of expertise from all parts of the world.
In addition, the team was responsible for a world first widening of a diffuser, to increase cane throughout by about 25%. The widening of the Bosch Projects’ chainless diffuser required redesigning and replacement of many structures and components, including stage juice spray pipes, process piping and a new dewatering drum and kicker. A new juice distribution system, which comprises fully adjustable juice launders, allows optimum process control. Pumps and piping were relocated to suit the updated design.
As part of the expansion project, Bosch Projects were also appointed to design, fabricate, supervise installation and commission several critical process equipment items, to fast-track the procurement process and meet project timelines.
The process equipment items supplied were a 45 m3 “C” Continuous Vacuum Pan (CVP), a 2 500 m2 Long Tube Evaporator, two Strike Receivers (30 m3 and 50 m3 respectively), a 1.5 m3 condensate vessel and a 17 m2 rotary screen for draft juice screening. The following season, a new 55 m³ “B” CVP was also installed.
The company has also recently undertaken multiple cogeneration feasibility studies throughout South Africa and the continent, providing detailed assessments on potential electrical export power at various sugar mills.
“Bosch Projects is constantly engaging with our clients to provide innovative means to improve energy efficiency at their factories and to enhance environment-friendly ways to provide the struggling grid capacity with more power,” explains Bosch Projects Sugar Sector director Murray Stevens.
“Our team of experts across all engineering disciplines considers the impact and financial feasibility of embarking on such projects, investigating the potential of additional power generation alongside the fundamental aspects of producing sugar. Our in-house-built energy and mass balance software allow us to dissect the changes that will need to be implemented on a weekly measure considering fluctuations in cane crop supply and quality.”
“Our electrical team is also heavily involved in providing grid code compliance conversion strategies to our clients in the sugar industry and in other sectors, which is a fundamental part of ensuring energy security in the country.
“This scope also extends beyond the factory, as we explore potential means to provide more biofuel through varied harvesting methods as well as enhanced and efficient forms of irrigation.”
Dimple Tube Technology
Dimple Tube technology is set to transform the production capacity of vacuum pans in sugar processing.
The newly developed Dimple Tube technology increases the heating surface area of an existing vacuum pan by 15% and improves the turbulence and heat transfer characteristics, compared with smooth walled tubes.
“Bosch Projects’ research and development initiative designed and developed this advanced Dimple Tube technology to optimise equipment productivity, reducing batch pan cycle time, improving pan floor capacity and reducing operational costs,” explains Bosch Projects sector manager – sugar equipment Darius Bezuidenhoudt.
“Although this technology has been developed for process equipment within the sugar industry, the new design provides a cost-effective alternative to the conventional means of increasing equipment capacity and improving energy efficiency in various other sectors where shell and tube heat exchangers are utilised.
“The design of Dimple Tubes is compatible with existing equipment for retrofit applications, which means that simple and inexpensive upgrades are possible, with minimal/zero vessel modifications.
Bosch Projects offers a comprehensive service, encompassing strategic planning and feasibility studies, sugar technology selection, design and engineering. Other sugar services include project structuring and funding, as well as operational support and training.