How do you optimize your process flow levels while staying within your process parameters and use raw materials in an efficient manner? Modular chemical mixing systems provide seamless functionality with minimum downtime and the fastest-time-to-market solution. From mixing and inline blending systems to continuous reactor systems, we deliver custom solutions that improve your production efficiency and provide lasting ROI.
Our talented teams of process engineers, mechanical designers, project managers and craftsmen are at your service. We collaborate with you to scale up your process technology fast and efficiently to make your project a success. EPIC is experienced at fully extracting your technical, operational and commercial specifications for chemical mixing systems. We combine this ability with our knowledge of process capabilities, scale-up, and modular design/build to make it happen. Our technique for building complete modular process plants includes:
- Utilizing a unique Front-End Engineering process to ensure the proper steps are taken during project scope development
- Following our proven design/build process that has resulted in over 420+ successful startups by taking turnkey responsibility for delivering a high-quality, ready-to-run system for all our customers.
- Modular design/fabrication that reduces traditional downtime through parallel construction and results in cost-savings, increased safety and faster project delivery. Learn more about the benefits of modular…
For custom industrial or sanitary continuous production systems, contact EPIC today.
- Mixing & In-Line Blending Systems – Looking for a flexible solution that uses minimal floor space? Inline blending solutions provide a reliable solution with product quick turnover. Major or minor ingredient dosing systems, base/pre-mix dosing & finished product delivery systems for flavors, perfumes, dyes, etc. More about inline blending systems…
- Continuous Reaction Systems – Find continuous stirred reactors or continuous in-line reaction systems to optimize your manufacturing process. EPIC has an experienced team of process engineers that specialize in designing custom continuous reaction systems and CSTR (continuous stirred reactor tanks). Contact EPIC to learn more.
- Continuous Separations Systems – We engineer and build custom designed centrifugation, filtration, screening, and scrubbing systems. If you need to separate your process stream, we will apply our extensive plant experience to design a fast, reliable modular solution. Contact EPIC to learn more.
- Dry Blending Continuous Process Systems – We design dry-to-dry or dry-to-wet systems with minimal ingredient loss. Systems can be designed with accurate product dry blending for gravimetric or volumetric mixing systems. Contact EPIC to learn more.
Continuous Process System Case Studies
An EPIC client required the addition of 20 flavors to their product mix with a limited budget and floor space. By using liquid blending ingredient trees instead of tanks, capitol costs were minimized. Pre-engineered, field-proven in blending systems from EPIC provided a fast, economic solution that allowed the client to drastically expand their product portfolio with minimal equipment additions. Read more about the liquid blending case study….
Key features: Pre-mix blend skid, in line liquid blending system, coupled blending and filler system, back pressure control, product-to-product washout
Pilot Plant Takes Solid Biomass to Usable Liquid Compounds
A pilot plant was engineered and manufactured by EPIC Systems to extract usable carbons from coal to be used in the petrochemical industry. The process technology involved a biomass feedstock to generate liquid compounds by treating the feedstock with hot compressed water. The process took solid biomass and converted it to liquid compounds for the customer use in the petrochemical industry.
KEY ENGINEERING FEATURES: Flexible reaction times, dual-head pumps for precise flow-rate adjustments, multi-heater design that reduces start-up time and product waste.
“As a plant we have relied on EPIC to be our main resource for process design and to be a project manager on some of the bigger projects. We like using EPIC since they are very cost effective for the value you get. When we have dealt with some of the larger Engineering firms, they tend to involve too many disciplines that are not necessarily required.” Engineering & Operations Manager | VVF, Illinois Services Company
Frequently Asked Questions for Continuous Production Systems
How can very large and very small flows be blended together accurately?
All that is required is that measuring instruments and dosing equipment be properly sized for each individual flow stream in the continuous mixing system.
How do I know the product will be homogeneous?
Immediately after each ingredient addition point a static or high shear mixer is added as required. Agitation can also be provided in the finished product surge tank. Catch samples from the inline mix system can be taken to verify that finished product is indistinguishable from product made in a batch process.
Are all products made by batch processes candidates for inline blending?
No. Products that require considerable mixing energy or mixing that must occur over an extended time period may not lend themselves to inline blending.
Can reaction chemistry be done in a continuous blend system?
Many successful applications involving inline chemical reactions have been done. It depends on process kinetics, the amount of heat generated as a result an exothermic reaction, and other key factors.
What happens when continuous blending systems are started and stopped frequently?
Part of our proprietary technology is how we control mix system startup to ensure that formula percentage is held as the inline blending system comes up to full rate. Also, the finished product surge tank size is chosen to avoid blending system shutdown during brief filler stoppages. In addition, this tank provides an averaging effect for any slight perturbations that occur.
What if an ingredient runs out? Won’t we make off spec product without knowing it?
An alarm will sound well in advance of running out of any raw material, allowing the operator to replenish the raw material while running the process. Also, the mass flow of each ingredient is monitored continuously and any deviation from the set point will cause the continuous mixing system to automatically shutdown. Lastly, online instrumentation (density meter, refractometer, online analyzer, etc.) may be installed for continuous monitoring of process parameters in critical applications.
Is the continuous blending system complex to operate?
Absolutely not. Operation is intuitive, by design. Very little operator attention is required. Normally, operators are performing other tasks (replenishing raw materials, keeping the packing line running, etc.) unless an alarm occurs that warrants their attention.
Can you manufacture my inline blending skid?
Yes. Our engineers are well versed in the design, fabrication and assembly of in-line blending systems. Our on-site fabrication facility means the same engineers that design the system oversee its high quality construction in our controlled, production-style environment.
How much will it cost?
This is a loaded question, which is difficult to answer without a significant engineering effort. Some consider in-line blending to be a “cheap alternative” to batching systems, but these systems still require a fair share of engineering and design and are much more than just some pipes flowing together.
There are a lot of factors that go into the cost associated with a chemical blending skid such as; number of ingredients, number of recipes, accuracy and performance standards, degree of automation, and required integration with existing equipment. In general, inline blending systems are still less expensive than batching systems.
How accurate are inline blending skids?
Most chemical blending systems can achieve accuracy within 1% deviation of the prescribed formulation. This can vary, and often depends on how a system is run. Continuous inline blending systems that are constantly running and producing the same product often achieve deviation rates that are less than a 1% average. Batch inline mixing system that are regularly shut off and have many recipes changes tend to be less accurate.
Can you integrate this skid into an existing system?
Along with being a designer and manufacturer, we are also a systems integrator. Seamlessly integrating a new system into a preexisting manufacturing system is a regular task for us. We can either try to match the existing plant controls or upgrade older systems to work with the new system.
We provide plant controls upgrades where required. If the choice is made to use an updated control system with the new inline blend module, we will unify the new system with older control systems. This allows proper communication and ensures blending accuracy.
When is inline blending the best option for my process?
There are three important factors to evaluate when deciding to choose an inline blending. Does my process need to be flexible? Am I trying to reduce the amount of waste material? Do I have enough floor space for the large tanks associated with batch mixing systems? If you need to be able to quickly and easily change your recipe, want to reduce the amount of materials you waste, and do not have the floor space available, then inline blending may be your perfect solution.