Arkema Vlissingen: simulation model shows how drying process can be optimised
Arkema Vlissingen is a chemical company that produces components for polymer products. In 2004 our Bodec engineers optimised a spray drying process for Arkema by developing a computer and simulation model in close cooperation with the Technical University Eindhoven. A simulation model makes it possible to predict the optimal process settings, without having to do live testing. This kind of process requires a lot of thought and many calculations. The model was successfully put into practice. Thanks to the process settings that Bodec recommended, Arkema was able to increase its capacity by at least 50 percent.
After 14 years, Arkema approached Bodec again. This time to validate and optimise the process model. During those years the demand had further increased, and Arkema had also expanded its portfolio with products that offer different benefits. Bodec was asked to investigate the best way to dry these products.
The Bodec engineers collected the process data and product specifications and started calculating in order to determine the drying behaviour of these products. It did not take long to discover that the existing drying technology was perfectly adequate, but that slight improvements could be made. Based on the new data, the simulation model was adjusted.
The process programme that was developed at the time is still perfectly adequate for the new products. The approach was solid. After this new process investigation, Bodec was able to give clear advice. Arkema would be able to further optimise its processes and increase its capacity by changing various process settings. The costs for the study and the adjustment of the simulation model were recovered within a few weeks.