Best Practices for Continuous Centrifugals in the Sugar Industry

Western States is proud to have been a leading manufacturer of continuous flow centrifuges for the sugar industry for over 100 years. In that time, machine efficiency and “best in class” standards have risen alongside consumer demand. Western States exceeds these standards and shares best practices for optimizing sugar production in large volumes from our large-scale continuous centrifuges.

Centrifuge Optimization

Western States is poised to optimize continuous centrifugal practices that will ensure a quality product by providing parts and services that enable customers to maintain higher capacity in their centrifuges and lower purity rise of the sugar in the process.

The optimization of centrifuges comes from both a place of knowledge and physical components. We’ve highlighted a few key takeaways that illustrate many of these best practices.

  1. Understanding how the color line position affects sugar’s capacity and quality is vital in choosing screens and changing variables for machine operation. 

We recommend using a quality strobe light to see and assess the color line clearly.

  1. A balanced flow rate and purge rate result in an optimal color line and gives the machine the maximum capacity and lowest purity rise.  Adjusting the parameters of the machine to help achieve an optimal color line can be done by:
    1. Increasing the massecuite flow rate
    2. Decreasing the massecuite viscosity which can be accomplished by diluting the product with water or increasing the product temperature by injecting steam.
    3. Increase the screen’s open area open by selecting a screen with more open space while keeping a small slot size. 
  2. Routinely checking screens becomes critical to the product’s health as worn screens can increase purity rise. Whole crystals in the molasses indicate severe screen damage.  Standard screens for “c” sugar applications should last 3-6 months if properly installed and maintained.

Western States Machine Practices for Continuous Centrifuges

Western States uniquely responds to the challenges of running continuous centrifuges with an advanced basket design that uses larger holes in the horizontal plane connected by deep channels that enable molasses to evacuate the basket more efficiently.  Our machines use two filtration screens (a woven wire backing screen and a working screen) instead of three or more, which are standard in some competitors. This provides fewer obstructions for particulate matter that restrict exiting molasses.  Additionally, our screen clamping system allows massecuite to accelerate to basket speed before it even moves onto the screen at a low angle of transition – which contributes to longer screen life and minimal crystal breaking.  Our continuous centrifugals also utilize a gentle guide rod to precondition the massecuite with halo steam and process water, providing superior mixing of the incoming product, lowering the viscosity, and enabling faster purging.

Western States is also proud to feature simple and quick stainless steel screen changes with screen clamp bolts located on top of the bearing housing of our side-feed machines for unobstructed accessibility.  Quick screen changes ensure your machine is back in production in very little time.

Utilize Western States Machine Longevity Programs to Reduce Costs 

Western States’ expertise in centrifuge design and operation is integral for your machines’ success and long-term operation. Western States has maintained its goals of providing upgradable, safe, affordable, and durable centrifuges to the sugar industry’s most productive cornerstones for over 100 years. Each aspect of this goal has gone into the design and maintenance of each centrifuge offered. With continuous centrifuges being one of the most economical and cost-efficient machines to operate, Western States doesn’t just stop at design, we provide tailored maintenance and refurbishment options for when parts, such as your centrifuge rotors or centrifuge tubes experience wear and tear from high-speed operations. 

We offer unique, customer-specific customization options upon request and provide each customer with a Western States machine access to our “Rebuilding & Upgrading” program. We plan never to phase out any of our centrifuges, helping ensure our commitment to good manufacturing practices (GMPs) and preserving the quality of our machines. Some of our USA-based Western States machines have been running for over 50 years.

Get in contact with us to discover how Western States can bring over 100 years of experience to your refinery.

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