Optimization of the Caffeine Refinement Process with the Pharmalite valve with Inflatable Gasket in Compliance with Food Quality.
Introduction: This case study focuses on the implementation of an innovative solution by a caffeine refining company that has diversified into the production of natural extracts, with a particular emphasis on natural anhydrous caffeine. The company faced issues related to gasket wear and vacuum leaks with their previous valves, opting for the Pharmalite valve with an inflatable gasket to improve efficiency and vacuum tightness in the production process.
- Company Profile: Our client company, a leader in natural extracts development, expanded its production capabilities to include natural anhydrous caffeine. The company is dedicated to producing high-quality ingredients for the food and pharmaceutical industries.
- Previous Valves Used: Before adopting the Pharmalite valve, the company used butterfly interception valves made of AISI 316L stainless steel to manage the flow in the production process.
- Challenges and Objectives: The company faced significant challenges, mainly related to gasket wear and vacuum losses, negatively impacting overall operational efficiency. Primary objectives focused on improving vacuum tightness, reducing vacuum losses, and increasing the lifespan of gaskets. In the food industry, safeguarding material integrity represents the ultimate goal, enabling the production of contaminant-free foods.
- Selection of the Pharmalite Valve: The company chose the Pharmalite valve, an eccentric butterfly valve with an inflatable gasket designed to address desquamation issues. The gasket is deflated only when it is necessary to move the disc and then inflated exclusively when the disc is in the closed position. This innovative solution resulted in a significant improvement in vacuum tightness, a substantial reduction in material contamination, and an overall increase in efficiency. The inflatable gasket eliminates elastomer particle desquamation during the production process, ensuring high-quality finished products. Furthermore, the Pharmalite valve requires minimal maintenance, contributing to cost savings.
- Current Use of Pharmalite: Currently, the company continues to use the Pharmalite valve in the production process of granular anhydrous caffeine. The valve has been successfully integrated, providing superior vacuum tightness and a significant reduction in wear of the inflatable gasket. After 4 months of installation, the gaskets still demonstrate optimal performance, showcasing the durability and reliability of the Pharmalite solution.
- Cost-Effective Maintenance: Reduction in maintenance costs due to increased gasket durability.
- Improved Control and Adaptability: Better process control to optimize operations and quick adaptability to changing conditions.
- Environmental Sustainability: Increased sustainability with reduced waste associated with frequent gasket replacements.
- Process Safety: Improved safety by mitigating the risk of vacuum leaks or valve malfunctions.
Final Feedback: The company’s feedback on the Pharmalite valve is extremely positive. After the initial purchase and success of the test on the first production line, the company extended the adoption of Pharmalite by installing it on another production line. This decision is based on the proven effectiveness in maintaining high vacuum tightness, reducing vacuum losses, and overall improving the reliability of the production process. The integrated benefits of product quality improvement, contamination reduction, and cost savings make Pharmalight a valuable addition to the company’s production operations.