While many companies provide industrial equipment, FEECO is unique in that we not only offer equipment, but we can also provide complete solutions for those looking to develop a new process, improve an existing one, or solve a problem through material processing.
In our state-of-the-art Innovation Center, FEECO’s Process Experts offer both agglomeration and thermal testing options, utilizing single pieces of equipment or multiple pieces of equipment in a continuous process loop. Our team can also test particle characteristics before, during and after lab tests, while also recording data throughout the entire testing process. The combined flexibility in equipment configurations, material testing abilities, and data tracking allows us to create the most ideal end-product for our customers.
What follows is an overview of the comprehensive process services FEECO has to offer…
New Process Development
New processes come in many shapes and sizes; some customers are looking to produce a new product from a waste or process by-product; others are looking to solve some type of problem through processing, be it an economic or logistics one, and still others are hoping to create a process that will recover a valuable material from a carrier.
Whatever their reason, most customers come to FEECO with an idea. They know what they’d like to accomplish, but they’re not sure if it’s possible, or what it would take to transform their idea into a realized process. A prime example of this is Encap.
Encap is a manufacturer of soil solutions and products for the lawn and garden industry. In 2001, Encap approached FEECO with the idea of taking waste paper sludge, a previously landfilled material, and turning it into lawn and garden products.
FEECO worked with Encap to turn their idea into a reality. The process began in the FEECO Innovation Center, where extensive research and development was carried out on the raw paper sludge. Once we worked out the process, we scaled it up and built a full-scale production facility.
Founder of Encap, Mike Krysiak, had this to say on the project:
“The idea was there, we just didn’t know how to get from A to B, and FEECO really helped us to take it from idea, to fruition, to a full-scale commercial operation. Now we not only have a successful, marketable product, but we are also taking a waste that would have otherwise been landfilled.”
Today, Encap carries various product lines, all built around their core concept, and FEECO continues to work with them in the development and improvement of their products.
Improving an Existing Process
There are a number of reasons why someone may want to improve an existing process: to improve efficiency, enhance the end product, or to add additional components to the process.
One example of this is a heap leaching operation we worked with in 2013.
While the company had a successful heap leaching operation, their existing agglomeration drum was inadequate for the process; the drum was under-designed for the processing needs, causing the facility to run at only half capacity.
FEECO engineered a new, custom agglomeration drum to fit seamlessly into their process, allowing them to return to full capacity production.
Solving Material Problems
Material problems are also varied in nature; a material may require an engineered drying solution, or the material may not be useful in its current form. Perhaps the most common material problem we see, is that a material is too dusty or fine, resulting in difficult handling, processing, and application.
One example of this is a glass company FEECO assisted. The glass company was having a problem keeping their glass formulations intact through production.
The company was a provider of very precise blends of glass, used in the blown glass industry, so formula accuracy was a necessity. However, the glass fines were so light, that they would become entrained in the air flow of the melting furnace, resulting in lost product, and therefore, skewed formulas.
FEECO worked with the company to pelletize the glass fines. Pelletization of the fines prevented the glass from becoming entrained in the furnace, keeping formulas intact.
Developing Process Solutions
No matter what a customer is looking to accomplish, the search for answers begins in the FEECO Innovation Center.
Here, Process Experts can run a variety of tests at both batch and pilot scale to gather valuable process and material data. We use the data gathered in these tests to engineer a process solution that will meet the customer’s full-scale production needs.
Once a process solution has been reached, we can design and fabricate the equipment needed to carry out the solution, whether it be one piece, or a complete system.
At FEECO International, we don’t just provide single, stand-alone solutions; we provide our customers with the process tools necessary to sustain their operations for years to come. For more information on our process solutions, contact us today!