Calcor at Assalaya Mill, Sudan

Vacuum Pan Optimisation in a Sudanese Sugar Factory

Sugarequip pioneered a cost effective approach to automating vacuum pan boiling and graining in Sudan. The Calcor AutoPan / AutoGrain was designed to optimise sugar production capacity; reduce maintenance requirements and energy costs.
The State owned Assalaya Sugar Factory in Sudan had, for many years, suffered from high sugar losses in molasses and sugar dust emitted from their driers. Power surges resulted in injection water pumps being switched off to provide power for more essential equipment in the factory, resulting in inconsistent pan boiling and graining and varying massecuites.
Sugarequip with their long association with The Sudanese Sugar Company and The Assalaya Sugar Factory suggested the installation of a control system that would provide a reliable control of their sugar boiling and graining – the most delicate part of the production process – and yet be easily operated by the workers with no computer experience and limited English language skills. Without a certain degree of automation there is no way to determine the true accuracy or efficiency of the pan floor.
Automation Solution
Sugarequip offered to install a Calcor AutoPan / AutoGrain on the Assalaya factory’s “C” seed pan on a trial basis. The supply of the Calcor also included a commissioning and training visit to familiarize the pan boilers and management with the operation of the Calcor.
The Calcor AutoPan / AutoGrain was designed to automate control of the critical process across the pan, including the slurry feed, massecuite feeding and graining to a pre-determined brix profile. Although, at the beginning, there was some resistance from certain pan boilers, they soon released that the Calcor was a tool that could assist them in producing a consistent grain size with little or no false grain.
The varying vacuum, caused by power cuts, did not cause any undue problems and although the graining and boiling took a little longer, the grain size produced remained consistent and because of drastically reduced boiling and graining time, the overall time was still far less than without the Calcor.
Through the installation of the Calcor on their “C” seed vacuum pan, Sugarequip and Assalaya were able to :
  • Improve product quality and consistency.
  • Reduce wasted sugar costs
  • Improve equipment utilization.
  • Expand process capacity.
  • Decrease sugar boiling duration.
  • Increasing boiling time consistency
  • Improve crystallization efficiency.
  • Improve uniform grain formation.
  • Maintain constant brix at discharge points.
  • Implement repeatable work process.
  • Reduce dependence on human decision making.
On-going monitoring of the results will be undertaken at Assalaya when the new season starts in early October 2006 but the initial results indicate that, with the installation of the Sugarequip / Calcor AutoPan Boiling and AutoPan-Boiling / AutoGraining system on all their pans, an additional 6,000 tons of additional sugar of better colour and consistent grain size could be produced. The capital outlay for the installation of the Calcor Pan-Boiling / Pan-Graining would be paid back within the same year of installation.