Keeping factory equipment and machinery maintained, updated, and efficient is a continual process at Amalgamated Sugar. Recently, we spoke with Craig Ashcraft, Plant Facility Manager at the Nampa Factory, and asked him to tell us about the current projects underway at the Nampa facility.
Q. What are some of the projects are you currently working on?
A. A few of the bigger projects we are currently doing are our Soda Ash Aging Tank, replacing the Pulp Press, replacing the Eimco Filter, and replacing the CO2 Compressor.
Q. Who is working on these projects?
A. Our TASCO pipe crew, valve crew, gearbox crew, as well as instrumentation and electrical departments are all working on these projects. It is a big team effort.
Q. How long will these projects take to complete?
A. Roughly 6 months – about March through August.
Q. Why is it important to install these projects at the factory?
A. A lot of the equipment at Nampa is approaching the end of its useful life. Many pieces of machinery are +/- 50 years old and are worn out. Finding spare parts for the old equipment is becoming more challenging. As the new equipment replaces the old, the older machines can be used for spare parts for the remaining old equipment.
Q. What will these projects do for the Nampa factory’s efficiency?
A. The Soda Ash Aging Tank will increase residence time after juice purification to decrease lime salts, aid 2nd carbonation filtration, and reduce the load on juice softeners.
The Pulp Press Replacement will decrease pulp loss and lower the tower draft which saves energy.
The Eimco Filter Replacement will replace worn-out drum filters in our first carbonation; one new disc filter will do the work of two old Eimco drum filters, which will be great for our efficiency.
Replacing our 50-year-old worn-out CO2 compressor will mean that it matches the other compressor installed in 2018. This will add redundancy, improve juice purification, and minimize downtime.