Why Build a Seal Test Assembly?

Why Build a Seal Test Assembly?

When a customer requested our advice on the most effective long-lasting seal technology for steam tube dryers in petrochemical applications, our application engineers designed and ran a Seal Test Assembly to generate live test data to inform and confirm their recommendations.

To gather relevant data in a controlled environment, our engineers and fabricators built a scale-model steam tube dryer seal assembly in our own test lab.

a steam dryer being loaded onto a barge

For this test seal, we decided to use chevron V-packing in lieu of the traditional square packing. Whereas square-packing is made from woven PTFE and integrated graphite, the chevron V-packing is made of extruded polymer – which is optimally suited for maximal segregation of external oxygen from entering the internal dryer’s closed inert atmosphere. The V-packing is housed within a machined, cooling-jacketed, stuffing box.

an industrial dryer being transported down the river on a barge

To simulate a real processing environment, we mounted the test unit on a slew bearing, and allowed to float with the rotating seal surface using adjustable die springs.

an industrial dryer being transported down the river on a barge

Electrodes were attached to induce heat and ports were used to pressurize the system up to 1 PSIG, and gauges were installed and monitored.

a steam dryer in transport along a railway

The test unit operated continuously over the course of three years with only minimal tweaking such as bearing lubrication. The test data confirmed the effectiveness of using the longer life chevron V-packing on both the feed and discharge end of central discharge dryers in petrochemical applications. They significantly limit the leakage of ambient atmosphere or vapors and prevent the intake of external oxygen.

Why Central Discharge?

The Louisville Dryer “CS” Central Discharge Steam Tube Dryer design was developed for solvent extraction, and processing materials wetted with liquids other than water, which must be processed in an inert atmosphere and where the vapors must be captured and not allowed to escape to atmosphere.

replacement dryer being installed by louisville dryer company crew

Many materials at some point in their manufacture are volatile and reactive with O2 which can degrade the product, ignite, or explode. Some materials are processed with acids or volatile liquids where if leaked to atmosphere can cause injury to personnel, or damage to surrounding equipment or facilities.

The Louisville Dryer “CS” Central Discharge Steam Tube Dryer reduces the required sealing area by conveying the dried product through the center of the steam chest with helical discharge flights, into a very efficiently sealed discharge housing. The “CS” sealing mechanism is comprised of a machined mechanical seal and packing assembly which allows for static and dynamic purging with a variety of process gases and/or steam. Cooling water can be used in applications where required, as well as grease purge glands.

replacement dryer being installed by louisville dryer company crew

The Louisville Dryer “CS” seal design can be designed for process side pressures up to 1.5 PSIG, and in a number of carbon steel alloys and nickel alloys for highly corrosive applications. They are most effective when installed on both the feed end of the dryer and the discharge end.

Test Your Product in Louisville Dryer Company’s Test Lab

Curious how testing your product in our production-worthy scaled dryers in our own leading-edge research and development lab can benefit your company? We have manufactured coolers to help companies develop new products such as wood composite, airbag propellant, rocket fuel, algae-derived oils and others. Our test engineers can help determine best processes and equipment for your team. Call us today at 800-735-3163.

Reducing Costs and Harmful Emissions with Green Drying

Reducing Costs and Harmful Emissions with Green Drying

Some rotary dryer manufacturers specialize in green drying by incorporating low energy and ecological features into their designs. Such eco-friendly measures can significantly reduce the operating expenses of processing industry businesses. Using clean steam rather than products of combustion, steam tube dryers are one of the most ecological drying technologies.

Steam tube dryers are indirect-heat dryers utilizing the latent heat from clean low-temperature saturated steam rather than hot gases used in fossil fuel-fired combustion systems. This highly efficient heat-transfer design also makes steam tube dryers one of the most thermally efficient drying technologies.

a steam dryer being loaded onto a barge

Pictured Above – Another clean green drying machine, we custom-engineered and built this massive steam tube dryer for processing mass quantities of canola flakes for an oil seeds processor in central Canada.

Higher thermal efficiency means lower fuel consumption and lower operating costs

Many industrial processes now utilize waste heat boilers which are designed to use process waste streams, or biomass, as fuel. What was once a waste stream can now be a low cost environmentally-friendly energy source in a steam tube dryer, which are often used to replace less efficient, higher emission drying processes.

Some steam tube dryer designs use low temperatures which release fewer volatiles from organic compounds than other types of higher temperature, direct heat drying technologies. This eliminates the need for costly thermal oxidizers often required for other drying technologies.

Lower temperature operation also means lower thermal stresses on the equipment and longer intervals between major maintenance requirements. As a premier rotary dryer manufacturer of long-lasting steam tube dryers, some of our steam tube dryers in service today were commissioned over 75 years ago.

an industrial dryer being transported down the river on a barge

Pictured Above – Weighing 610,000 pounds (empty shell weight) and 12’-9” in diameter and 128’ long, our steam tube dryer journeyed to Canada via highways, railways and waterways (as shown here rollin’ on the river).

Louisville Dryer’s steam tube dryers do not use heated air as energy to drive the drying process. Only a very small volume of air is used to carry out the water vapor generated in the drying process of their units. With such a small exhaust volume discharged from their dryers, the size and horsepower requirements of the air handling equipment are normally 80% less than direct-heat dryers. And, in some processes, the small amount of exhaust gas is sent directly to the boiler as combustion air, completely eliminating air emissions.

Turn Waste into Profit

The larger volumes of dryer discharge gas from Louisville Dryer steam tube dryers are used in many industries to convert process waste streams into valuable secondary products.

a steam dryer in transport along a railway

Pictured Above – Our jumbo steam tube dryer custom built for a Canada-based oils seeds processor made part of its journey north via 18-axle trailer and railway.

Some examples include:

The residual spent grains from the fermentation process in both beverage alcohol and ethanol production are dried in steam tube dryers and sold as high nutrient animal feed.

In the manufacture of soda ash, steam tube dryers are used to convert sodium bicarbonate into sodium carbonate – where CO2 is generated, captured in the dryer, and returned to the process to make more feedstock. Direct heat drying technologies would contaminate the valuable CO2 by-product.

Waste paper sludge which for decades had been sent to landfill is now being dried in Louisville Dryer’s steam tube dryers and returned to the boiler as fuel.

View our extensive list of customer products which our steam tube dryers and our other types of drying systems have heated, dried and processed over the years.

replacement dryer being installed by louisville dryer company crew

Pictured Above – Louisville Dryer Company steam tube dryers are frequently selected by distilleries and other grain processors across the country.

SECURE YOUR GREEN DRYING SOLUTION

To learn how your company can benefit from the green technologies of a steam tube dryer, watch our video series here and call our applications engineers today at 800-735-3163.

What value would you assign to a properly designed aggregate processing plant?

What value would you assign to a properly designed aggregate processing plant?

Proper engineering design and equipment reliability are essential to a profitable aggregate processing operation; without which significant downtime and other financial losses are inevitable.

Proper engineering design and equipment reliability are essential to a profitable aggregate processing operation. Just a small interruption in production can affect a company’s bottom line. If your plant is not operational then you are not making money. A primary purpose of your equipment provider and servicer is to get you up and running no matter what brand(s) you are using – a team who are not only experts on their components but also on their competitors’ components. A team who can resolve your problems, alleviate pains, and reduce your company’s operating and maintenance expenses – increasing your R.O.I. Here is an excellent example of how our conscientious solutions team did just that.

Within one month of operation, the company observed the rotary counterflow drum mixer drifting and lunging uphill and downhill. The great force of a unit that is 11 ft. in diameter x 50 ft. long rotating with 250 HP did not just run hard against the thrust rollers (which holds the unit in either the uphill or downhill position), but impacted them hard enough to tear them loose from their hard mounts and even breaking the idlers themselves at times. Within their first 30 days of operation, this failed design caused four of the thrust rollers to rip loose – causing their entire plant to shut down.

In 2005 a major U.S. aggregate processor wanted to consolidate some of their production facilities in the Midwest and decided to go with a large 600 TPH plant. They contracted for a ‘super plant’ with a major manufacturer, who assured the customer that they could supply the plant without any major problems. Yet, appearing to only upsize one of the OEM’s existing models – without executing a thorough engineering study and comprehensive structural design analysis, a string of costly major problems began unfurling.

crew loading a silo onto a barge

Operational damage to thrust rollers, tires and trunnions can often be avoided through proper plant design and precise alignment.

Since the thrust rollers sat at an elevation of 11 ft. in the air, it was very difficult, cumbersome, and concerning safety-wise to get access to them to perform damage repair and component replacement. Plant breakdowns became so predictable that the company was forced to purchase an $80,000 man-lift to provide them with sufficient access to safely change out the broken thrust rollers. Without a better solution on hand, the designated change-out crew had to work hard to reduce the change-out time down from a few days to between four to seven hours that were required to do the removals and replacements.

crew loading a silo onto a barge

An $80,000 manlift had to be purchased to minimize downtime every time the thrust rollers had to be replaced. Although nice to have onsite for maintenance, that was a painful and avoidable expense.

The repetitive scenario for their multiple emergency breakdowns required calling the mobile changeout team, positioning the tools and equipment, and waiting for plant components to cool down to a safe temperature. Meanwhile, as the plant remained idle and the silos stood empty, a queue of hauling trucks would line up for blocks – waiting for their orders to be filled. Imagine the disappointment, frustration, stress and dread this repeated scenario caused the plant operators and owners!

crew loading a silo onto a barge

Unscheduled plant downtime from breakdowns is expensive for plant owners and negatively impact their customers, including material haulers lined up, waiting, and delayed from performing their jobs.

Within the first two years of operation, the company called on the OEM to provide support and some warranty consideration to help lessen their financial losses. The OEM did not honor the request and indicated they would consider looking into the equipment problems as a paid service. Upon looking into the problems, they were unable to fix the root cause of the issues. The operating company was simply told they needed to learn how to operate the plant in a better manner per the written guidelines and ensure that the tires and trunnions were aligned properly. The OEM themselves could not do what they were asking the customer to do.

Throughout the next 10 years, the company experienced nothing but trouble from the OEM’s 11’ x 50’ dryer. During that time, 28 thrust rollers were sheared off, multiple tire-rigging bolts broke, numerous discharge sweep end-rings wore or broke off, and they never truly had operational control of the drum.

Hoping to remedy the situation, the company purchased new heavier duty trunnions, bearing assemblies and trunnion bases from another source, but that didn’t solve their problems. In fact, the problem became more severe. Their next step was to bring in an independent company to diagnose and resolved the issues. But that company failed to get the drum under control. Meanwhile damaged thrust rollers continued to pile up in the scrap yard behind the plant.

crew loading a silo onto a barge

Unbelievable damage to thrust rollers, trunnions and tires can result from improper design. In the poorly designed system revealed in this article, 28 thrust rollers had been torn off from the uphill and downhill thrust of its dryer.

After several attempts to remedy the situation, enduring breakdowns for nine years, the company engaged us at Louisville Dryer Company (LDC) to assess and resolve their drum control problems. Following our initial onsite inspection and measurements of the relevant components, we dispatched a field team of engineers and technicians to observe the problematic dryer in operation. Following several days of inspecting, measuring, and testing, our team came to some dramatic conclusions.

Our solutions team observed that when the rotary dryer heated up and expanded, the supporting base and unitary frame heated up at a different rate. Sean Kyser, LDC Project Engineer, reports that “there was a significant difference between static non-loaded conditions vs. dynamic loaded conditions. This system had a built-in problem of deflection because it allowed movement of the trunnion and base. Thus, the dryer did not have a solid operational base of carrier roll trunnions, framework and thrust rollers.”

It was revealed that the OEM had not had this 600TPH design aggregate dryer system back when they had originally agreed to supply it. They basically had only upscaled the motor horsepower and trunnion size – without upgrading the frame, base support and thrust rollers. Such a quick manufacturing approach ignored fundamental engineering practices. Our team further determined that the OEM’s drum frame had no gusset support or enough trunnion cross-beaming to support the weight of the drum – especially when loaded.

We engineered optimal solutions and submitted our recommendations to the customer. The suggested remedy was to stabilize the dryer by constructing a monolithic concrete pier under both trunnion base assemblies. By building a foundation directly under the load-bearing of the trunnions, this method would eliminate all deflection and vibration in both the trunnion base supports and the dryer main axle beam. The customer agreed with the solution and the project was set into motion.

crew loading a silo onto a barge

To stabilize the dryer, the Louisville Dryer field service team constructed monolithic concrete piers beneath the trunnions.

The customer also engaged us to build a completely new replacement rotary dryer and separate bases to be isolated on concrete foundations. The foundations were installed and adjusted to the thousandths for stability and parallel alignment with the tires.

crew loading a silo onto a barge

Louisville Dryer Company provided the new replacement rotary dryer.

Ed Stump, Sr. Installer with Louisville Dryer, oversaw the change-out and commissioning of the new replacement shell while Steve Smith, LDC Sr. Field Technician, was on-site to optically align and record the elevations and slope. They oversaw the concrete pouring and inspected the grout for new piers on which to mount the trunnion bases. By transferring all the load from the drum directly into the pier, the defection and vibration was eliminated. Further accelerated trunnion and tire wear was avoided, and the recurring thrust roller/idler damage and expensive replacement problems were solved.

After everything was aligned and the trunnions set, start-up was a success. Ever since the repair/replacement solution was provided in early 2017, the drum has produced mix flawlessly and under control. The trunnion drive motor amps dropped, and stack temps are the best they have ever been. Major pains were alleviated, the owner/operator’s investment was recovered.

The Louisville Dryer replacement drum has processed over 3 million tons – with virtually no maintenance needed (other than replacing worn flight clips, which cost less than $3,000 for parts and labor). And, they’ve never had to adjust the trunnions once since our solution was implemented over five years ago. The plant superintendent reported that, “No one touches the adjustment of that dryer except Ed from Louisville Dryer.”

crew loading a silo onto a barge

The aggregate processor is very pleased with the complete solution provided by Louisville Dryer Co.

To say that this customer is pleased is an understatement. Of course, the plant personnel are happy that the sound they hear now is the repetitive reliable rotation of our custom-engineering rotary drum vs. the dreaded impacts from breakdowns including the honking of truck horns, the ringing of cellphones, and the complaints from bosses.

Now the customer has two related decisions:
1. What do they do with the 28 thrust rollers which were ripped loose?
2. Should they sell the man-lift? (Operators like having it for other maintenances.)

While their return on investment cannot be calculated accurately, imagine breaking off a thrust roller with five empty silos, trucks and paving crews standing by on a 6,000-ton day – 28 times!

That situation should never have happened. We at Louisville Dryer Company will do whatever it takes to get you up and running for the long term – at the Lowest Cost Per Revolution.

Furthermore, our pleased customer reports incredibly positive results from their chain supplied by Hotmix Parts & Service. To date, the plant has processed over 4.5 million tons using that same chain!

Louisville Dryer Delivers The Lowest Cost per Revolution

Louisville Dryer Delivers The Lowest Cost per Revolution

5 Proven Ways + 3 Examples

As defined by our customers (global manufacturing companies, process and reliability engineers and maintenance teams), successful outcomes of our custom engineering process are system installations that are:

      • On-Time
      • On-Budget
      • For Decades of Reliable and Precise Performance with Minimal Maintenance.

Over 5,000 rotary drying system installations and hundreds of repeat customers have used Louisville Dryer equipment as a core to their business operations. With that proven experience, following are:

Examples of Outstanding Dryer Longevity

1. Your Process Dictates our Technology:

Whether your application requires New Rotary Dryers, Replacement Drums/Shells, or other Rotary Products, our engineering teams expertly design, build and install entire solutions – including dryers surpassing 140 feet in length, 20 feet in diameter, and 200 tons in weight.
crew loading a silo onto a barge

2. Your Service Requirements Drive our Mechanical Design:

We routinely bring operational needs from concepts to design to production – considering your production requirements and process parameters, material characteristics, site and environmental conditions, and so much more.

steam tube dryer standard steam chest

3. Your Products are Thoroughly Tested in our Testing Lab:

When our customers request our advice on the most effective processing solutions for their specific application, we implement pilot scale testing in our own in-house lab to assess their material performances and outcomes with live test data and analysis.

man performing a quality check on a piece of fabrication

4. Your Equipment is Custom Manufactured in our own ASME-accredited Facilities:

Louisville Dryers are fabricated by our expert craftsmen who build dryers every day. Each dryer has a highly specific written inspection and test plan and quality control assessments. What makes a very large piece of rotating equipment reliable is not only the structural integrity of its design, but the precision with which it is fabricated and assembled.

louisville dryer company crew standing in front of an industrial dryer

5. We provide Professional Field Installation and Commissioning Support:

Our professional rotary equipment installation technicians ensure that each Louisville Dryer is properly delivered, assembled, aligned, and secured on its foundations. The service and maintenance life of any piece of rotary equipment is not based solely on the design and quality of the equipment – but also on the precision in which each component is installed, aligned and performance-tested, and on the thoroughness of the operational and preventative maintenance training provided to your team.

industrial dryer installation in progress
engineers inspecting an industrial dryer

Examples of Outstanding Dryer Longevity

As you can see, it is no surprise that the individuals and companies operating these units are extremely pleased with the results from our dryer systems which operate campaigns, often for months and even years with minimal maintenance or issues.

Success Stories about the dryer longevity our clients have enjoyed:

1. One owner-operator processed highly abrasive materials. We reengineered their system’s components to extend the life from a few months up to years. As one measure, we installed abrasion-resistant cast flighting and chrome carbide liners inside their unit to achieve exceptional performance and longevity.

flighting inside an industrial dryer component

2. As another demonstration of success, a large chemical processing company requested that we perform an extensive FEA (finite element analysis) of a rotary unit which they needed to operate under full load for a five-year period without shut down for maintenance.

tubes running into an industrial steam tube dryer

3. As another example, in recent years a company asked Louisville Dryer to evaluate the potential replacement of rotary dryer units in their processing plant. Their units had been operating dependably for decades and decades. Yet this was a complex project as their building had been constructed around the units, plus there was a river on one side of the building.

replacement dryer being installed by louisville dryer company crew

Louisville Dryer was pleased to assist the customer change-out their units with new shells, drives and bases. And it was not surprising that they selected new Louisville Dryer units since their original/legacy units had also been manufactured and installed by Louisville Dryer – in 1943 – providing over 70 years of reliable operation!

Longevity in Motion

Louisville Dryer custom engineered systems routinely deliver what our customers need and expect:

On-Time, On-Budget, for Decades of Reliable Precision Performance with minimal maintenance.

We provide The Lowest Cost per Revolution for Your Team. Contact us today to learn how.

Alloy-based Rotary Dryers

Alloy-based Rotary Dryers

When prospective customers engage us to provide them with a customized material processing solution, they inquire, “With what materials are your rotary dryer shells manufactured?”

Our Sr. Application Engineers indicate to them that we have built thousands of rotary dryer shells using select metals from the full spectrum of carbon steels, stainless steels and alloys. Yet our recommended dryer shell design for your specific application will be primarily informed by your material’s specifications, your processing criteria, and your production goals. Each Louisville Dryer is custom-engineered and fabricated for your specific purpose.

For industries that process materials with exacting requirements (including distilleries, corn wet milling, wood processing, activated carbon and petrochemical), many common elements of our dryer design recommendations relate to temperature tolerance, pressure resistance, oxidation and corrosion resistance. For these extreme environments of high pressures, temperature and/or corrosivity, rotary dryers fabricated using alloy materials are well-suited for such tough service.

Rotary dryers fabricated with the wrong materials for your specific application can result in excessive wear, damaging corrosion and premature failure – all resulting in very expensive operational downtime.

Watch the following three video segments to learn more from our Application Engineering Team about our alloy-based rotary dryers:

What are your rotary dryers made of?
Which industries need rotary dryers built with alloys?

Learn which alloys Louisville Dryer Co. uses in their custom-built dryers and components, and which industries use them– including distilleries, corn wet milling, wood processing, activated carbon, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food and others. See some examples of steam tube dryers that we have fabricated using various alloys.

Why would a customer need an alloy-built rotary dryer?
Which materials and processes would benefit from them?

In this segment, Louisville Dryer Co. identifies various applications requiring alloy-based rotary dryers – including considerations of chemical reactiveness (corrosion and wear from acidic or basic environments), potential contamination of the processing material by the dryer, and high-temperature tolerance.

What are some of the challenges when manufacturing rotary dryers with alloys?
And what production protocols and quality control measures do you employ to ensure the integrity of these alloys?

 

Hear from Louisville Dryer Co. about some of the challenges and QC protocols implemented when building rotary dryers with alloy materials – including our positive material identification tests, specific welding procedures to maintain alloy integrity, and diligent segregation of the alloy from carbon steel.

As you can see, Louisville Dryer Co. application engineers and dryer craftsmen have the industry knowledge, technical expertise, and proven experience to fashion a custom solution with The Lowest Cost per Revolution for your team.

Call or email us today to get one step closer to solving your processing challenges and achieving your production and business goals.