In fluid processing, "batching" refers to the accumulation of controlled quantities of one or more process materials ("ingredients") into one or more vessels to satisfy a specific batch specification (the "recipe"). By its nature, batching is a non-continuous operation.
Batching is often contrasted with "blending". Blending
is the in-line combination of two or more process fluids into
a single output stream - usually as a continuous operation
in a closed piping system.
Go to ChemIndustrial blending systems to learn more about our blending system capabilities.
- Simple batching systems
- Adding instrumentation
- More demanding batching requirements
- Handling liquid ingredients
- Controller-based batching systems
- Solid Ingredients
- Batch Recipes
- Other batching system elements
- Working with ChemIndustrial
- Blending system questionnaire
ChemIndustrial builds complete batching systems to satisfy a wide range of customer requirements.
The simplest automated batching systems are those where:
- Recipes are straightforward
- Each ingredient is liquid
- Each ingredient represents a significant portion (typically 5% or more) of the whole batch
- Each ingredient moves in strict sequence from its source to a batch tank, building the complete batch one ingredient at a time
- Related operations such as mixing, heating and cooling are simple and well-defined
Where all these conditions are met, ChemIndustrial builds batching systems using simple mechanical devices such as venturis, self-acting pressure controllers and in-line flow control devices. Simple systems like this can satisfy a customer's batching requirements without the need for complex controls. The basic strategy is to design the fluid handling system so it provides uniform flow of each ingredient, then use timers to control the amount of each ingredient entering the batch. Some simple systems like this use existing flow sources to drive injection venturi(s), avoiding the need for additional pumps within the batching system.
These simple systems cannot satisfy every customer's batching requirements, but when they do, they can reduce capital cost. Also, since no powered instruments are needed, these configurations can be applied in explosion-proof installations and other special environments.
Where batching systems using simple mechanical devices and timers are insufficient, we add instrumentation. Typically, this involves basing the control system:
- on volume, by routing every ingredient to the batch tank via an inline flowmeter and using the signal from the flowmeter to inform the controls, or
- on weight, using a single load cell sensor on the batch tank to provide necessary information about the progress of the batching operation.
Our overall objective is to provide the optimal combination of function and cost, so we readily use flow-based instrumentation, weight-based controls and timer controlled additions as appropriate.
Most batching systems have even more complex requirements. Examples handled by ChemIndustrial include:
- Micro ingredients. These are defined as ingredients used in quantities so small that they cannot be reliably measured by batch tank weight instrumentation or by the in-line flow instrumentation used to measure larger batch components. Micro ingredients require quantity sensors having the appropriate measurement accuracy.
- High-rate batching. An intensive operation that requires ingredients to be delivered to the batch tank simultaneously rather than in sequence. High rate batching is often needed to support high-speed packaging lines.
- Multiple recipes
- Multiple batch tanks
- Multiple sources of individual ingredients requiring automatic switch-over
- Rinsing or cleaning pipelines, batch tanks, etc.
ChemIndustrial uses a range of innovative liquid handling methods where necessary to achieve specific batching purposes. Some of these innovative techniques involve controlling centrifugal pumps in proprietary ways to perform volumetric metering tasks that would otherwise require piston or diaphragm pumps. The high reliability and low capital cost of centrifugal pump-based flow metering systems often make these a better choice than positive displacement pumps for the batching systems we design.
When necessary, we add equipment such as pumps, valves, in-line mixing elements and instrumentation items such as load cells, flowmeters and process control computers. Simplicity remains a prime objective, so we are proactive in minimizing complexity even as system requirements become more elaborate.
Many batching systems require the addition of solid ingredients. ChemIndustrial has an array of techniques for incorporating solids into batch runs.
ChemIndustrial builds batching systems as skid-mounted modules. The modules for most batching systems are built in stainless steel frames similar to portable generator frames.
Typically, one batching module handles 1 or 2 ingredients and includes all flow control devices, sensors, valves, pumps and final control elements required to achieve the batching functions for the ingredients assigned to the module.
If the system has more than 2 ingredients, we add more modules. This modular approach allows easy scale-up of batching systems to almost any number of ingredients and recipes at incremental additional cost.
Usually, all modules are installed together as a central batching station. However, our modular approach allows the modular batching skids to be distributed throughout the customer's plant if required.
If the system is controller-based, ChemIndustrial provides an intelligent batch controller on each module, and the multiple batch modules are networked. Oversight controllers can be added to the network for control room or other remote service.
Recipes are generally maintained in a desktop computer and downloaded to the batch control system on an as-needed basis. Report generation involves uploading batch data using the same data link.
ChemIndustrial also configures and supplies the other process elements needed for a complete batching system. We supply ingredient tanks, mix tanks, surge tanks and finished product vessels. We also design and build batch ingredient valve manifolds for the inlet side of batching systems and batch distribution manifolds for the outlet side.
We design special batching configurations to satisfy unusual batching requirements presented by customers for industrial, lab and agricultural projects.
ChemIndustrial's customers avoid the cost and time needed to write detailed equipment and control specifications by allowing us to adapt our technology to specific situations. This reduces project costs and decreases the time needed to quote and accomplish projects.
Since most experts agree that there is little evidence that better systems result from the customer effort spent preparing detailed specs, it makes sense for customers to leverage ChemIndustrial's substantial batching capabilities.
ChemIndustrial applies proprietary batching technologies and equipment to satisfy functional descriptions of customers' desired batching operations. Use the ChemIndustrial batching system questionnaire below to provide us with a functional description of your batching requirements.