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Liquid batching systems

Liquid Batching Systems

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.

Visit ChemIndustrial Blending Systems to learn more about our blending system capabilities.

Simple batching systems

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.

Adding instrumentation

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.

More demanding batching requirements

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 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.

Batching system questionnaire

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.