Working together to deliver the best possible membrane filtration systems

Membranes are essential elements of a membrane filtration system. Wafilin Systems collaborates with membrane supplier Berghof Membranes regularly and to their satisfaction. Both companies are based out of the WaterCampus in Leeuwarden and are committed to creating optimal solutions for their customers. One recent collaboration involved Avebe’s DUCAM project in Ter Apelkanaal. When Avebe requested a similar installation in Dallmin – Germany, they joined forces once more.

Robust membrane filtration systems for Avebe

“The DUCAM installation at Avebe in Ter Apelkanaal produces potato fruit juice concentrate through membrane filtration,” relates Eric van der Wal, who, as the technical sales engineer, was closely involved in the project. Avebe’s Dallmin site also processes potatoes, just as in Ter Apelkanaal. Following the Ter Apelkanaal project’s successful conclusion, Avebe requested an analogous filtration system in Dallmin – Germany. This resulted in Wafilin Systems’ delivery of a similar filtration installation with membranes supplied by Berghof Membranes. When Wafilin Systems explored applications between 2015 and 2018, Berghof Membranes’ tubular membranes proved the most suitable choice. These membranes can handle robust applications and ‘turbid’ process flows. In combination with our smart process, using this type of membrane means there is little risk of clogging due to fibres in the potato juice.

Not simply copying the existing design

Before constructing the installation in Dallmin, we went through all the steps of our Full-circle once more. First, we used on-site testing to determine the system design’s process parameters. “The Dallmin job appeared to involve the same product and underlying principle as Ter Apelkanaal, making it possible that a simple copy of that installation would be sufficient,” says Eric van der Wal. “Still, we wanted to check whether the same membranes and configuration were suitable for the processing of potato fruit juice in Dallmin.” That proved not to be the case: while the choice of membranes remained identical, the Dallmin system’s design is slightly different. “Wafilin Systems employs a Full-circle approach in all our projects. We rely on Berghof Membranes’ expertise and products at several points in our Full-circle: for advice on what membranes to use in the pilot tests, to provide the membranes and to guarantee them after delivery,” says Eric van der Wal.

Transporting modules to Germany

The Dutch designs for the main and supporting components were created to be as modular as possible. The units contained all the necessary wiring and instrumentation and were easily transported to Germany, along with Berghof’s membranes. All that remains to be done in Germany is for the customer to supply the required utilities to be prepared for starting up in the summer. One of our Masters in Membrains will also be on site to provide support and check the installation before the commissioning.

Step-by-step commissioning

Eric van der Wal: “After placing and assembling the installation, the next step is to test the software functionality. In accordance with a predetermined, step-by-step plan, we check that the system is functioning as designed.” We start with a test that doesn’t actually involve the membranes to locate any software errors first. Sometimes such errors are easily fixed, but not always. “That there are no immediate explanations is what I enjoy most about working with technology,” shares Eric van der Wal. Once the installation is functioning properly, the membrane modules are added and it’s time for the factory commissioning. This is always an exciting moment: the successful delivery of a system that runs according to our design criteria.

Continued supportive involvement

As a membrane filtration system is an essential component of factory operations, it is vital to ensure the system’s continued proper functioning. For this reason, many companies with such elaborate systems opt to make use of after-sales services such as tech support, training courses, the provision of spare parts and preventive maintenance. We offer these services in partnership with Berghof Membranes.

Want to learn more about our Full-circle approach? Curious about Berghof Membranes’ tubular membranes? Contact Eric van der Wal at e.vanderwal@wafilinssytems.nl.

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