Loading of membrane elements in DUCAM project at Avebe

An important milestone has been successfully reached in the DUCAM project of Avebe last month. The 320 membrane elements that belong in the RO installation have been placed by the joint project team of Avebe and Wafilin.

Wafilin has been commissioned by Avebe to work with their operators and collaborators to realize a fireproof, hygienic and functioning filtration-installation in Ter Apelkanaal to process potatoes more energy-saving during their potato-campaign. “Together with the project team we are making sure that the working activities here are performed in a prosperous and time-effective manner” states Thomas Roersma – Project Coordinator.

Cooperation is crucial, and the keyword for this project. Or, as André van der Last – Process Development Engineer at Avebe and member of this key team-, responsible for the UF and RO pilot investigation and the process inside Avebe,  puts it, “I experienced a very pleasant cooperation during the loading of the elements. Piece by piece, these membrane elements were unpacked and loaded, with a lot of forethought and utmost precision. Both the process and in communication went fantastically”.

A grand total of 320 membrane elements were loaded in the modules of the RO installation by 8 workers. “It was an intensive task, but through effective planning along with the Thomas Roersma overseeing the process, we managed to finish the loading in one day”, according to André van der Last. The other 108 membrane modules had been placed before in the UF installation by our partner Westra B.V.

Matthijs Mallee – process technologist at Avebe- and responsible for a smooth transition from trial and testing stages to full production swung by to take a look as well, and indicated that he was satisfied about the cooperation with Wafilin. He states that “I was not very involved in the construction phase, but did join in during the software-development phase, where I saw how the team puts a lot of attention and time in making sure that everything will function accordingly when the system is finished. The thinking process constantly continues; together we brainstorm about how we can anticipate risks such as what we should do when one of the pumps malfunctions. How would that influence the entirety of the process? Wafilin is a partner who is actively involved in the thinking process”.

“Our operators who will be working with the installation, also have a large part in this project. Because of this fact, they have been involved since the beginning.  Fortunate, many positive reactions of this group can be seen now that the installation itself is done. We are still curious to see how the operators will adapt to working with this installation, as it requires a different approach than our previous system.  Through training sessions, education and communication we are trying to make the transition as smooth as possible”, according to Matthijs Mallee. “You are really able to get to know the installation through cold and hot commissioning”, explains André van der Last further one.

This milestone has been reached, and the realization of the project seems to be going well so far. “ It still is quite tensive leading up to seeing how the installation will function after it has gone live, but we have trust that everything will turn out fine”, says André van der Last.

If everything goes according to plan, the testing phase for the installation and its control will start in November. The installation will first be run using water, after which potato-juice will be used. The steps that will be taken afterwards will be detailed to you in an update in our newsletter. You can expect this update over the course of the start of next year.

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