The most common type of pilot plant a customer is looking for is a way to prove or upgrade process technology quickly and discretely. They need a solution that doesn’t interrupt current operations, scales-up a new process to a level that has significant outputs, and does it all in the next couple of months.
Pilot plants are the perfect solution to this problem. They can be fabricated off-site, installed as plug-and-play systems, and incorporate production level technologies. We don’t even have to know all the details of a client’s process technology in order to build a working pilot plant. Plus, we can usually build a high-quality solution in a matter of weeks or months, providing fast process scale-up.
Example: An ion exchange pilot plant that we built for an agricultural chemical client. The client never disclosed the proprietary chemical technology to EPIC. Instead, we sat down with the client and we through detailed design parameters. A detailed sequence of operations was developed, and we designed a flexible processing skid around those parameters.
This particular pilot plant was scaling up a lab process to a commercial level. Many of the included components were industrial grade, and there were several sampling points included. Three things were really important to the client:
1. Will pilot plants prove our technology at a commercial level and lend enough data to justify a future production facility?
2. Can we fit the pilot plant into our existing facility, even though we only have a small area available?
3. Can we get the solution in place in the next four months?
EPIC fulfilled all three of these criteria with a modular chemical pilot plant. Extensive design efforts and the ability to layer equipment on a pilot skid allowed EPIC to fit the pilot plant into the small footprint. Careful equipment selection and highly automated controls allowed the clients chemical process to take place in controlled, measurable conditions, proving the technology. Modular design/build allowed for a compressed timeline and fast implementation of the new technology.
Read the full case study on the solution provided by EPIC.
To learn more about specific pilot plants, contact an EPIC engineer today.
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