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Ferrari Granulati measures up with Malvern

26 August 2008

Ferrari Granulati has purchased a number of real-time particle size analysers from Malvern instruments to minimise energy use when controlling particle size. It is necessary for the Verona, Italy based company to tightly control particle size of the fine powders that are used in paper, plastics and building industries.

Malvern Insitec on-line particle size analyser installed at Ferrari Granulati
Malvern Insitec on-line particle size analyser installed at Ferrari Granulati

Micronized calcium carbonate, with average particle size in the range of 3 – 8 microns, is produced in a novel STM vertical roller mill, which has a range of unique features. The product is continuously monitored using an Insitec on-line particle size analyser from Malvern. This provided essential data for design, commissioning and optimisation. The mill is fully automated and extremely responsive, allowing the company to produce to order. There is no waste or re-work and energy consumption is around half that of a conventional ball mill.

‘Development of the mill was a major investment for us in terms of both time and money. We recognised from the start that to truly optimise design and operation we would need continuous particle size measurement, and the Insitec seemed the ideal choice. We particularly liked the fact that it was a robust process instrument rather than a modified lab analyser,’ said Alberto Ferrari, production manager, Ferrari Granulati. “The Insitec is consistently reliable and problem-free and has provided us with the data needed to ensure the success of this project,’ he added.

A Parsum in-line probe, also supplied by Malvern, is used upstream to control the amount of fines in a coarser, 100 – 400 micron material produced by sieving. An automated control loop varies feed to the sieve stack to keep the level of fines at an acceptable level. This loop maintains product specification during fluctuations in humidity, which have a dramatic impact on process performance. Ferrari Granulati is therefore able to avoid pre-drying the feed, saving between 10 to 15 per cent of the production cost. Automated control also maximises unit throughput. The ability to compensate for the effects of humidity fluctuations has led to a rise in throughput of between 20 and 30 per cent during the most humid winter months.


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