For its new wastewater treatment plant, mushroom processor Prochamp was looking for a way of conveying sludge concentrate to a container at an angle of 40 degrees. Their regular screw conveyor supplier was not able to guarantee that a screw conveyor could do this. Van Beek Schroeftransport took up this challenge with both hands. “We do in fact have a lot of experience with similar situations in previous projects “, explains sales engineer Peter Verhoeven from Van Beek.
“It was our first project with Van Beek”, says Gerard Verhoeven, project manager at Prochamp. But Van Beek was an old acquaintance of his. Gerard had in fact done at internship with Van Beek in the past. “I therefore knew very well what I could expect and it therefore came as no surprise that our cooperation was excellent. The screws are now in operation and our problem has been solved. It all looks good and is working as we expected.”
All over the world retailers, caterers and the food industry use Prochamp canned mushrooms. The company has the whole production chain in house, from the preparation of compost to mushroom growing and marketing canned mushrooms. This is all done in and around Velddriel.
Expansion of Prochamp due to growing demand
Because of the rising demand Prochamp decided to extend the plant and to build a new wastewater treatment plant. When treating this wastewater a lot of sludge is produced. A decanter centrifuge splits the sludge into sludge concentrate and waste water, after which the sludge concentrate ends up in a container.
Thinking about the design together
“The building that now houses the treatment plant has little space for transport from the decanter to the container. We were involved in thinking about the concept and design “, says Peter Verhoeven.
A working group from different companies looked at how they could best solve this. “Another screw constructor dropped out because the screw would have to elevate the sludge concentrate at an angle. That company could not guarantee this would work, but our experience led me to believe this was possible “, says Peter Verhoeven.
Experience shows us that it can be done
“Such cases always involve a customised solution “, explains Peter Verhoeven. “Because of experience in the past you know what is or is not possible. I then look back to previous similar projects and check whether we had problems here. It is also important that you ask the end user the right questions, so you are not faced with any surprises. Sometimes we conclude that we cannot in fact help, but that was certainly not the case here.”
The improved process
A system set-up with three screw conveyors now carries the sludge concentrate to the container. A horizontal screw collects the sludge concentrate and carries it to an inclined screw conveyor that conveys it upwards. The concentrate disappears into the container via a horizontal screw downstream. Finally trucks take away the containers of sludge concentrate.