O’Neal Design Provides Opportunity for Increased Throughput
Deliverables: FEL3, Process Modeling, Engineering Design
This client was expanding their Texas manufacturing facility in order to keep pace with the booming global demand for poultry vitamins—a necessary supplement in chicken feed formulated to improve bone strength.
The client’s location, in the heart of the petroleum region, presented a unique challenge when looking for a firm with batch processing expertise, prompting them to look outside the region for the best fit possible. Addressing this key requirement, the client selected O’Neal to evaluate their current process and assess their equipment needs for the expansion. O’Neal started by modeling the chemical synthesis process to identify pinch points, and then manipulated the model in order to debottleneck the process. Next, O’Neal prepared a preliminary engineering package including specifications, process drawings, design documents, pipe specifications, and equipment specs, as well as a budget. As part of this engagement, O’Neal was able to locate suitably sized refurbished equipment for about half the price of new, saving this client $250K!
According to the client’s project manager, O’Neal “was very easy to do business with.” He was very pleased with how O’Neal determined what was important, utilized existing assets, and identified cost-savings. O’Neal also took the initiative to determine how the client could take advantage of newly created efficiencies and reclaim capacity for future projects by identifying obsolete and unnecessary equipment.
Interesting fact: When working with organic synthesis processes, it’s all about containment of dust producing solids and flammable liquids. The presence of these materials provides the constant potential for fire or possible explosion. Therefore all operations must be performed in a closed environment, with proper inerting of the process equipment. O’Neal has special expertise in this area because of its work in solvent based processing and its ability to apply this knowledge across the bio, food, and chemical process industries.