Softening Plant Helps Production at PQ Silicas, UK
The water softener which supplied process water for sodium silicate manufacture was becoming aged and unreliable for the plant. It was clearly time for a replacement. Plant Manager, Hedley Long, had two concerns: performance and time. Making any change to a critical process unit is a worry for manufacturing. A new softener would need to produce water of the right quality and not adversely affect the product. It would also need to be installed in a four day window over a weekend; any delays would result in loss of production at a huge daily cost.
Veolia Water Technologies’ solution was an Ionsoft Duplex softener which was large enough to meet PQ’s planned expansion. The softeners would work in parallel providing 100% spare capacity for a continuous supply of softened water.
The project was completed quickly and efficiently, according to programme; the Mobile Water Services plant was not required, but its presence was reassuring. The new softener has performed very well and with a more efficient regeneration regime, PQ achieves annual savings of £2,000 in salt consumption.