You are on page 1of 17

EDEM: A Solution for Particle

Handling and Processing Problems

Chris Riley
DEM Solutions Ltd

Summary
The majority of industrial processes manipulate particles
Engineering simulation is proven to be effective in
improving design, shortening development cycles and
streamlining troubleshooting
Our company brings engineering simulation to particle
processes

The Particle Problem.


Over 70% of industrial processes involve particles BUT
The majority of particle handling and processing operations
are empirically designed
Measurement and control is difficult and costly.
Simulation-based design now possible for particle systems

EDEM - Solving problems in:


Bulk Materials Handling

Bulk Handling Equipment


Design and operational challenges
Maximising throughput
Risk of spillage and blockage
Excessive wear of equipment leading to higher replacement
costs and longer system downtime

Dealing with variation in design and operating requirements


Usually bespoke system designs
Bulk material behaviour usually varies with type, origin and
environment

Testing prototypes and troubleshooting problems


Costly to build and test designs and explore design options
Difficult to measure material-equipment interactions
5

Case Study Conveyor Transfer


Challenge
To win a design contract, our
customer needed to
demonstrate that they would
meet their customers
requirements to balance
throughput, wear and
operational cycle

Swinging chute transfer to


secondary conveyor

Case study conveyor transfer


Design Objectives
Centre material on conveyor belts
Match belt speed and flow rate onto
belt to minimise wear of the belt
Prevent excessive wear of the chute
Estimate safety limits for blockage
due to change in material properties

Left chute

Right chute

Case study - Conveyor transfer


Belt wear

Chute wear

Outcomes

Contract won and EDEM software then used to produce an optimised


design with a high level of confidence in its performance in the field.
Installed system performs to specification

EDEM Solving problems in:


Bulk Solids Processing

Bulk solids processing


Design and operational challenges
Higher process efficiency (often only 60-70% for particle
processes)

Difficult to understand particulate process fundamentals


Need to reduce energy cost and waste

Improving product quality and consistency


Want better control, reduce product variability and defects
Continuous production most profitable but highest risk

Dealing with different raw materials and formulations


Costly to optimise process operating conditions
Troubleshooting out-of-spec process costs time and money
10

Case Study Astec Inc.


Challenge
To improve the reliability
and robustness of
Astecs flagship Double
Barrel Hot Mix Asphalt
Drum Mixer.
Better handling of different
feedstocks would
increase market share
and reduce expensive
warranty claims and
post-sales engineering
support.

Astecs Double Barrel HMA Drum Mixer


Aggregate
rock in

Liquid asphalt
cement in

Mixing paddles

Mixed asphalt out


Asphalt out

Ideal mixing means each


rock particle is fully coated
with liquid asphalt cement
Mixing is a function of
residence time and unique
particle contacts

Simulation Objectives
Identify modes of poor mixing
Identify potential size segregation
Virtually test new paddle designs and configurations

Results
Outcome
Better mixing at high throughput
New system for virtually testing
sensitivity to variations in
feedstock
Better understanding of why their
design is effective
Astec now have a tool for improving
the design and performance of a
flagship product

Case study Tablet coater


Challenge
To maximise the rate of coating of
tablets in a Drum Coater while
minimising the incidence of tablet
breakage
Damage to tablets resulting in
rejection of whole batches can be
very costly. Optimising operating
conditions in a batch coaters to
better match the characteristics of
a particular tablet type will greatly
reduce damage and improve
operator control.
14

Case study Tablet coater


Simulation Objectives
To predict the location
and frequency of impact
forces on tablets.
residence time of tablets
in the region of the spray.

Force acting on tablets

Original
design

New
design

15

More stable
tablet circulation
means better
coating

Outcome
Coating process optimized
New tool for process design and
improving coater mixer design

Expertise in particle simulation


Development of new
techniques for industrial
application of particle simulation
using DEM
1995
2000

Collaboration with
early industrial
adopters of EDEM
2005

DEM Solutions
founded in 2002

USA

Germany

Singapore

2008

2010

EDEM 2.1

10+ years R&D in DEM technology

UK

Launch of
EDEM 1.0

Launch of
EDEM 2.0

Offices
Channel Partners

Leaders in particle simulation for


industry
Providing software and support
services for particle simulation
Worldwide channel partner network

Summary
The majority of industrial processes manipulate particles
Engineering simulation is proven to be effective in
improving design, shortening development cycles and
streamlining troubleshooting
Our company brings engineering simulation to particle
processes