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Bokela GmbH

Follow-up with the Alumina Industry

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Follow-up with the Alumina Industry
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In the past decades, Bokela have established themselves as the experts for complex and sophisticated filter systems and technologies.

Filter technology and the alumina industry are closely connected worlds. Bokela takes particular pride in the fact that customers often return with a new request or job, despite the competitiveness of the market. The need for expertise and modern, innovative technology usually tips the scale in favor of the Bokela “filtration people”. After almost a decade with a Bokela filter system, an aluminium refinery called on the experts with a new project.

To the German filtration specialists of Bokela, the alumina industry feels like their home turf. In the past decades, they have established themselves as the experts for complex and sophisticated filter systems and technologies. And yet, alumina has always remained among the industries they deal most frequently with and consequently, constitutes one of the areas they have excessive knowledge in.

What sets them apart is not only their expertise, but the fact that customers are often so satisfied with one product, they tend to return, often after years, to make another purchase — while the old system is still running smoothly. In 2012, an alumina refinery in Europe had successfully installed their first Bokela pan filter, replacing their four old drum filters. With a surface of 43 m², the so-called BoVac Pan steadily manages high throughputs with excellently washed filter cakes and low residual moisture. The innovative design together with the horizontally arranged filter surface ensure clean solids, while at the same time requiring a minimal amount of wash liquid. Additionally, the extreme reliability and low maintenance of the system are important factors which in this particular case become even more pivotal, since the refinery has no redundancy and relies solely on the BoVac Pan for their product filtration.

This first cooperation was characterized by a swift and effortless project management with regard to construction, delivery, implementation and launch of the new filter system. The biggest challenge for the Bokela filtration people was to fit the filter into the very confined space available in the existing surroundings and to integrate it into an already running plant. For the seasoned engineers of Bokela, however, this was a minor hurdle to overcome. As the cooperation was marked by mutual support and a continuing satisfaction with the pan filter, it was a pleasant surprise when the refinery got back in touch for a new project.

“For us, a second or third project with the same customer is always a compliment to our work and a clear sign that we have provided a solid solution that satisfies in every way, conveying our own understanding of efficiency, durability, and reliability,“ says André Egger, Senior Manager Sales, at Bokela. “When this particular customer got back to us with a new request, we knew that the first filter had excelled during the almost eight years since we installed it.“

After long and thorough consideration, the customer decided to extend and modernize its seed filtration. Thus, once again an existing filter – this time a vacuum disc filter – had to be replaced. The throughput was too small and too many solid particles remained in the filtrate. Additionally, the new system also has to reduce the risk of bottlenecks with an overall improved performance. “The challenge with this filter replacement was that the new filter has to manage various feeds from different sources, securely handling these different suspension streams,” Egger explains.

After evaluating the specific needs and specifications in relation to the entire process, Bokela recommended a vacuum disc filter, the BoVac Disc. This type of filter is characterized by an extremely large filter surface, low space requirements and high flexibility due to its adaptability to process fluctuations. With their unique design, these disc filters manage up to 100 percent more throughput than conventional ones. Yet, what customers value even more is something else: “You switch it on and then you’re free to forget about it,” André Egger confirms. BoVac Disc filters can be operated fully automatically and have a high operational reliability while also featuring minimal maintance requirements and costs.

This specially fitted filter has a surface of 132 m² and will now, after having been successfully tested in the workshop, make its way over to its designated destination. “Transport and logistics are naturally challenging, as our filters can be quite massive“, admits Ralf Bruder, Director Project Management. “Yet, we do have a lot of experience to draw on – not only with regard to the development of technolgies, but also with regard to the basics surrounding a successful business partnership with our customers, which of course includes a smooth delivery.“ Once on site, the filter will have to be integrated into the existing processes with as few interruptions and disturbances as possible.

Once the new year has begun, the alumina refinery will be running with two Bokela filters ensuring excellent filtration results, improved efficiency, and outstanding reliability. “With the new BoVac, our customer will no longer have to worry about bottlenecks”, Bruder says. “And who knows, maybe in 10 years, we will launch our third project together.”

Editor: wyynot, Larissa Fritzenschaf

About Bokela

As experts for process filtration, Bokela is an internationally renowned partner and provides exactly the right technology solution to ensure more efficiency, work safety, and environmental compatibility. Bokela researches, develops and constructs at one of the German technology capitals, Karlsruhe. The filter systems are built worldwide on site. Like with a modular kit, individual solutions for each customer are constructed of high-end, sophisticated components. This future-oriented principle rests on the experience and open-mindedness of our Boklea engineers.

Press contact:
wyynot GmbH
Rüppurrer Str. 4
76137 Karlsruhe
T +49 .721 .62 71 007-0
Further material to download

document:  B1903_Alu.docx