Case Study: La Pastora Sugar Mill by Opto 22

Integrator IAC Implements Opto 22-based Automation System at Venezuelan SugarMill—Facility Realizes Big Cost Savings via Water Recirculation and Power Generation

10/03/2006


Integrator IAC Implements Opto 22-based Automation System at Venezuelan Sugar Mill—Facility Realizes Big Cost Savings via Water Recirculation and Power Generation

Lara, in the central west coast region of Venezuela, is one of 23 states into which the country is divided. Famous for its abundant grazing land and fertile soil, Lara is a commercial center that ships cattle and grows and exports sisal, coffee, cocoa, and sugar.

In sugar processing, the natural sugar stored in cane stalk or beet root is separated from the rest of the plant material. For sugar cane, this is accomplished by pressing the cane to extract the juice, boiling the juice until it begins to thicken and sugar begins to crystallize, and then spinning the crystals in a centrifuge to remove the syrup. The resulting raw sugar is then shipped to a refinery where it is washed and filtered to remove any remaining non-sugar ingredients, and then dried and packaged as refined sugar.

Of the many sugar mills in Lara, La Pastora sets itself apart not only by its superior sugar processing operations, but also because it uses the by-products of this processing for power generation, thus helping to keep the mill itself up and running.

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