Filtration process improves vermouth drinks

Inside Process: A food and beverage equipment manufacturer designs and builds rotating dynamic crossflow filter systems to replace traditional vacuum filters.

By Jörg Niermann February 27, 2016

TMCI Padovan, an Italian food and beverage processing equipment manufacturer, uses distributed drives on its Dynamos rotating dynamic crossflow filter systems. These machines feature a calibrated back-pulse system and a new filtration method for the wine and juice industries that allows a low-energy, low-labor, and continuous system for turning pressed wine or fruit juices into clear liquids with optimum results. This method does not require the use of filtration aids. 

Vacuum filter challenge

TMCI Padovan’s customer, a well-known Italian producer of vermouth-fortified wines, needed to replace a traditional vacuum filter, which typically has a low-cycle cleaning requirement that hindered the processes they wanted to perfect. Due to the large volumes processed, a reliable and low-energy machine was required to operate an average of 8 to 10 hours per day, 24/7. TMCI Padovan’s Dynamos filter was identified as a possible solution to the problem, and the customer asked the equipment manufacturer to test the filter system in its production plant. 

Crossflow filtration solution

After successful testing at TMCI Padovan, the customer selected the Dynamos rotating dynamic crossflow filter system equipped with mechatronic drive units from Nord Drivesystems. The customer chose this solution because the flexibility of the system’s software allows operators to select the appropriate operating parameters to ensure product quality. In addition, the compactness and cleanliness of the crossflow filtration system allows hygienic operation and reduces the overall footprint.

Because the Dynamos operates without filtration aids and modifiers, product quality is improved, there is less environmental impact, and less waste. In addition, energy consumption during filtration is decreased compared to conventional models, the process temperature rise is negligible, and the closed system ensures that product oxidation is almost zero-important factors for making great tasting wines and juices. 

Rotary crossflow filter operation

TMCI Padovan’s Dynamos is the first rotating dynamic crossflow filter with a calibrated back-pulse system for evacuating the filtrate. This design has been hailed as one of the most valid technologies for filtering must and wine grounds-and other liquids that have high levels of suspended solids-without filter aids or modifying agents.

The rotation dynamic crossflow filtration system consists of a sealed chamber fed by a peristaltic pump and a series of spinning porous ceramic disks. Spinning membranes are responsible for the filtration instead of a forced liquid flow used in conventional crossflow filtration systems. This low energy consumption process prevents lockups and allows easy cleaning. It also enables long filtration cycles of up to 72 hours without interruptions, with high flow rates between 25 l/m2h to 50 l/m2h with lees. The available models are compact, easy to operate, and are supplied with filtration membranes with total surface areas between 1 m2 and 80 m2 and multiples thereof.

The filtered product can be bottled directly as is the norm with traditional crossflow filters. However, the absence of red color reduction and the low oxygen absorption make the process especially interesting to the industry. 

Maximizing mechatronics

TMCI Padovan can develop and produce the Dynamos filter system competitively due in part to the selected mechatronic drive units. Depending on the size, each model contains several parallel shaft-geared motors. As they rotate the filtration disks, their number varies as a function of the number of disk-holding shafts; one machine can hold from one to 16 shafts. In addition, the machines have one or two tanks for the product, and each tank has four drives, each of which includes a motor-mounted decentralized frequency inverter. The sensorless inverters ensure tight speed control and maintain the high quality process. The drive speed is adjusted through the machine’s programmable logic controller (PLC) via fieldbus communications. Finally, a separate motor drives the circulation pump.

The aforementioned distributed inverters are available as models either for installation close to the motor or integrated within the motor. In addition to offering an overload capacity of 200%, the distributed inverters can be placed close to the application for compact and efficient operation with less wiring than conventional panel-mount solutions. Relative or absolute positional values can be controlled by binary values from the PLC entered through the inverter’s inputs and stored in the drive. As an alternative, they can be set through a choice of fieldbus systems. Position feedback can be provided through incremental encoders with the standard level of supply including an onboard reference function for this purpose, or it is possible to directly set positional values with an absolute encoder via CANopen. For the alternative control options, configuration requires only few parameters for commissioning and optimization.

Various features of the drive products contributed to the successful implementation of the filtration machines. The high rotation accuracy directly influences the quality of the system’s overall performance. The energy saving function adjusts consumption to a fraction of the rated power during partial-load operation. Their compactness makes mounting the distributed drives particularly easy. The local storage of programming data on removable EEPROM facilitates commissioning. In addition, the optional matching of safety standards such as EN 61508, SIL3 was fundamental to this application.

The ability to communicate with the PLC through fieldbus specified by the customer using a single node for multiple users resulted in cost savings by allowing the drives to interface with the CANopen-based fieldbus. A smaller main control cabinet and simplified machine commissioning, which were results of using decentralized geared motors and separate motors, saved further costs.

Other features include the configuration options that are available through the distributed inverters. The customer was able make use of simple solutions for addressing the distributed nodes and benefitted from the status LEDs and the diagnostics that can be read via EIA-232 both on inverters and on distributed nodes. [onlinebyline]

Jörg Niermann is marketing manager at Nord Drivesystems in Bargteheide, Germany. Edited by Jack Smith, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

More advice

Key concepts

  • A customer of an equipment manufacturer needed a rotating dynamic crossflow filter system.
  • The equipment builder tested a possible solution in its plant.
  • The customer selected the Dynamos rotating dynamic crossflow filter system equipped with mechatronic drive units.

Consider this

Understand the requirements of the process or application before selecting system components.