Measuring Process Yields Can Impact Your Bottom Line

2-rows-vatsMany chemicals are produced using batch processes.

This basically means that a batch of product is made by adding several ingredients to a reactor, allowing them to mix and react, and then the finished product is taken out of the reactor and put into containers for sale or use.

In an ideal world, you would add a ton of ingredients and output a ton of finished products. Of course we do not live in an ideal world. In most cases the output is less than the sum of the inputs – and there is good reason.

During the process itself, some volatiles may be distilled off, samples are taken to measure how the process is progressing, etc.   At the end of the process, products are often filtered, resulting in additional losses and of course the reactor and connected pipework itself usually has some residual products hung up.

The result is often a 2% or 3% loss during the process itself. It doesn’t sound much, but in high volume products, it soon adds up. When products are highly viscous or sticky, process losses can be even higher.

The Chemvalon team has considerable experience reviewing processes to identify process losses. Mass balance techniques, equipment reviews and process studies will typically normalize over time. In many cases, we find process losses are significantly different from what was originally anticipated when the process was designed.

Process losses are important to understand. If your business is achieving a 10% profit to sales ratio, an unexplained 1% process loss can be equal to 10% of your profit.

Let Chemvalon review your processes to confirm your process losses are in line with industry norms.