BHS-Sonthofen presents laboratory and pilot filter system for tests and small-scale production

Packaging & Labelling

Maximized efficiency and optimized processes: At this year’s ACHEMA (11 to 15 June 2018 in Frankfurt/Main), BHS-Sonthofen will showcase its technological and consulting services for solid-liquid filtration applications.

The south German company not only offers a wide range of different filtration solutions for cake filtration processes.BHS-Sonthofen also comprehensively supports its customers in selecting the most suitable filter technology based on detailed series of tests carried out using its own laboratory and pilot filter systems. Visitors to the BHS stand at booth C 43 in hall 5 can find out for themselves what that actually means. They can expect to see a rotary pressure filter (RPF) as a pilot filter system and an indexing belt filter (BF) as a lab filter system.

Opting for the right technology in solid-liquid filtration plays a key role in increasing efficiency and process optimization in large plants. As a market leader in the field of cake filtration processes, BHS-Sonthofen offers its customers a comprehensive product range. This varies from rotary pressure filters, to indexing belt and rubber belt filters, to candle and pressure plate filters.

“We consider ourselves specialists in solid-liquid filtration, rather than restrict our expertise to just one particular technology,” says Detlef Steidl, Director of Sales, Filtration Technology at BHS-Sonthofen. “The technical process required by the customer determines which respective technology is used. Therefore, we see weighing up different alternatives against each other with the customer as one of our central tasks, before we select the best solution for the specific case, and implement it.”

Laboratory tests and pilot systems are decision-making tools
The filtration experts leave nothing to chance. To fully tap the customer’s efficiency potential, an extensive analysis of the existing processes is carried out at the start of every new project. Potential technological solutions are investigated in laboratory tests and pilot systems. It is only then that a final decision can be made and the appropriate machine can be installed. “This is an essential step in optimizing processes,” says Steidl. “The tests help us to really understand the broader context and to then develop a customized solution for the respective system.”

This is indispensable when switching from batch production to continuous production, for example. “It’s an overall trend that we’ve been seeing with many customers, whether they’re in the pharmaceutical, chemical or food industry, or the nutraceuticals sector,” says Steidl. Then, there are additional industry-specific requirements such as the demand for minimum quantities, or the highest degree of process reliability possible in the pharmaceutical industry. “Here is where we also offer solutions for both batch and continuous processes. Based on our tests, we can determine in both cases which technological solution is best for the customer,” affirms Steidl. “For that reason, we want to emphasize our consultation service at ACHEMA.”

Accordingly, the filter systems shown at the BHS booth (C 43, hall 5) represent two alternative processes: filtration using pressure and filtration using vacuum. The rotary pressure filter to be presented offers continuous filtration of different suspensions in complex production processes. The indexing belt filter which will also be shown in Frankfurt is a continuously operating, horizontal vacuum filter that allows for reliable and gentle separation of sedimentation solids.

Rotary pressure filters from BHS: increased efficiency and significant productivity gains
A great number of process steps occur during a single rotation of the rotary pressure filter drum, such as separating the suspension into filtrate and filter cake, single- or multi-stage cake washing, reslurrying, solvent exchange, steaming, extraction as well as mechanical and thermal cake dewatering. All of these process steps take place in separate, pressure-tight segment zones inside the filter. This also allows the cake to be discharged directly to the surrounding area at atmospheric pressure without the need for separate pressure compensation via pressure locks, for instance. In addition, it enables the precise drainage of filtrates in discrete zones.

In the pharmaceutical industry, the rotary pressure filter is currently being used in the production of antibioticsand medical contrast agents to great success. One antibiotics manufacturer reported a productivity increase of 150 percent thanks to a switch to continuous production and the use of a rotary pressure filter of type RPF P02, with a tangible reduction in active ingredient losses at the same time.

Pilot filters for determining plant engineering needs
BHS will present the RPF P01 at the trade fair, which is both the smallest of its kind and a compact, yet structurally identical version of the tried-and-tested rotary pressure filter. The identical design ensures that the settings are fully scalable to larger production filters at a later stage and thus facilitates the development of large-scale production systems for chemical and pharmaceutical applications or for the food industry. The system allows for optimizing each individual technical process. Moreover, the general operating principle of BHS rotary pressure filters results in an extremely low consumable requirement.

The range of applications for rotary pressure filters from BHS-Sonthofen includes intermediate plastic products, pharmaceutical products, paints, pigments and cellulose products. Single-batch production in pharmaceutical quality is made possible by supporting counter-current washing, displacement washing and closed-cycle washing during the filter cycle. However, rotary pressure filters can also be used in the production of spices, sugar substitutes and extraction processes in the food industry.
Indexing belt filters offer procedural diversityThe indexing belt filter, which will also be on display in its laboratory size at ACHEMA, offers clearly measurable advantages. It is used as a continuously operating, horizontal vacuum filter for separating sedimenting solids from suspensions. The filter cake formed on the conveyor belt can be further processed in many ways. The design facilitates uniform suspension feeding via optimized distribution devices that introduce the solids into the process.

Indexing belt filters from BHS are utilized in a wide range of sectors. They are used in the pharmaceutical industry in the production of antibiotics, natural extracts and hormone derivatives, among other things. Suspensions are processed in closed and inert systems. Furthermore, indexing belt filters can also be found in the production of many minerals and the extraction of biofuels. BHS will present an indexing belt filter of type BF 010-010B at ACHEMA.

Laboratory and pilot filters
BHS-Sonthofen offers laboratory and pilot filters, such as the two systems on display in Frankfurt, for all of its filter systems. They can be both purchased and rented to expand on findings from preliminary tests on a semi-industrial scale on site or to produce small volumes. Outside of systems construction, BHS-Sonthofen supports companies in developing production processes that best match their needs. BHS experts will be available to consult interested parties at ACHEMA.

About BHS-Sonthofen
BHS-Sonthofen is an owner-operated group of companies in the field of machinery and plant engineering based in Sonthofen, Germany. The company offers technical solutions for mechanical process technology, concentrating primarily on mixing, crushing, recycling and filtration. BHS-Sonthofen has a global presence with more than 350 employees and several subsidiaries.

BHS has been specializing in cake filtration for over 60 years. The Filtration Technology Department manufactures filters and filtration systems for mechanical solid/liquid separation using pressure or vacuum filtration.BHS has accumulated a wealth of experience and broad practical knowledge based on a diverse spectrum of realized applications. The focus is on processes in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and plastics industries, oil and gas as well as energy and resource extraction. For further information, please visit: