'Filter with a different duty'
Having over 26 years of experience within the filtration world plays a big part in the confidence that clients have when approaching Croft Filters for their needs. It also gave one client, AM Technology enough to request a quotation for a non-filtration product after they browsed and were impressed with the products on the Croft website. Under normal circumstances Croft wouldn/t normally have any involvement with non-filtration products but seeing as they had fabricated something very similar as a filter previously they were happy to help. The component was to be used within the chemical sector as an agitator on a very unique process which AM Technology had designed and patented and now needed a reliable supplier to manufacture them.
Batch reactors with shaft driven mixers have been used for hundreds of years to manufacture industrial chemicals and today over 95% of industrial chemicals (by type) are still made in such systems. Global competition and the demand for greener, safer manufacturing techniques however are driving chemical manufacturers to develop more efficient manufacturing methods. Flow reactors are one of the important areas of development in the search for safer and more efficient chemical manufacturing technology. Unlike their batch reactor counterparts, flow reactors process chemicals continuously and as a result are physically small and in some cases dramatically smaller.
AM Technology are a Cheshire based company and are global leaders in the field of flow reactors and focus on dynamic flow reactors using a patented Coflore mixing technology. Unlike conventional rotating mixers, Coflore mixers use lateral mixing and are designed for use in long tubes. In these systems, the agitators are free moving elements within the reactor tube and movement is generated by vibrating the body of the reactor. This eliminates the need for a shaft drive and mechanical seal. Coflore reactors are now being developed for a wide range of industrial applications within the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries. Agitator elements for Coflore reactors need to meet exacting requirements in terms profile, thickness and rigidity. They also need to be made in exotic materials. Whilst AM Technology have the knowhow to develop the ideal solution in the form of a 3D drawing, turning this into a precision fabricated component requires very specific engineering skills. With their background in filter design, Croft Filters proved to be the ideal partner to make the mixing elements.
These tubes were constructed in the exotic material Hastelloy C276 - which is perforated from sheet form, in this case an unusually thin 0.5mm, with holes to a specific size and pattern. The material was then cut and rolled into tubes and micro plasma welded at the seam. The finished product was then dressed and quality checked and despatched promptly.Managing Director of AM Technology Mr Robert Ashe commented "Flow reactor parts are difficult to make and leave little room for error. Croft took on this job and met our best expectations in terms price, delivery and quality." Neil Burns, Croft Filters Director said "These are the types of jobs that are particularly suitable for Croft Filters Ltd, by manufacturing to exact customer specifications and materials and a quality finish."