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Mackay, Australia

Markley J.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Refalo B.,Consolidated Plastics and Epoxy Qld Pty Ltd
33rd Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 2011, ASSCT 2011 | Year: 2011

A SIGNIFICANT source of nutrients for growing sugar cane in all sugar milling regions is derived from filter mud (also known as mill mud). Mill mud is a by-product of the sugar milling process and is considered a rich source of nutrients, in particular nitrogen, phosphorus and calcium. Mackay Sugar (MSL) produces approximately 400 000 tonnes of mill mud per year which is subsequently returned to cane fields in trucks. By elevating the tipper body and using a paddle in the tailgate, these trucks have traditionally distributed the mud in a largely ad hoc manner. The trucks are driven over the field applying mud at a nominal rate of 150 tonnes of wet mud per hectare (t/ha), but in-field measurements show wide variability in application rates. Mackay Sugar had deemed this method of application as unacceptable to their growers and has set about finding alternative solutions to application rates and methods. Mackay Sugar, in association with Reef Catchments Mackay Whitsunday, funded a project that sought to address the issues of mill mud application. Consolidated Plastics and Epoxy Qld Pty Ltd were engaged to design and fabricate the applicators to be fitted onto the back of the existing mud truck fleet. The brief details of the design included: the ability to spread across three rows; the ability to control the rate at differing row spacing; control of the rate to a minimum of 50 tonnes of wet mud per hectare; must not add excessive weight to the back of the truck; and applicators must be able to be fitted onto existing truck bodies and use the existing truck hydraulic components with minimum truck modifications. The resultant applicators have been established and fitted to several trucks applying mud throughout the Mackay Sugar region in 2010. This method of application has delivered the following benefits: mud has been placed in the centre of the plant growth row; no mud is distributed onto the wheel tracks where the ground is more likely to have been compacted and is therefore more prone to water runoff; mud is incorporated into the soil soon after application when planting or tillage occurs; and mud has been distributed over an increased area. This paper describes the design and development of the applicators and details the improvements made from prototype to the current applicator. In association with the improved application method and lower application rates, Mackay Sugar introduced a quota system for the distribution of mill mud from its factories.


Thompson P.,Mackay Sugar Ltd
33rd Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 2011, ASSCT 2011 | Year: 2011

THE CONDITION monitoring department of what is now Mackay Sugar Ltd started in 1997 and currently services three sugar mill sites as well as Sugar Australia's refinery and port operations. Vibration data and infrared thermography surveys are the main work performed during the crush season while non-destructive testing (NDT) predominates during the maintenance season. Specialist inspections are contracted out due to high equipment cost or expertise levels. This paper provides an overview of the history of the Mackay Sugar condition monitoring program along with benefits of a comprehensive in-house service.


Letizia I.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Brown R.,Mackay Sugar Ltd
International Sugar Journal | Year: 2010

Research has shown that the major gains in the reduction of factory downtime come from reliability engineering rather than from just improving maintenance practices. In particular, a focus on defect elimination is essential in order to improve plant reliability and factory uptime. In 2004, Mackay Sugar implemented a Citect Ampla Downtime monitoring system in order to better record and analyse plant downtime. In conjunction with the Asset Management Group (AMG) from Transfield Services, Mackay Sugar also introduced a program of undertaking Root Cause Analysis (RCA) investigations on all major plant failures. The outcomes of the RCA investigations resulted in actions to revise the maintenance strategy or policy for that failure mode or where appropriate, to eliminate the defect by other means such as redesign. This paper describes the issues which were addressed during the roll-out of this initiative. It concludes by discussing the results obtained with factory plant availability through the use of this methodology over the past six seasons.


Lavarack B.P.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Casanovas R.A.,Mackay Sugar Ltd
34th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 2012, ASSCT 2012 | Year: 2012

THIS PAPER REPORTS on both the design and operational aspects of a dissolved air flotation clarifier designed for waste water treatment but applied to the clarification of mixed juice. Preliminary results are given for the dissolved air flotation clarification of mixed juice at both bench top and pilot plant scale. Dissolved air flotation clarification has the benefits of reduced capital cost and simplified operation; however the process is constrained by high temperature requirements. High starch removals are possible when mixed juice is clarified at low temperatures of 60 °C. Sand and other high density particulates in the mixed juice feed are difficult to float and tend to accumulate on the bottom of the flotation clarifier. These require a removal mechanism for the successful operation of the flotation clarifier. Secondary processing of the clarified juice is required to remove protein and other scale-causing impurities for the process to be practical.


Lloyd T.,Mackay Sugar Ltd | Hodgson J.,Mackay Sugar Ltd
Proceedings of the 36th Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, ASSCT 2014 | Year: 2014

MACKAY SUGAR completed a suite of six energy efficiency projects for the 2013 crushing season, following the awarding of a grant from the Commonwealth Clean Technology Food and Foundry Investment Program. All projects were aimed at improving site energy efficiency and installing more efficient bagasse handling facilities to transport surplus bagasse to the Racecourse cogeneration project. This paper focuses on the Marian projects which include the upgrade of Marian #3 boiler, installation of a bagasse out-loading facility and construction of a bagasse storage pad. The Marian #3 boiler upgrade was the major project and this involved the replacement of the boiler flue gas airheater with a large feedwater economiser, a series of hot water air heaters, and the installation of four wet centrifugal dust collectors. This has improved #3 boiler's thermal efficiency to 69.4% and returned the boiler to its original (1978) 209 t/h maximum continuous rating (MCR). These outcomes have resulted in Marian retiring its old inefficient #2 boiler and boosting the supply of surplus bagasse to the Racecourse Cogeneration project, while enabling Marian to easily comply with stack emission limits. The new bagasse out-loading facility at Marian incorporates a feed roller system, which is designed to maximise bagasse truck payloads, reduce loading time and improve dust management.

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