The Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center is entering a strategic partnership with the Process Equipment Manufacturers’ Association, or PEMA, to improve and assist the industry.
Formed in 1960, the association brings together companies that supply equipment and systems that are used by process industries, including but not limited to food, chemical, pharmaceutical, wastewater treatment, paint and coatings, agribusiness, ceramics, metals, plastics, wood, pulp and paper, environmental, building products and mining/minerals.
“We are excited to establish this partnership with PEMA, the most important trade association dedicated to companies who supply bulk solids equipment for industry,” said Todd Smith, business and strategy manager for the Bulk Solids Innovation Center. “The association’s members have supported our center since the outset, and its efforts fully match our goals to improve bulk solids technology and assist industry.”
Opening five years ago, the Bulk Solids Innovation Center, part of the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus in Salina, is the only university facility and staff in North America dedicated to helping industrial companies with education, consulting, testing services and research related to bulk solids.
The center’s 12,000-square-foot facility includes six laboratory rooms with test bench equipment for measurement and characterization of material properties while providing additional room for client research projects. The center features a full-scale bay with a large variety of equipment for testing and studying hopper flow, chutes, conveying, filtering, flow aids, blending, separating and the like. The facility is filled with the latest equipment and instrumentation, most of it donated by more than 25 companies — many of which are Process Equipment Manufacturers’ Association members.
The Bulk Solids Innovation Center provides essential services to industrial companies, including the following:
• Material testing services — Tests are used to evaluate material properties and make recommendations relative to storage, flow, conveying, segregation, mixing, fluidization, air filtration and more. Test examples include flow function, wall friction, particles’ size and shape, moisture analysis and wear/abrasion.
• Full-scale research and consulting projects — The center provides facilities and university staff expertise to help companies troubleshoot material or process issues, conduct trial runs, or plan how to scale-up from the lab or pilot plant.
• Education short courses — These short courses, valued for the combination of theory, practical application and hands-on learning are not available at most colleges. They will be offered again in person in 2021. The Bulk Solids Innovation Center also is launching an online Bulk Solids Academy in November. This online academy will be comprised of 50% lecture and 50% demonstrations on real equipment, with discussion and questions and answers.
Through the partnership with the Bulk Solids Innovation Center, Process Equipment Manufacturers’ Association members will receive discounted education; access to material testing, consulting, advice and troubleshooting; access to equipment testing facilities; a place where customers can do full-scale testing or scale-up of processes; and information on latest technology or trends. Using the resources provided by the, an independent laboratory, will provide additional credibility for PEMA members.
“PEMA members will have access to unique educational, consulting and testing services through this partnership,” said Rod Henricks, PEMA president. “Likewise, PEMA members will be a first-line resource for the Bulk Solids Innovation Center when needs arise.”