Sonic is often asked to help analyze and justify the Sonolator Homogenizer systems we manufacture for our clients in the toiletries or home care industry. An example of this is the case of the Automatic Dish Gel application.
Our Automatic Dish Gel customer reported that their current process involved the following: The entire process took 8 hours from compounding, heating, blending, cooling and pump-out to storage. The batch tank was 15,000 gallons and yielded 15,000 gallons of finished product.
Sonic Corporation proposed a tri-feed Sonolator in-line homogenizer system. The formulation was adjusted so that 50% of the water in the formula could be essentially removed from the tank and metered separately. Using the 15,000 gallon tank as a premix tank for the compounded materials (concentrate phase), a second stream for a major ingredient from storage and as mentioned 50% water from source the batch size with Sonolation grew from 15,000 gallons to 60,000 gallons of finished product. Remember, no new tanks were added.
Additionally, Sonolation is able to leverage the heating and cooling process by heating only the ingredients such as oils and waxes that are necessary. This resulted in heating savings because only a portion of the entire batch was now being heated to process temperature. Keeping only the concentrate phase hot while metering the major ingredient and water at ambient temperature resulted in elimination of cooling time and cost.
The Sonolator was sized to operate at 60 gallons per minute (GPM) and at that rate the new larger batch size of 60,000 gallons would take 4 hours to process from compounding to storage. Of course, this system could very easily have been sized to operate at 100 GPM, which would have resulted in even more efficiencies.
Auto Dish Gel Case Study Unit Analysis with Sonolation
8 hours to 4 hours w/ Sonolator = 50% reduction
- 75 fl. oz. container retail $2.73
- 35% retail mark-up -$0.96
- 60% gross profit -$1.06
- COGS for 3 fl. oz. container $0.71
- Approximate labor cost $0.21
- Labor savings per 75 fl. oz. unit $0.10
(Assumes cost of labor at 30% of COGS)
15,000 gallons per batch to 60,000 gallons per batch w/ Sonolator
- Single shift production = 2,080 hours per year
- Before Sonolator (traditional batch method):
15,000 gal. per batch @ 260 batches per year (8 hours per batch) = 6,656,000 units/yr
- After Sonolator (semi-continuous):
60,000 gal. per batch @ 130 batches per year (16 hours per batch) =13,312,000 units/yr
- 200% improvement in yield Note:Assumes a 60 GPM Sonolator unit. Moving to 100 GPM provides another 40% improvement. ROI on Sonolator would be 6-12 months depending on unit flow rate and number of units produced in first year.
P&ID for Similar Sonolator System:
Every customer and every application is different that is why Sonic Corporation custom builds every unit. An effort is made to capture efficiencies while improving product quality and consistency. Of course, not every application yields such dramatic improvements, but many of our clients do realize significant process improvements. Significant enough that return on investment is often measured in months rather than years.
Have you improved your process efficiencies? Let us know how and leave a comment!