Genuine parts stop leakage and product loss at soybean oil refinery

At the Shalimar Nutrients soybean oil refinery, genuine Alfa Laval Service Kits stopped leakage and product loss through the cooling water, thereby improving yield.

DATE 2023-11-28
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Shalimar Nutrients Private Limited, a leading soybean oil manufacturer in India, experienced leakage in the separators used in the cooling water circuits of its degumming, neutralizing and washing processes.

After inspecting the units, Alfa Laval discovered non-genuine seals and o-rings were causing the leakage as well as significant product losses. The solution? Using genuine Alfa Laval parts instead of the local supplier’s parts to prevent leakage and ensure no loss of soybean oil through the cooling water.


Established in 2014, the Shalimar Nutrients plant in Maharashtra, India, processes soybean seeds to produce soya de-oiled cake and crude oil. The crude oil is then refined into soybean oil for domestic consumption. The company installed two Alfa Laval disk stack separators SRG 610 (with one in standby mode) and one Alfa Laval disk stack separator VO 10 to process the cooling water used in its degumming, neutralizing and washing processes before sending the water to the treatment plant.


No more leakage or product loss

For Shalimar Nutrients, seeing is believing. After two years of using cheaper replacement parts from local suppliers, the company’s technical manager agreed to let Alfa Laval conduct tests to compare the performance of non-genuine replacement parts with Alfa Laval seals and o-rings. The company bought an Alfa Laval Service Kit and an Alfa Laval service engineer installed the kit free of charge on one of the three separators in use.

During the test, the non-genuine parts caused leakage and visible product loss in the samples taken from the cooling water outlet as was the case when used in daily operations. Switching to genuine Alfa Laval parts put an immediate stop to leakage and product loss. Using Alfa Laval parts, there was no leakage and the cooling water sample taken from the outlet was completely clear, with no traces of soybean oil.

“The tests showed that looks can be deceiving. Visually the o-rings from the local supplier looked the same as the Alfa Laval ones, but the quality was not same,” says Mr. Ramhari Gaikwad, Shalimar Nutrients’ technical manager.  

After seeing the test results, Mr. Gaikwad ordered Alfa Laval Service Kits for the other separators and replaced the local parts with Alfa Laval parts. Shalimar Nutrients now stocks one Alfa Laval Service Kit for each Alfa Laval separator on site. Once a service kit is used, the company immediately places an order for another.


Value for money

Shalimar Nutrients believes the investment in Alfa Laval parts is worthwhile. When using the local manufacturer parts, Shalimar Nutrients frequently replaced seals and o-rings after leakage occurred.

“After a month, the local supplier’s o-rings hardened, got brittle and caused leakage and product loss. We would replace them but leakage soon occurred again,” Mr. Ramhari Gaikwad. “Despite the higher cost of the Alfa Laval parts, we know that the service life of these seals and o-rings is much better than the cheaper seals and o-rings from local suppliers.

We change Alfa Laval parts once a year, according to the scheduled maintenance intervals.”

Mr. Gaikwad also notes that, while it is difficult to quantify the annual product loss when using non-genuine parts, he believes it was substantial. What’s more, the use of genuine Alfa Laval parts contributes to increased product yield.


Solid, long-term  partnership

From the start, Shalimar Nutrients has considered  Alfa Laval to be a trusted partner. Alfa Laval installed and commissioned the Alfa Laval disk stack separators SRG and VO 10 in 2014.

“We get regular support from Alfa Laval team,” says Mr. Gaikwad. “We are happy with the Alfa Laval team.”

According to Mr. Gaikwad, the performance of the Alfa Laval VO 10 separator delivers exceptional performance. The disk stack separator features the latest advances in materials, mechanical design and fluid dynamics for continuous degumming, neutralizing, and washing of vegetable oil.

To me, the VO 10 centrifuge Is the best one that Alfa Laval ever invented,” says Mr. Gaikwad. “It is maintenance- free, runs very smoothly and delivers trouble-free operation.”


Peace of mind

Total peace of mind is the main advantage of using genuine Alfa Laval spare parts for Shalimar Nutrient.

“I know that I can rely on genuine Alfa Laval parts to last much longer than parts from local suppliers,” Mr. Gaikward says. “I know that operations will be safe, reliable and trouble free.”

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Mr. Ramhari Gaikwad, technical manager, Shalimar Nutrients:

I know that I can rely on genuine Alfa Laval parts to last much longer than parts from local suppliers.



VO Separator


Optimizing the edible oil process

Refining crude oil into edible oil requires deep process knowledge—from degumming, neutralization and dewaxing to bleaching, deodorizing and GE and 3-MCPD mitigation.

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