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Mac Process opens Houston tech center

By: Roger Renstrom

April 5, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 5, 6:30 p.m. ET) — Mac Process Inc. (Booth 7191) has restructured its sales team for the petrochemical and plastics industries, opened a Houston laboratory and applied for a patent on its E-finity continuous dense phase pneumatic convey system.

Mac Process specializes in pneumatic conveying and air filtration systems.

Chris Ison was named Mac Process vice president of pneumatics in November. Nick Giefer became industry director for chemical and general business in February. Rick Pruden was appointed petrochemical account executive in January.

Jay Brown, president and CEO of Mac in Kansas City, Mo., said the moves support a strategy to better serve customers and promote new solutions.

Mac Process invested more than $1 million in phase one of a Houston test center that opened in July as “the most extensive petrochemical pneumatic test center in North America,” Brown said.

The new facility has continuous-dense-phase test equipment with 10-inch lines and 60 tons per hour conveying capacity, multiple pipe distances, a 200-horsepower compressor and a demonstration HP650 high-pressure airlock.

The Houston center provides Mac with a significant market advantage for testing high throughput projects. Neither Coperion Corp. nor Zeppelin Systems USA Inc.—Mac’s principal domestic competitors—has equivalent laboratory in the U.S. and relies on facilities in Germany, said Jan van Bakergem, Mac’s global petrochemical industry director since August 2010.

In addition to the Houston center, Mac Process has a filtration test laboratory in Sabetha, Kansas, and another test lab at its headquarters’ facility in Kansas City.

In early 2011, Mac Process filed for patent protection on the electronics and mechanical controls for the E-finity convey system.

E-finity uses low-velocity dense-phase conveying to eliminate the formation of streamers resulting from scaling on the inside of a pipe and the resulting contamination of the product stream and potential tainting of finished products. High speed of conveying and convey gas heat can cause streamers. The E-finity air velocity of pellets is reduced by 10-20 percent as compared to a typical dilute phase.

An improvement in dust collection appears in Mac’s energy saving compact SpaceSaver-brand device for any environmental application including plastics. The system is up to 75 percent smaller than traditional bag-house collectors and uses one-piece easily maintained cartridges to trap dust, said Jonathan Thorn, director of technology and industry expert.

Mac designed the SpaceSaver woven polyester filters and contracts with a Kentucky firm for their production.

Each SpaceSaver has three filters and uses air micro bursts at 15-second intervals to dislodge dust into a collection bin.

Mac Process makes filters and cyclones with a variety of pulse jet filters for numerous air filtration applications.

Mac Process displays a high-pressure large-capacity HP850 airlock that delivers 8.5 cubic feet per revolution nominal cavities to handle 240,000 pounds of product per hour at pressures up to 60 pounds per inch. The airlock has end plate seals for leakage reduction and low-deflection tight-tolerance valves. Bearings, seals and other components are rated at 250° F or higher. Optional high-temperature versions are available.

Single-sourced engineered systems from Mac Process include about 80 projects for Fortune 500 companies in China, Mexico, the Middle East, the U.S. and Canada. Petrochemical and plastics processor customers with completed Mac projects include Chevron, Sabic, ExxonMobil, Indelpro, Shintech and Berry Plastics.

Schenck Process GmbH of Darmstadt, Germany, acquired Mac Process in February 2011 with its purchase of Clyde Process Solutions plc of Doncaster, England. Mac reports within Schenck’s light-industry business segment.

Units of the light-industry segment provide solutions for polypropylene and polyethylene pellet production; plastics granulating, compounding and PET processing plants; and other chemicals, food and pharmaceutical applications.