Beet yard in Tirlemont
Research and development are two areas in which we work daily at Raffinerie Tirlemontoise. However, these areas go hand in hand with the finding of sustainable solutions for all our stakeholders. This renovated beet yard is one example of this combined working method.
Higher quality of the sugar beets
The new beet yard in Tirlemont was needed because the old system could not guarantee the best quality of our sugar beets once they arrived at the factory. On top of that, the age of the different machines undermined the whole process and the storage of the sugar beets took place via a complicated system. Prior to this renovation the beet yard was designed to receive lots of small vehicles, but times have changed. Nowadays, we have evolved towards other means of transportation and the output of the factories has increased.
So the simplification of the system was necessary. A renovation was thus more than welcome. For this, we took into account some important objectives: meet the actual safety standards, respect the first-in-first-out concept where the oldest sugar beets are treated first, reduce the storage time as much as possible; optimize the quality of the beets, simplify the logistical process in the factory and, last but not least, minimize the noise for the neighborhood.
Preliminary study results in enlightened choice
A lot of points had to be taken into account. Because of this, a preliminary study was indispensable. This study was begun during the campaign 2011-2012 and resulted in a range of tests and design ideas. Therefore, different factories were visited in and outside of Belgium to get an idea of the actual possibilities. In the end, we opted for a system that transports the sugar beets by a water stream into the factory, instead of by a conveyor belt. On top of that we have also changed the placement of the beet yard: further from the neighborhood to minimize the noise.
Safety, a priority throughout the whole process
The Tirlemont factory started its first operations just after the campaign, in February 2012. Old silos were pulled down and these materials were recycled as fundament for the new beet yard. Safety was one of the priorities in this project, for example: additional protective tubes were installed on top of the water canal. Once the beet yard was nearing completion, the second phase of the works could start: the amelioration of the internal logistics. An additional weighing machine will simplify the track for the transporters. And just as with the rest of the operation, safety here was also a priority and clear signalization was thus installed.
Finally, a washing station for the trucks was installed for cleaning the trucks after unloading so that the cleanliness was adhered to at all times during transportation of the pulps. This leads to an optimization of the pulp quality.