The Process Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (PEMA) and the Bulk Solids Innovation Center (BSIC) at Kansas State University announced the establishment of a partnership. “PEMA members will have access to unique educational, consulting and testing services through this partnership,” explained PEMA President Rod Henricks. “Likewise, PEMA members will be a first line resource for the BSIC when needs arise.”
Opening five years ago, BSIC 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. BSIC’s 12,000 square feet facility includes six laboratory rooms with test bench equipment for measurement and characterization of material properties, while providing additional room for client research projects. BSIC 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 state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation, most of it donated by more than 25 companies, many of which are PEMA members.
The Bulk Solid Center provides essential services to industrial companies, and therefore all of its services are fully operational, even during COVID-19 shutdowns. The following services are available to assist industrial companies.
- 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 – BSIC 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 – BSIC short courses, valued for the combination of theory, practical application, and hands-on learning, and not available at most colleges, will be offered again in-person in 2021. BSIC is launching an online Bulk Solids Academy in November. These online courses will be comprised of 50% lecture and 50% demonstrations on real equipment, with discussion and questions and answers.
PEMA-BSIC Partnership Benefits Industry and the Center
Through this partnership, PEMA 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 BSIC, and independent laboratory, will provide additional credibility for PEMA members, and with permission, PEMA members can use the BSIC name and logo on their websites and in advertising to demonstrate this affiliation.
PEMA members are, and will continue to be, a valued resource for BSIC. BSIC will seek counsel first from PEMA members when it needs help, advice, or equipment to help solve a customer’s specific issue. Additionally, PEMA members will be BSIC’s first source for new equipment for the Center and for course instructors.