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Usina Coruripe Plant Campo Florido Unit

Usina Coruripe was founded nearly 100 years ago in Brazil, the world’s leading sugar-producing country. In the company’s factories, which produce sugar and ethanol, valve positioner failures sometimes occurred. Fortunately, Usina Coruripe found a high-quality and highly reliable positioner that can be used with all manufacturers’ valves, and with valves of various specifications. As a result, plant operation has stabilized, repair costs are down, and the burden on workers has lessened.

Failure of valve positioners used in sugar and ethanol production presented a problem

Brazil is the world’s largest sugar-producing country. It has strong economic ties with Japan, with many Japanese companies doing business in Brazil. Usina Coruripe was founded in 1925 in the city of Coruripe on the southern coast of state of Alagoas in Brazil. As it expanded its sugar production business, Usina Coruripe also began producing ethanol from sugarcane for use as automobile fuel, and is now one of the 10 largest companies in Brazil in sugar and ethanol production. In addition, the company generates power from biomass, an eco-friendly energy source, mainly for running its own plants.

One of the company’s main plants, the Campo Florido Unit, can process 4.4 million tons of sugarcane annually. The produced sugar is sold not only to domestic and overseas markets, but also under Coruripe’s own brand, which is distributed mainly for household use in Minas Gerais, Alagoas, and other states.

The Campo Florido Unit’s sugar and ethanol production processes include fermentation, processing of the remaining material after stripping and crushing sugarcane, drying, evaporating, crystallization, and refining. In the past, the positioners that controlled the valves for various processes often malfunctioned, with a high probability that repair would be needed. Usina Coruripe has a number of factories with similar production processes at various domestic locations, so the challenges it faced affected the entire company.

“Every time we had a breakdown, we had to shut down the plant, lowering its availability factor. So we tested positioners from multiple manufacturers to find a cost-effective product with fewer failures,” says Electricity and Automation Maintenance Coordinator Wilson Angelo de Menezes Junior.

Household sugar sold as the company’s own product

Household sugar sold as the company’s own product

These case studies were published in the 2020 No.2 issue of the azbil Group's corporate magazine, azbil.