Hardox knives cut costs and time
Efficiency in the Mexican Ingenio de Atencingo sugar plant has been boosted thanks to its new process knives made of Hardox 500, a wear resistant steel produced by SSAB.
When shortening the tough sugar cane before it is mashed in a huge mill, the sugar plant’s knives must both slice through the fiber-rich cane stalk and resist the acid-like sugar juice.
Ingenio de Atencingo switched its knife steel to Hardox 500, making its knife blades last three times as long as the ones before.
“The Hardox steel in the knives helps us to slash maintenance time,” says Plant Manager Metrobio Garcia. “Being able to avoid unnecessary downtime is really vital for us. Not only are the blades lasting longer, but the end result is better, too.”
“The knife blades last three times as long”
Reduced downtime also cuts personnel costs, an important part of the company’s efficiency program that has been intensified due to the economic crisis. The company is now looking into letting SSAB study other stages of the refining process, including its harvesting machines.