THERE ARE SIX BASIC PROCESSES INVOLVED IN SUGAR MANUFACTURING: EXTRACTION OF SUGAR FROM CANE:
1. Preparation 2. Extraction 3. Clarification 4. Evaporation 5. Crystallization 6. Separation
EXTRACTION OF SUGAR FROM CANE: After the sugar cane has been chopped and shredded at the Cane Yard, this prepared cane then enters the No.1 mill where the first step begins in the extraction of sugar from the cane. There are five individual sets of mill tandems; each made up of four iron rollers. The cane is crushed twice as it passes through each tandem for a total of ten crushes before it leaves the mill house as bagasse. In order to squeeze the maximum juice out of the bagasse, these crushing rollers each weigh 20 tons, and are rotated with hydraulic drives under a minimum pressure of 1,500 pounds per square inch.
It is said that the Mill area is the most critical section of the sugar factory since whatever sugar is not recovered here is lost forever in furnaces of the boilers. This year the pol extraction (sucrose content in the juice) at the Mills improved by over two percentage points as against 2013, which meant an additional 2,000 tons of sugar was recovered from the cane.
For the 2014 crop, a new type of mill roller was installed at the No. 5 mill, called a perforated roll. This roll has over 1,000 holes drilled at the base of the grooves over the surface of the roller for better drainage of the cane juice, which contributed to enhanced sugar extraction and a reduction of bagasse moisture. This new roll performed remarkably well since the quality of bagasse improved significantly.
New models of level sensors were also installed on all the feed troughs, called Donnelly Chutes, which allowed for a continuous and even feed to the mills. Again, these sensors performed satisfactorily and contributed to the improved extraction numbers. This year was an exceptional year at the Mills in terms of performance.