Sugar Production Process
SonySugar is one of the largest sugar producers in Kenya, with a sugar production capacity of 60,000 tons per annum. The company's sugar production process involves several stages, including cane offloading, cane preparation, juice extraction, juice clarification, evaporation, sugar crystallization, centrifugal separation, steam generation, and renewable power generation.
Sustainable and environmentally friendly sugar production processes are crucial for the long-term success of SonySugar and the sugarcane industry as a whole. By adopting sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, SonySugar can reduce its environmental impact, improve the quality of its sugar products, and enhance the economic viability of sugarcane farming in the region. Additionally, sustainable and environmentally friendly practices can help SonySugar meet regulatory requirements and enhance its reputation among consumers and stakeholders.
Pre-mills and Mills
Cane preparation is a crucial stage in SonySugar's sugar production process. The process starts with the offloading of sugarcane from the trucks using hydro unloaders. EOT overhead cranes and wheeled loaders are used to stack sugarcane from the trucks into the cane gantry and feeding of sugarcane into the feed tables, they play a vital role in ensuring that sugarcane is safely and efficiently transferred to the processing plant. The Cane chopper leveller is used to cut sugarcane into smaller pieces, making it easier to process in the subsequent stages. The cutter slices the sugarcane into even smaller pieces, which further enhances the efficiency of the process. Finally, the cane fibrizer processes the cane into fibres and open cells enabling efficient extraction of juice from the prepared cane. Each of these pieces of equipment plays a crucial role in the cane preparation stage, and their efficient operation is essential for the success of SonySugar's sugar production process.
After the cane has been prepared, it is conveyed to the cane milling process, which is the next step in sugar production. SonySugar uses a series of mills to extract juice from prepared cane. The mills are designed to crush the prepared cane and extract as much juice as possible. The juice is then collected, screened and taken to the next stage of sugar production process. The dry fibre from prepared cane i.e. bagasse is conveyed to the boiler station and used as fuel in steam generation process.
The mills used by SonySugar are made up of a series of large rollers that are arranged in a specific pattern. The prepared cane is fed through the rollers, which crush it and extract the juice. The rollers are typically made of steel and are designed to withstand the pressure of the crushing process.
Efficient juice extraction is critical to the success of sugar production. The more juice that can be extracted from the prepared cane, the more sugar can be produced. SonySugar understands the importance of efficient juice extraction and has invested heavily in equipment and technology to ensure that they extract as much juice as possible from the cane.
Efficient juice extraction also helps to reduce waste and increase profitability. When more juice is extracted from the prepared cane, there is less waste, and the company can produce more sugar with the same amount of cane. This helps to increase profitability and ensure that SonySugar remains competitive in the sugar industry.
The process house is an essential part of SonySugar's sugar production process. This is where the raw juice extracted from the milling process is further processed to produce sugar. The process house has several stages, including juice clarification, evaporation, crystallization, centrifugal separation and drying.
During clarification stage, impurities are removed from the juice using chemicals such as lime and flocculants. The Clarified juice is then subjected to multiple effect evaporation to reduce its water content to produce syrup. The resulting syrup is transferred to vacuum pans for further boiling to isolate sucrose crystals from water as well as the impurities. The syrup is concentrated at controlled conditions initiating development of sugar crystals from the mother liquor to form massecuite, which is then sent to the crystallizers for further crystal development and exhaustion.
The sugar crystals are then separated from the massecuite using centrifuges. The massecuite is subjected to a cycle of washing to remove any remaining impurities, dried and passed through sugar grader resulting into high-quality granulated sugar for packaging and branding.
SonySugar's sugar processing plant is designed to operate efficiently and effectively, ensuring that the final sugar product meets the required standards. The company is committed to continuously improving its sugar processing facilities and processes to enhance the quality of its sugar products.
In addition to sugar, SonySugar's sugar production process also generates several by-products, including bagasse, boiler ash, filter cake and final molasses.
Bagasse is the fibrous residue that remains after the juice has been extracted from the sugarcane. It is used as fuel at the boilers to generate steam for generation of renewable energy.
Boiler ash is the residue left after bagasse has been burnt in the boilers. It is used as a soil amendment to improve soil fertility.
Filter cake is the residue left after the mud from juice clarifier has been filtered and pressed. It is used as organic fertilizer for sugarcane and other crops.
Final molasses is the mother liquor obtained from the last stage of boiling from which sugar can no longer be recovered economically in the process of Sugar manufacture. It is sold to distillery companies and to farmers for animal feeds. SonySugar has a dedicated team that is responsible for ensuring that the molasses produced during sugar production is of the highest quality and that it is processed and sold in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
Importance of Organic Fertilizer from Bi-Products
Organic fertilizer is an essential component of sustainable agriculture. It improves soil fertility, promotes healthy plant growth, and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. SonySugar's use of filter cake as organic fertilizer is not only environmentally friendly but also cost-effective. It helps to reduce the company's reliance on chemical fertilizers and contributes to sustainable sugarcane farming. Additionally, the use of organic fertilizer helps to reduce soil erosion and promotes soil conservation, which is important for long-term agricultural productivity.
Quality assurance is essential in ensuring that the sugar produced meets the set quality standards. SonySugar has put in place an ISO Quality Management System (QMS 9001) that ensures that all the sugar produced meets the set quality standards. The ISO QMS 9001 provides guidelines on how to manage and improve quality in all aspects of production, including procurement, processing, storage, and distribution. SonySugar has also implemented an ISO Environmental Management System (EMS 14001) that guides its operations towards being environmentally responsible. Additionally, SonySugar has implemented Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) policies to ensure that the safety and health of workers are protected.
SonySugar is committed to ensuring that its operations do not harm the environment. The company is guided by the ISO Environmental Management System (EMS 14001), which provides guidelines on how to minimize the impact of its operations on the environment. SonySugar has also implemented sustainable practices in its operations, such as using bagasse to generate renewable energy and producing organic fertilizer from bi-products.
SonySugar has also put in place measures to manage solid waste and liquid waste from its operations. The company has a dedicated waste management team that ensures that waste is disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Solid waste is recycled or disposed of in a landfill, while liquid waste is treated in the effluent treatment plant before being discharged into the environment.
SonySugar operates a tree nursery that produces various types of trees, including indigenous and exotic species. The tree nursery aims to promote reforestation and afforestation in the community. SonySugar donates tree seedlings to farmers during World Environmental Day celebrations, which is an initiative aimed at promoting environmental conservation.
SonySugar participates in World Environmental Day celebrations through tree planting activities. The company partners with various institutions and stakeholders to plant trees in the community. Tree planting helps to reduce the carbon footprint of the company and promotes environmental conservation.