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Visualizing Sieve Analysis Performance and Upgrades and How We Optimized the Test...

 Visualizing Sieve Analysis Performance and Upgrades and How We Optimized the Test Method Using JMP® Software


Jennifer Brown, Lab Technician, The Andersons Marathon Ethanol LLC

Sieve Analysis of corn mash can offer big clues into how fermentation will perform based on the result profile. The test involves a stack of screens with variable whole size of which a substrate is shaken on for a determined amount of time. They are weighed before and after shaking to determine the amount retained on each screen. To achieve accurate results you need good lab methods and practices plus good equipment to ensure the relevance of the test to the results needed. The method being used is the industry standard and has been used by our process team for 3 years. The test was then handed over to the lab to perform on a daily basis. At the onset of this switch, many issues were observed while running the test to which prompted the question – how good is this test? Those observations prompted another question on how good are the results. After a little research into the method and the company that manufactures the equipment, more investigation needed to be done to optimize the method to make it more relevant to our process. A test was conducted to evaluate Screen Age, Sample Size, Run-Time, Pan Set-up and Cleaning method using the percent retained as the response. JMP was used to visually see how distributions for screen age had shifted entirely when old screens were replaced with new screens. It also found sample size coupled with run-time can create completely different result profiles.

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