The energy sector continually seeks innovative solutions to maximise efficiency and optimise processes. Anssum, in its unwavering commitment to energy conservation, embarked on an initiative in South Africa that centered on the MgO#2 evaporators. Let’s explore the nuances of this project and its profound implications for energy conservation.

Project Overview

  • Focus Area: Energy
  • Country: South Africa
  • Description: MEE Cleaning
  • Status: Completed
  • Timeline: September 2020 – May 2021

The Challenge

MgO#2 evaporators, crucial for various industrial processes, often necessitate frequent shutdowns for maintenance. These shutdowns can be disruptive and lead to inefficiencies in the overall process. The primary goal was to extend the mean time between these shuts, ensuring smoother operations and heightened efficiency.

The Anssum Strategy

To address this challenge, Anssum conceptualised a two-pronged approach:

  • Development of KPIs: Two Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were created using available equipment. The short-term KPI provides insights into the condition of each of the four effects. This KPI not only aids in immediate decision-making but can also be employed in a closed-loop manner to clean dirtier effects in the evaporator. This is achieved by adjusting the surge tank level set points. The long-term KPI, on the other hand, assists in optimising the cleaning schedule. It helps determine the ideal time to shut the MEEs, factoring in mill conditions.
  • Cleaning Schedule Optimisation: With the help of the long-term KPI, Anssum was able to devise a cleaning schedule that ensures the MEEs are shut at optimal times. This minimises disruptions and ensures maximum efficiency.

Technical Achievements

The MEE Cleaning initiative bore significant fruits:

  • Steam Usage Reduction: A commendable reduction of 7t/hr was achieved.
  • Efficiency Improvement: The overall efficiency of the process was enhanced by 5%.
  • Efficiency Variance Improvement: The efficiency variance saw a marked improvement, with a 13% uptick.


Anssum’s MEE Cleaning project in South Africa stands as a sterling example of the power of innovative solutions in the energy sector. By strategically employing KPIs and optimising cleaning schedules, the initiative not only extended the mean time between shuts for the MgO#2 evaporators but also significantly improved their efficiency.

In the dynamic landscape of energy conservation, such initiatives underscore Anssum’s commitment to pioneering solutions that drive efficiency and sustainability. As we forge ahead, endeavors like these illuminate our path, showcasing the transformative potential of control engineering and process optimisation.