Optimizing Auger Output
Tarron Ballard, Tim Hunt, Colt Medley
Halliburton contacted Biosystem and Agriculture Design Company (BAD Co.) to develop a solution to an issue that they have experienced with the FB4K Blender. The FB4K Blender uses three sand screws, three dry feeders, and seven liquid additive systems to blend together a variety of proppants and liquids. The specifications of the mixture can be altered to accommodate the job at hand. The three sand screws, which move the proppant into the blender, are the source of the issue that we are faced with. The output experienced by the screws remains linearly proportional to the speed of the screw until it nears its peak RPM. Each screw experiences a decline in output when the operating speed reaches a certain point. We are faced with the task of accounting for this decline in output. To solve the problem, we will first develop an equation that describes the loss of production. This equation is able to be integrated with the FB4K’s operating system to adjust the output of the liquid additive system as the output of the screw conveyors declines. Second, we will propose a new design for the sand screw that will allow a higher range of linear output. It is our goal to provide Halliburton with a solution that can be simply integrated with their current process.
Halliburton has given us permission to review their current designs and test data. We have been asked to improve the accuracy of the data and increase the effective operating range of the design. This will be done by finding an equation that characterizes the auger output past its linear range of operation. Once the accuracy and operating range are satisfactory, we are asked to propose a new design for the screw conveyor system. This new design will be tested to see if the changes make any improvement. Our goal is to design a conveyor system that shows less decline in output than the current design in production.
Scope of Work
The purpose of our project is to determine why Halliburton’s augers on the FB4K Blender have a declining output when operating at high RPMs. We will discover the source of the problem by first analyzing test data that has already been gathered by Halliburton. We will produce an equation that describes the output of the auger at varying RPMs. We will also design and test a prototype that may or may not be capable of being put in to production. Using the provided output versus RPM data that has been provided, we will create a model that simulates the auger’s production. This model will allow us to diagnose what part of the system we will alter to improve the output. We will redesign one or more parts of the auger and build a prototype. Running tests on this prototype will provide data that shows if our new design improves the output. We will then make an equation that describes the output of our new design.