Established in 1807, Sterling Sugars is one of the oldest and largest sugar mills in Louisiana. In the late 90s, the plant manager at that time began to incorporate utility stainless steel into Sterling Sugars’ maintenance scheme. Being familiar with the product’s advantages, he realized utility stainless could help prolong the life and lower maintenance in specific areas prone to high corrosion and abrasiveness.
After initial success with the product, current manager Luis Acevedo has been strategically incorporating Cromgard into a wide variety of the sugar processing. “Cromgard has helped us become more efficient in many areas and has really helped us lower our maintenance costs,” said Sterling Sugar Manager, Luis Acevedo. “I’ve worked here since 1996 we’re using it throughout plant.”
Sterling Sugars started incorporating Cromgard into areas like the cane tables where other steels simply could not withstand the cane’s highly abrasive and corrosive properties. The table and aprons had used a half-inch plate of carbon steel that needed to be changed every three years. This maintenance was not only expensive, but also time consuming. “We manufactured the tables with 10mm Cromgard in 2001,” said Acevedo, “and as of 2007, we haven’t had to change a plate once. In fact, it looks brand new.” Other areas include the mill housings, which have permanent flanges and a wear plate. Sterling originally used a hard plate on them, starting at 400 Brinnel and ending at 600 Brinnel. This plate wore out after about a year and it was very costly to replace. After switching to Cromgard and applying hard surface rods in areas that wore away, Sterling was able to double the lifespan of the flange, while saving money upfront due to Cromgard’s low cost.
Sterling has used Cromgard in many areas including: a five-foot section of the carrier where it is used around a small housing on the shredder, on the chutes, ash, bagasse, cane and sugar conveyors, cane tables, condensers, clarifiers, scrubbers and tankage. After incorporating Cromgard in most material handling areas, Sterling has also been slowly converting all the company’s tanks to Cromgard, including, molasses, lime, massecuite and syrup tanks. Sterling Sugars is a strong believer in Cromgard—so much so, that each year management analyzes the plant’s efficiency from front to back to determine the areas, equipment or machinery that will yield the best results from utilizing Cromgard.