Customer Design: Coalescing Oil and Polishing Filter Housing Platform

Article by Rod Mackay updated April 16, 2010

COP filter housing platform

COP filter housing platform

Here is a clever green design for separating oil from water. The two stage oil separation system was designed by another of our green customers – Douglas Toombs of Maple Leaf Environmental Equipment, based in Brockville, Ontario.

How does the product work?

The two transfer pumps draw oily water from a previous stage in the overall system. It is pumped to the vertical vessel on the right. Oil is skimmed off the top and fed to a waste drum. A secondary vertical vessel on the right repeats the process to remove any remaining oil from water coming from the first vessel. 6 electronically actuated 3-way valves enable the system to reverse direction. Backwashing cleans the coalescing filters. Everything is controlled by the control panel on the right. Cleaner water is output just to the right of the oily water input at the pumps, and oil is output through the small pipe above those.

How did SolidWorks help?

We wanted to minimize the footprint of this platform, while at the same time ensuring that maintenance of the various components of this system would be easy. We also wanted most of the valves to be near or around the control panel. It was really easy to change the routes, and positions of the parts in order to optimize the design. Adding parts into the route is simple. Seeing the product from any angle during the design phase was invaluable, as dozens of changes were made before a prototype was ever built in real life.

What design time or cost savings did you experience with using SolidWorks software?

The design time went from 2 weeks to just 1 week. SolidWorks helped to lower the cost of a prototype by 30% because less mistakes are made during construction.

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.