Q&A with Stan Pala on 2021 AOCS AGM & Expo
Highlighting presentations from the Processing Division, plus a sneak peak of Solex’s booth
The 2021 American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS) AGM & Expo doesn’t officially kick off until May 3, but Solex Thermal Science is giving delegates an advanced sneak peek of what’s in store at this year’s signature event.
Solex will be among a select cohort of industry leaders represented in a new online exhibit hall format that offers participants first-hand insights into technological advances, process improvements and more. Visitors will have access to videos, magazine articles, brochures and even the opportunity to connect one-on-one with subject matter experts from around the world.
In addition to being on hand as an exhibitor, Solex will also be heavily involved in this year’s exciting slate of technical sessions. Stan Pala, Global Sales Director of Oilseeds at Solex, will be co-chairing a series of presentations within AOCS’ Processing Division.
We recently caught up with Pala to get his insights into this year’s program, as well as get a behind-the-scenes look at Solex’s booth.
Q: Describe your role(s) at this year’s AGM & Expo?
“First, I’ll be co-chairing one of the technical sessions for AOCS’ Processing Division with Bryan Yeh, president and CEO of American Biodiesel Community Fuels. The session, titled Best Practices and Guidelines for Plant and Product Personnel – Including Public and Customer Communication, consists of six presentations that will cover everything from the manufacturing of organic oils and meal to improvements in the use of silica technology in edible oil refining processes.
“Second, I’ll be representing Solex within the new online exhibit hall. I’m really excited about this one because it’s a fresh way to interact with delegates, share what we’ve been up to with our indirect heat exchange technology and really show how our solutions can help solve problems that many plant operators face every day.”
Q: What should delegates expect from the session you’re co-chairing?
“Our goal is to present the audience with interesting topics that are innovative but also practical – to the point it might help them to troubleshoot some of the issues they are facing today. The food industry is rapidly evolving, with a sharp focus on wellbeing, sustainability and quality. These presentations capture progress in these respective areas, as well as share best practices across the entire industry.
“One interesting thing to note is this session is new this year after feedback from the 2020 event. And that’s because the implementation of new technologies or safety or even more sustainable processes is something that can sometimes be overlooked. So yes, ‘best practices’ is very broad, but it’s also very practical.”
Q: What’s one takeaway you hope delegates leave with after visiting Solex’s booth?
“That in addition to pre-heating, Solex now offers a full conditioning solution for many different types of oilseeds. Why is this exciting? First because the highly dense heat transfer area within our Vertical Plate Conditioners (VPC) — combined with the unique design of each plate that makes it suitable for low velocity flow of water within recovery loops — allows operators to recover available low-grade energy. This plays a significant role in reducing plants’ overall energy consumption.
“But second, the vertical plate design of VPCs also offers opportunity to debottleneck current operations with the intention to increase capacity. Our plate technology offers about twice as much heat transfer area in the same volume, compared with traditional conditioning heat exchangers using horizontal tube arrangements.”
Q: What’s on the horizon for Solex in oilseeds?
“That’s a real interesting question. If you look back at the last 10 to 15 years, Solex has established itself as a standard solution within an industry that is now focusing on more sustainable and energy-efficient production processes. For what we’ve traditionally specialized in – that being pre-heating materials such as canola and rapeseed – we’re in 80 to 90% of large-scale installations worldwide. That’s a remarkable accomplishment in such a short period of time.
“Moving forward, we’re looking forward to increasing exposure to our conditioning technology, which took a giant leap forward last year. It primarily meets oilseed processors’ conditioning needs, including cold, hot and warm dehulling-type processes. We have also noticed increased interest in the heating or cooling of meal for further processing. Oilseeds meal is a valuable source of protein, not only for the animal's diet but also for specialty food for humans.”
To learn more about how Solex uses indirect heat transfer technology in oilseeds processing, visit our virtual booth at the 2021 AOCS AGM & Expo, which will include demonstration videos, product handouts and more. Or contact a member of the Solex team.
Stan Pala, Global Sales Director
For nearly a decade, Stan has played an integral role in championing Solex’s efforts within the world’s oilseeds market. Initially focused on canola applications in Canada, he moved to Europe in 2016 where he led the company’s expansion into applications such as rapeseed and sunflower. As global director of oilseeds, Stan is now focused on applying indirect plate heat transfer technology to new regions, as well as developing more robust conditioning, cooling, and heat-recovery solutions throughout the oilseeds processing steps.
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