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10 Signs It’s Time To Upgrade Your Hydrocarbon Extraction Equipment

Newly built hydrocarbon extraction equipment ensures you’ll get the most out of your botanical plant material.

It’s easy to look at your hydrocarbon extraction equipment and say to yourself, “This machinery works fine. It’s a tad inefficient, but it could be worse, right?” It’s even easier to get stuck in that mindset when you see the price tag associated with new extraction lab equipment. 

For extractors and extraction company CEOs, spending funds wisely is a big part of the job. After all, you are trying to turn a profit in the increasingly crowded botanical extraction industry. But at a certain point, not spending money to replace worn-out or under-performing equipment is financially irresponsible.

Old equipment slows progress. Machinery that’s past its prime often needs more maintenance than new equipment. And forget about reliability, scalability, and versatility. Those terms don’t belong anywhere near outdated extraction equipment.

But how do you know when it’s time for an extractor upgrade? In this blog, we’ll cover 10 signs that scream, “Replace your equipment!”

1. Your Equipment Has Become Inefficient

The need to streamline your botanical extraction process is the main reason to replace your equipment. Old-school extraction machines are basically dinosaurs in the modern botanical industry. When the industry was just getting started, extractors were built as standalone machines, without any of the ancillary equipment needed for the greater extraction process; managers would have to purchase expensive chillers or heaters in order to perform a hydrocarbon extraction and end up with a commercially viable botanical concentrate.

Today’s modern extraction equipment solves that problem. For example, botanical lab equipment from Illuminated Extractors constitutes a complete system designed to eliminate the need for pricey heaters and chillers. When you replace many machines with a single streamlined machine, you can increase efficiency and your product output. 

That means no matter the volume of your output or the size of your operation, equipment from Illuminated Extractors could be the anchor of your extraction facility.

2. Your Extraction Operation Is Growing

The greater extraction industry is rapidly expanding, with extract market size projected to skyrocket to more than $42 billion by 2030. That’s a lot of green! 

With industry numbers that optimistic, there’s a good chance your botanical extraction operation could see a rapid expansion sooner than later. Upgrading your extraction equipment now will keep you ahead of the competition—competition that will only grow more fierce and sophisticated in the coming years. 

Fully upgraded extraction equipment will help your company grow within your region and even expand nationally. This will give you a strong foothold in your immediate marketplace and set you up to offer products to a greater pool of consumers.

3. You Need a Better Filtration System

The main purpose of any botanical extraction is to remove impurities from biomass. This scientific process should leave you with a highly concentrated substance that contains only the beneficial compounds hidden deep within the plant material. If any impurities remain in the concentrate following extraction, consumers will leave your product on the store shelf.

Old extraction equipment is often saddled with weak filtration systems, which are not reliable enough to remove all the carotenoids, heavy metals, pesticides, waxes, and other undesirable contaminants. Proper filtration is crucial to producing high-quality, pure, and safe botanical extracts for products such as oils, balms, and all other types of concentrates. This level of filtration is only possible with upgraded extraction equipment. 

4. You Want To Process Wet or Dry Material on the Same Machine

Not all extraction equipment is created equal. What’s more, not all plant material is created equal. Some extractors only want to work with wet biomass. Others are more interested in processing dry material. But many extractors want the option to choose wet or dry, depending on the quality of the biomass.

Upgraded extraction equipment allows you to process wet or dry plant material on the same machine. For example, The Manticore Four-Column Extractor from Illuminated Extractors gives you the power of choice. This versatile piece of heavy-duty equipment is capable of processing wet or dry material, transforming it into all types of concentrate—from shatter to diamonds and more.

5. You Want To Expand Your Product Line of Concentrates

Speaking of “all types of concentrates,” there’s no reason to limit the array of products you send into the marketplace when you work with an upgraded extraction system. The latest in botanical extraction technology opens the door to a wider range of product possibilities, including:

  • Wax
  • Budder
  • Shatter
  • Diamonds
  • Sauces
  • Distillate-Ready Oils
  • Crumble
  • Sap
  • Live Resin

This brings us to one of the main benefits of hydrocarbon extraction. Using hydrogen solvents—butane or propane—is far less limiting than other extraction techniques. That is because hydrocarbon extraction is capable of producing just about any type of extracted substance. 

6. You Need Non-Stop Operation Ability

Whenever you have to stop your extraction machine, it halts progress, stops product from moving down the assembly line, and creates a gap in your final product output. Outdated extraction equipment needs more maintenance than new equipment; parts need to be cleaned more often and others need to be replaced entirely. These inconvenient shutdowns are not conducive to a smoothly running operation. 

Updated botanical extraction equipment operates non-stop for as long as you need it to process plant material. Newer machines offer a level of “set-it-and-forget-it” reliability that is only possible with the technological advancements of modern construction. For its part, Illuminated Extractors produces turnkey extraction solutions. Once unpacked and installed, it can work without any interruptions.

7. Your Current Extraction Machine Has Safety Risks

The safety of your extraction team members is priority number one. Older equipment is often riddled with safety risks. Upgraded extraction equipment adheres to a litany of safety certifications. 

Some of the most common extraction equipment and extraction lab certifications include:

  • ISO 9001: The International Standard for Organization (ISO) provides requirements for an organization’s quality management system (QMS). There are many different levels of ISO certification, but ISO 9001 is among the best-known standards. When an extraction facility has an ISO 9001 certification, it means the organization, its products, and services all meet quality standards. 
  • UL Certified to ANSI/CAN/UL/ULC 1389: The most recently published standard for safety in plant oil extraction equipment, ANSI/CAN/UL/ULC 1389 covers equipment for installation and use in both hazardous locations and non-hazardous (ordinary) locations. 
  • UL Listed Components: A UL Listed Components certification validates that product and equipment components meet durability expectations and compliance requirements.
  • PSI (Pressure Safety Inspectors): Peer reviews by a certified professional engineer—such as those at PSI—are a requirement of all primary extraction equipment. 
  • ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers): Developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), this regulates the design, manufacture, installation, and inspection of pressure vessels. It is the universally accepted set of safety standards for such equipment. 
  • C1D1 (Class 1 Division 1) and C1D2 (Class 1 Division 2): These are the designations given to any laboratory setting that’s considered a hazardous area due to the risk of fire or injury. C1D1/C1D2 compliance refers to the safety standards for these areas as designated by the National Fire Protection Association’s Publication 70 and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

8. Your Concentrate Products Are Not Consistent

Consumers want to know exactly what they are purchasing, and they want to be assured that they are getting the same level of quality with every purchase. Inconsistent botanical extracts turn off potential customers and send them running to the competition. 

When you produce concentrates that vary in the amount of detectable compounds—or that keep displaying signs of contaminants—chances are your equipment needs to be upgraded. Deploying new equipment increases consistency in purity, cleanliness, and potency. Relying on old equipment only guarantees inconsistency and an overall low-quality final product. 

9. You Want to Eliminate Bottlenecks in Your Extraction Facility

In any laboratory workflow, there’s the potential for bottlenecks to limit efficiency and seriously disrupt product throughput and output. As mentioned earlier in this article, older equipment is great at one thing: creating bottlenecks. This occurs when machines need to be constantly cleaned and calibrated during the extraction process. 

Upgrading your extraction equipment prevents bottlenecks and gives your extraction efforts and your production line room to breathe. One example of a bottleneck-eliminating extraction machine is The Behemoth XL R800 Series from Illuminated Extractors. This beast of a machine is purpose-built to extract high volumes of product without any breakdowns, downtime, or bottlenecks. 

10. Your Extraction Operation Requires Ongoing Consulting

Even seasoned extractors with plenty of experience might need consulting services to strengthen their operation. If you have a lab facility outfitted with outdated equipment, you’re missing a vital cog in the extraction business. 

Equipment manufacturers and installers often offer consulting services that can provide industry expertise, as well as preventive maintenance measures. With expert consultation a phone call or email away, you can stave off breakdown repairs, bolster system performance, and even open the possibility to custom fabrication. But it’s only an option when you employ upgraded, modern extraction equipment.

Illuminated Extractors provides innovative and intuitive solutions for large-scale hydrocarbon extraction. We create hydrocarbon extraction systems, build the machinery, and offer game-changing consulting services. Let’s connect!

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It’s time to start your extraction journey with Illuminated Extractors.