Pump breakthroughs in efficiency and ease of use

Paul Boughton

Modern pumps have to be able to perform efficiently and with minimum maintenance while pumping materials that often can be highly valuable and corrosive. Sean Ottewell reports.

Air-operated double diaphragm (AODD) specialist Wilden has launched the new Pro-Flo SHIFT air distribution system (ADS) for use in its Advanced series bolted and Original series clamped AODD pumps.

The company says that the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS represents a significant breakthrough in energy efficiency within the AODD pump category as plants continue to look for ways to reduce air consumption and reduce their carbon footprints. Thanks to its novel design, the patent-pending system allows Wilden AODD pumps to achieve up to a 60 per cent savings in air consumption over all competitive AODD pump technologies, while providing more product yield per standard cubic foot per minute (Fig.1).

"The Pro-Flo SHIFT represents a giant leap forward in the energy efficiency and performance of AODD pumps. The simple design of the ADS doesn't require any additional bolted-on equipment or bulky electronics, allowing operators to keep the same compact footprint," said Chris Distaso, director of engineering for Wilden.

While the Wilden Pro-Flo SHIFT dramatically improves energy efficiency, it also costs 50 per cent less than an electronically actuated ADS, is submersible, and features plug-and-play operation. Its robust design makes it ideal for use in harsh operating environments and includes ATEX compliance for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. It also has fewer operating parts, which equates to less downtime and simple maintenance. With no electronics, its design is well suited for the harsh environments typically found in industrial applications.

Meanwhile Thimonnier, a world leader in the design and manufacture of flexible pouch packaging machines, has integrated MasoSine EC25 pumps from Watson-Marlow Pumps into a new machine designed for packaging béchamel sauce. The pumps successfully convey the sauce to dosing nozzles without mixing or shearing the product.

"The main priority," explains Frédéric Roumanet, design office manager at Thimonnier, which is based near Lyon, France, "was to meet requirements for hygiene and gentle product handling."

MasoSine pumps do not have any valves, and their four chambers are sealed. This makes them ideal for fluids containing fragile pieces or particles, such as sauces and soups. Thimonnier had already contacted Watson-Marlow in the past about an application for the transfer of soup containing pieces and the EcoSine EC25 is now very successful in this type of application. In fact, this machine was supplied to a customer in Finland where it has been operating successfully for over a year.

In light of this positive experience, Roumanet decided to choose a MasoSine pump again, this time for the transfer of béchamel sauce.

"The EcoSine EC25 pump maintains product integrity thanks to its sinusoidal rotor, which does not shear the product," he says.

The rotor in the form of a sine wave creates four moving chambers that gently transport the fluid from the suction side to the discharge side for transfer without any variations in volume. The gate prevents any fluid from passing back from the discharge side of the pump to the suction side. Furthermore, the EcoSine pump is compact and takes up little space, making it ideal for OEM applications.

"Two EC25 pump heads have therefore been integrated into our packaging machine," says Roumanet. "The pump heads gently convey the béchamel sauce to the buses for dosage into the pouches."

"Cleaning-in-place is a priority for this type of packaging machine," he continues. "However, the various ways of positioning the EC25 pumpheads made it possible for us to eliminate any bacteria retention zones."

Maintenance is also straightforward. It takes less than ten minutes to dismantle an EcoSine pump to inspect it or replace a part, thus minimising downtime. The pump can be dismantled in-situ and does not require any special training or skills; a few simple instructions are sufficient (Fig.2).

Sanitary evacuations

Graco has introduced the SaniForce 2:1 piston pump, the newest model in the SaniForce line of FDA-compliant sanitary transfer pumps for product evacuation out of drums and bins.

With its lightweight, durable construction, the SaniForce 2:1 is portable, weighing 24lb (10.8kg) for the standard drum length and 26lb (11.7kg) for the extended length. It fits through a standard bung hole and can be easily mounted utilising the included FDA-compliant bung adaptor.

The pump is capable of transferring low to medium viscosity materials (up to 50,000cps) from drums and totes, including personal care products such as lotions and creams, and food products including syrups, oils and sauces. The SaniForce 2:1 can reach a fluid pressure of 200psi with continuous duty flow rates from 1.5gpm (5.7lpm) at 60cpm, up to 2.5gpm (9.5lpm) at 100cpm.

Graco's complete SaniForce line of products include diaphragm pumps, piston transfer pumps, drum unloaders and bin evacuation systems that are capable of moving a broad range of viscosities - from items such as juice (or materials less than 5000cps) to peanut butter (or materials up to one million cps). All SaniForce models are FDA-compliant and meet CFR Title 21.

The new Busch DS series COBRA vacuum pump range has a 20 per cent smaller footprint than the previous generation, and has superior powder handling capabilities resulting from its novel screw pump design.

These pumps target high capacity load lock and harsh process vacuum for solar applications, as well as flat panel manufacturing applications. Designed to meet the industry's need for the rapid cycling of big chamber pump downs and large volumes of hydrogen during solar cell manufacturing processes, the DS series range meets these pumping requirements in a powerful, cost-effective modular system.

The new models also come with options that address specific harsh process issues and energy saving requirements - up to 30 per cent energy savings are possible, says the company.

Finally Optimec, a manufacturer of soft contact lens measurement instrumentation, required an accurate and effective method of pumping a closed circuit of filtered and temperature controlled saline solution through a soft contact lens measurement instrument wet cell for its TC20i and TSC3 control units.

After a detailed consultation with Optimec, a Verderflex M045 OEM pump was selected. This recommendation was made for the following reasons: the pump's quick and easy tube change ensured simplicity for routine maintenance procedures, allowing for a hygienic and sterile process with minimal downtime; the option to have both 12V and 110V drives ensured a readily available solution meet global demand; the compatibility with external controls allowed Optimec to implement the M045 Pump head within its unit for accurate and effective voltage control, achieving the exact flow required; and the small footprint of the M045 fitted perfectly within the unit for a cost effective and compact solution.

Seal-less pumps ideal for tough process environments

Wanner's Hydra-Cell seal-less chemical pumps are used worldwide by many process companies - for metering, pressure injection, liquid transfer and many other applications. Chemicals can be aggressive, corrosive, abrasive, and non-lubricating - all characteristics that make them difficult to pump. Hydra-Cell chemical pumps are available with a variety of liquid head materials and are compatible with the widest range of chemical fluids

The pumps can handle corrosive, abrasive liquids, non-lubricating liquids and those containing solids, over a wide range of pressures and temperatures. With no dynamic seals or packings, Hydra-Cell chemical pumps can run dry without damage and require minimal maintenance.

According to Wanner, in metering and dosing applications, direct comparison with traditional metering pumps reveals lower costs for acquisition, energy consumption and maintenance, making the Hydra-Cell best in class for life cycle cost. Its compact build, with multiple diaphragms integrated in a single pump head, produces a virtually pulseless flow. Resulting accuracies are better than required by API 675 performance criteria. Often there is no need for pulsation dampeners. The smooth flow also eliminates leaks that could occur in the discharge piping due to pipe strain.

As an example of its use, Hydra-Cell pumps have recently helped a carbon black manufacturer overcome a serious process challenge. The basic process involves spraying petroleum by-products into an incinerator and then removing the carbon black that lines the inside of the vessel. The aggressive manufacturing regime can ruin cups, packing and seals. Hydra-Cell pumps proved the ideal solution for these conditions.

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