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Maximising soap and detergents manufacturing processes with the proper pump

Blackmer’s SNP Series sliding vane pumps deliver the efficiencies required for complex product transfer applications in global soap and detergent operations.

The evolution of soap and detergents has come a long way since the early days when boiled fats, oils and animal ashes were combined to form a useful cleaning product, and when ‘washing’ clothes meant taking them down to the local rivers and beating them against a rock.

The ongoing pace of product innovation requires manufacturers of soap and detergents to be versatile enough to not only products their current products efficiently, but also the ‘next big thing’ that may come to prominence.

The challenge in the production process
The revenues of the global soap and detergents market has increased at a significant CAGR during the years 2015-2019 and projections are made that the market would rise in the next four years i.e. 2020-2024, tremendously. The great increase is due to rapid urbanization, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, surging household spending, growth in middle-class expenditure, accelerating textile industry, etc

There is now an ever wider array of products to meet global demands. For example, the laundry detergent segment has grown to include stain removers, fabric softeners and pre-soaks, while household cleaners now run the gamut from multi-surface cleaners to carpet shampoos to drain openers.

Therefore, an underlying challenge for any large-scale soap and detergents manufacturer is perfecting a production process that can handle a wide variety of raw materials and finished products. At the same time the process will be expected to perform a unique range of loading, unloading, transfer, packaging and filling operations. The evolving nature of the industry also creates challenges. The creation and use of new chemicals along with expensive fragrances, colourings, preservatives and advanced soap formulations keeps product and production R&D at the forefront.

A typical soaps and detergents manufacturing facility will handle hundreds of different raw materials. These raw materials can include many types of natural and synthetic feedstocks, including: animal fats, vegetable oils, fish oils, fatty acids, brines, tallow, glycerine, alkaline solutions, potash, caustic soda, deionised water, surfactants, builders, enzymes, additives, fragrances, brighteners and fillers.

Reaching satisfying process results by selecting the right pumping technology

In order to achieve the desired process results, these materials require a pumping technology that is both sensitive to the physical nature of the materials and provide high levels of efficiency. Sliding vane pumps fulfil these requirements. Developed more than a century ago, sliding vane pumps operate through the use of a number of vanes that slide into and out of slots in the pump rotator when the pump is rotating. The vanes move outward from the rotor and ride against the inner bore of the pump casing, in the process forming pumping chambers. As the rotor revolves, liquid enters the pumping chambers from the suction port. The liquid is transported around the pump casing until it reaches the discharge port where it is forced out into the discharge pipe. This type of design almost eliminates slippage, meaning that the pump’s high volumetric efficiency is maintained.

Because the self-adjusting sliding vanes continuously allow for wear, sliding vane pumps are able to maintain near-original efficiency and capacity throughout their working life. The pump speed also does not need to be increased over time, making sliding vane pumps inherent energy savers. In the event of the sliding vanes wearing out or becoming damaged, replacing them is a simple and quick operation that does not require any special tools.

Sliding vane pumps are used in a great many industries, but it is in the transfer and processing production of synthetic and organic raw materials where they are widely employed. In soap and detergents processing, they are versatile enough to be used throughout the manufacturing process and perform particularly well in the following applications.

The demands placed on soap and detergents manufacturers are many and various: they have to reliably produce the products on which consumers have grown to rely, but also be versatile enough to handle new products or formulations. Significantly, they have to do it in a way that is both environmentally friendly and kind to the company’s bottom line. These many demands can only be met satisfactorily if the manufacturing process includes pumping equipment that delivers the best reliability, versatility and efficiency. Therefore, savvy soap and detergents manufacturers are turning to business partners who can offer a variety of top quality pumping solutions and service back-up.

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