The liquids used in the manufacture of the coatings are described as ‘very searching’ when it comes to their impact on the pumps used throughout the processing stages. Over several years, the brand of AODD pumps which the company employed suffered from leakage through the seals and clamp bands, plus there were problems with diaphragm life times. In 2010 the manufacturer instigated an engineering research project to examine alternative makes of AODD pumps. It was this research that highlighted AxFlow’s Wilden AODD pumps as the best quality product available.
“The previous pumps were simply not lasting and the cost of repair was working out about the same as completely new pumps,” reports Peter Carfrae, Wilden Product Manager. “In effect, the pumps were becoming an expensive consumable. Rather than remove all the existing troublesome pumps in one go, our customer started with a Wilden 1.5-inch aluminium clamp band pump with Wilflex wetted parts for the distribution lines. Having proved its effectiveness we installed further Wilden pumps on the packing and filling lines and on the chemical distribution system.”
The true capabilities of the AODD pump are reflected in the fact that it can be used at every stage of the production cycle, from off-loading raw ingredients from tankers to transporting semi-processed and processed product around the plant to the final stage of the filling line.
Since first being installed none of the pumps at the former plant required anything other than routine maintenance and the pumps lived up to their promise, giving leak-free operation. It was this performance that encouraged the company to specify the pumps for the new production plant where the production capacity was to be increased by more than 75%. To help achieve these targets five 2-inch Wilden aluminium clamp band pumps with Wilflex wetted parts and a similar number of pulsation dampeners to maintain low noise levels in the processing areas were supplied.
“Our customer standardised on a 2-inch pump for the chemical distribution lines and 1.5 -inch pumps for racking and filling,” continues Peter Carfrae. “They have found the Wilden pump to be reliable and economical to run, which is why it was specified it for the new facility.”