Food processing company eliminates risk of contamination by switching pumps
Looking to eliminate the risk of contamination from its positive displacement (PD) pumps, a leading UK manufacturer of dairy-based ingredients has invested in MasoSine Certa 250 pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG). The company now has a total of 10 Certa pumps in operation, all performing the transfer of soft cultured products like yoghurt, butter, cream and soft cheese.
With high demands from its blue-chip customer base in terms of productivity and quality, there is little margin for unforeseen downtime or product concerns. With this in mind, two years ago the company’s engineering team highlighted an issue with the potential to cause food contamination.
“Our customer had a number of PD pumps on site, and although they performed well and were food-grade rated, there was always the worry of potential contamination from the wear parts of the pump,” explains Watson-Marlow’s Food Sector Specialist, Eddy Smeaton. “As a result, they started looking for a pump that could do the same job, but which could take away the risk.”
By chance, WMFTG was already talking to this customer about a separate dosing pump application, so there was an awareness of the potential of the MasoSine Certa pump.
Unlike traditional pumps with rotors that cut through the fluid, Certa’s sinusoidal rotor gently carries product through the pump to dramatically reduce shear— an important factor when handling dairy-based products. Further advantages delivered by sinusoidal technology include energy efficiency, virtually no pulsation, simplicity, reliability, interchangeable parts and low cost of ownership. Importantly for this company, separation between the wet end and dry end ensures no potential for contamination.
Offering EHEDG (Type EL Class I and EL Aseptic Class I) and 3A certification as standard, MasoSine’s Certa is extremely easy to clean for minimal maintenance and downtime. Cleaner than any lobe or circumferential piston pump, a range of seven Certa pumps is available for flow rates to 99,000 L/h and pressures to 15 bar.
“We were invited to visit and give a demonstration of Certa; the customer could see immediately its simple design and lack of wear parts,” says Mr Smeaton. “With a single shaft and single seal, the drive unit is extremely advantageous to their operation.”
WMFTG provided the company with a trial pump so that the company could assess its suitability for transferring soft cultured products. Duly impressed, a Certa 250 was installed approximately 18 months ago.
The customer has since expanded one of its facilities with the introduction of a new filling machine, for which a Certa 250 was specified. This brings the total number of units in use to 10 Certa 250 pumps, and rising. Each is used for transferring different soft cultured products, either from IBCs to plant or from tanks to plant, or for pushing through pasteurisers. The pumps are also used for blending our ingredients in various viscosities.
In terms of transfer distance, the farthest is 20 metres with a 4 metre head. Flow rate tends to be dictated by other parts of the process.
“Previous PD pumps had always given our customer concern about wear parts, but with the MasoSine Certa this problem is essentially eliminated,” concludes Mr Smeaton. “The customer reports that reliability is excellent and issues such as contamination or leaks are a thing of the past. In addition, issues with suction have been eradicated, while efficiency is improved.”
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