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Pumps’ Performance Ratio Optimized Through Air Distribution

May 15, 2012
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When highlighting their performance capabilities, makers of air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps often focus on the pump’s “performance ratio.” This ratio is the number of product gallons pumped per standard cubic foot per minute (scfm) of compressed air consumed. Since compressed air is expensive, facility operators and engineers want this ratio to be as high as possible.

To optimize its pump performance ratio, Wilden Pump & Engineering LLC, Grand Terrace, Calif., developed the Pro-Flo X Air Distribution System (ADS), which features a patented efficiency management system (EMS) that allows users, through the use of a control dial, to set the pump application’s optimal flowrate.

For instance, a setting of “4” on the Pro-Flo X ADS might achieve a pump output of 103 gallons per minute (gpm), but might take 77 scfm to achieve. That’s a performance ratio of 1.34 gallons pumped per 1 scfm consumed. However, if the Pro-Flo X ADS control dial is set to “2,” the pump’s output might be 64 gpm, but it will need only 37 scfm to achieve it, which is a performance ratio of 1.73 gallons pumped per 1 scfm consumed. This 22% increase in efficiency reduces the air consumed as well as wear on the pump components, which can double part life and reduce by 50% downtime, maintenance, labor and part costs.

Or, consider this: A test was conducted involving a 2-inch AODD pump that did not have an EMS incorporated into its ADS, versus one that did. The test was conducted using water as the media. The non-EMS pump was run at a 100 psig air inlet against a discharge pressure of 20 psig. At this case, the non-EMS pump used 130 scfm of compressed air to achieve a 116 gpm flow rate.

Using an AODD pump with an EMS ADS, the same flow rate of 116 gpm was achieved while “dialing back” air usage so that the pump was not running at maximum capacity. In this test, the AODD pump with an EMS ADS reduced air consumption by 42% (or 54 scfm), while maintaining the desired flow rate of 116 gpm.

AODD pumps will always play a key role in the manufacture of paint and coatings. But only those featuring an ADS with an EMS option allow facility operators to reduce compressed air consumption while achieving flow and transfer rates that allow the plant to meet its production quotas

Find out more about Wilden AODD pumps by visiting

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