Food-and-beverage manufacturers are under constant, tremendous pressure to create products that meet recognized standards for taste, appearance, smell and mouth feel. When the product in question is a globally recognized consumer brand like Coca-Cola, that pressure is even higher.
So, when a set of underperforming twin screw pumps at the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) bottling plant in Dunaharaszti, Hungary, began compromising the unloading times, product-recovery capabilities and overall process efficiency of trucks laden with the sugar, concentrates, bases and syrups that are the foundational elements of Coca-Cola and its many ancillary brands, a replacement needed to be found.
"It would take about four to six hours to empty one tank, and due to the low temperature and highly viscous nature of the concentrates we were transferring, the pump would sometimes freeze," said Zoltan Marincsak, Maintenance Manager at the Coca-Cola HBC plant in Dunaharaszti. "It’s important that the pumps work every time because the trucks are always coming in and all of production is scheduled just-in-time. We cannot have any stoppages, and if there are, I have to schedule maintenance. Therefore, I need to know every time that the system will operate as I require. The twin screw pumps were also not able to empty out the total system, so from every tanker we had a lot of wasted product."
After examining all of the possible alternatives, Marincsak and his team decided to replace the twin screw pumps with SLS Series Eccentric Disc Pumps from Mouvex®, Auxerre, France, a product brand of PSG®, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, USA, a Dover company. The SLS pumps, which are approved for use in hygienic and sanitary food-and-beverage applications, feature a unique seal-less design with a double stainless-steel bellows that ensures durability, safety and product containment with very high suction and discharge pressures that result in elevated flow rates with volumetric consistency.
The SLS pumps were an immediate hit at the Coca-Cola HBC plant. "After the trial period, they were going to return the trial pump and we said, ‘No! We would like to keep the Mouvex!’" said Marincsak.
An Added Benefit
In addition to optimized unloading times, the design and operation of the SLS pumps – due to their innovative eccentric disc operating principle – produce a strong vacuum and compression effect that enhances line-stripping capabilities, resulting in improved product-recovery rates. The pump’s ability to clear lines and more effectively empty tanks is important for food-and-beverage manufacturers, as any raw materials or finished products that are either lost or washed away during cleaning activities cannot be monetized.
There are also a number of additional costs that can be incurred by the manufacturer when transport pumps lack the capability to adequately clear product lines and tanks, namely:
- Increased water usage for cleaning lines and tanks
- Additional cleaning and treatment chemicals needed to clean lines and tanks
- Sanitizing chemical to sanitize lines and tanks
- Energy to facilitate the cleaning process
- Labor costs/hours to perform longer cleaning operations
- Disposal costs of used water, chemicals and product
- Water-treatment costs and associated treatment chemicals
Some plants attempt to improve their product-recovery rates by incorporating product-recovery hardware, commonly called a "pigging" system, or some other line-clearing solution, but these come at a considerable cost premium and add unnecessary complexity to the pumping operation.
Back at the Coca-Cola HBC plant, transitioning from the twin screw pumps to the SLS Series pumps paid immediate dividends through improved product-recovery rates. In the old pumping setup, as many as 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of raw materials would be left in the truck and pipe system. After deploying the Mouvex pump, less than 100 kg (220 lbs.) of product remained in the system. This reduction in waste by more than 200 kg per load saves the plant many thousands of euros on an annual basis.
"The reliability of the equipment is very important because we provide high-quality products and to create them we need high-quality equipment," said Marincsak. "With the Mouvex SLS Series pump we eliminate waste, we reduce water and energy consumption, and our maintenance costs are reduced."
Mouvex® is a product brand of PSG®, a Dover company, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, USA. Mouvex pumps are manufactured at PSG’s Auxerre, France, facility and supported through its Mouvex Americas facility in Grand Terrace, CA, USA. For more information on Mouvex’s full line of eccentric disc pumps, please go to mouvex.com
This content is sponsored by Mouvex. Sponsored content is authorized by the client and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Process Flow Network editorial team.