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AHC Benelux has installed a series 521F/RC close-coupled peristaltic pump from Watson-Marlow Pumps to help process aggressive wastewater fluids produced by plating and galvanising processes.

AHC Benelux, part of Aalberts Industries (AI), is a specialist in the provision of surface treatment technologies for engineering applications.

It employs around 90 people at two sites in the Netherlands (Eindhoven and Venlo).

Eindhoven has eight flexible production lines running 24 hours a day, with processes such as electroplating silver, gold, copper and tin, electro-less nickel and synergetic coating.

Venlo has large, fully automated lines and focuses primarily on technical and hard anodising, synergetic coatings, electro-less nickel on steel, as well as specific treatments such as chromic acid anodising, chromating and lacquering.

The company’s customers come from a range of sectors including automotive, electronics, aerospace, pharmaceuticals and food and beverage.

Luc Heldens, supervisor – chemicals and RandM at AHC Benelux, said: ’Running these continuous coating operations produces wastewater that needs to be treated before disposal in accordance with environmental regulations.

’Both sites are certified to ISO 14001 and we take great pride in our “green” credentials.

’To prepare process wastewater for disposal, both hydrochloric acid and caustic soda (sodium hydroxide NaOH) are used to ensure pH is maintained at regulatory levels,’ he added.

Heldens has more than 15 years’ experience in managing and optimising chemical and RandM processes.

At AHC, his other responsibilities also include purchasing chemicals, troubleshooting and environmental co-ordination.

Originally, an air-operated diaphragm pump (AOD) was considered for the task, but as wastewater from production contains around 33 per cent acid chloride, solids in the acid would destroy the pump’s membrane.

The AOD would also be unable to ensure accurate dosing of both hydrochloric acid and caustic soda – and this would cause unwanted fluctuations in the pH levels.

The company initially worked with a competitor supplier of peristaltic pumps but switched to Watson-Marlow because of long delivery times.

The first Watson-Marlow baseplate pump was installed many years ago.

Having reached the end of its natural life after many years’ reliable service, AHC had no hesitation in returning to Watson-Marlow to order another, this time in the form of a series 521F/REC close-coupled pump specifically designed for demanding industrial applications.

Featuring high-performance engineered plastics and a stainless steel pumphead, easy set-up and maintenance are critical features of this peristaltic pump, which is particularly suitable for aggressive fluids.

Its high resistance to chemical attack makes it rugged enough for harsh environments, delivering cost-effective, precise pumping and a long service life.

In peristaltic technology, nothing but the hose or tube touches the fluid, eliminating the risk of the pump contaminating the fluid, or the fluid contaminating the pump.

Fluids are drawn into the tube, trapped between two rollers, and expelled – the complete closure of the tube gives the pump its positive displacement action, preventing backflow and eliminating the need for check valves.

Heldens said: ’We installed the 521F/REC pump fitted with Marprene thermoplastic tubing elements in February 2010 and it has since performed extremely well.

’It is pumping hydrochloric acid for about an hour a day and caustic for around 15 hours a day.

’The pump is linked integrally to our pH controller and we’ve had no issues whatsoever with reliability; it simply runs as required without any need for intervention, it ensures a high level of chemical resistance, is easy to operate and needs very little maintenance.

’Another advantage of using tube elements is the longer lifetime of the tubing and the ease with which we can replace it.’

Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group

Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG) is the world leader in niche peristaltic and sinusoidal pumps and associated fluid path technologies. Founded on nearly 60 years of supplying engineering and process expertise and with over one million pumps installed worldwide, our pumps are tried, tested and proven to deliver.

WMFTG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc (LSE: SPX), a global organisation employing approximately 4,800 people worldwide. Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group comprises nine established brands, each with their own area of expertise, but together offering our customers an unrivalled breadth of solutions for their pumping applications:

  • Watson-Marlow Pumps: peristaltic tube pumps for biopharm and process industries
  • Watson-Marlow Tubing: precision tubing for pumping and other purposes, in a range of materials
  • Bredel: high flow, high-pressure hose pumps
  • Alitea: unique peristaltic solutions for OEM customers
  • Flexicon: aseptic filling and capping systems
  • MasoSine: gentle sinusoidal pumps for food, chemical and cosmetics applications
  • BioPure: advanced single-use tubing connector systems
  • Asepco: aseptic valves for the biopharmaceutical industry
  • FlowSmart: high purity sanitary gaskets, silicone transfer tubing and reinforced silicone hoses for the biopharmaceutical industry

Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group is an international operation based in Falmouth, Cornwall, UK. Watson-Marlow Fluid |Technology Group has offices in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Sharjah UAE, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA and Vietnam.

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