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Greencore has achieved savings in downtime and repair costs on a water treatment plant with the installation of a Bredel SPX50 high-pressure peristaltic hose pump from Watson-Marlow Pumps.

Greencore Grocery is a manufacture of bottle/jar-packaged recipe products, producing a wide range of both branded and customer own-brand sauces, pickles and soft drinks.

The cleaning and changeover process between different products, produces a small quantity of liquid waste (food effluent).

This can lead to significant fluctuations in pH levels; from four up to 12 in some cases.

Until recently, pH levels at Selby were corrected using 32 per cent caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) through the facility’s water treatment plant, which is owned and operated by United Utilities.

With Greencore responsible for consumable costs, a cost-down exercise was introduced to seek an alternative to sodium hydroxide.

’The Greencore Grocery facility at Selby is a high-volume plant where there can be between 10 and 26 “washouts” a day depending on order schedules,’ said Peter Wadsworth, craft technician at United Utilities.

’In order to find a more cost-effective method of correcting the pH in the processing machinery, we trialled a product called Mag Mex 1060, which is a magnesium hydroxide solution, to correct the pH levels,’ he added.

Carrier water is used to dose the Mag Mex into the system at Greencore Grocery, but to do this effectively requires a suitable pump.

’We started off using fairly cheap dosing pumps, but this proved to be inefficient as we spent two days a week repairing them,’ said Wadsworth.

’Because magnesium hydroxide has low solubility in water it makes for an abrasive fluid.

’We found the grit would attack the mechanical seals and drain plugs on the dosing pumps, thus requiring repair,’ he added.

One of United Utilities’ sister sites was using a peristaltic pump from Watson-Marlow and this was subsequently recommended to the process engineering team at Selby.

As a result, a Bredel SPX50 high-pressure peristaltic hose pump (50mm diameter) was installed in September 2009, and there has since been no abrasion issues causing downtime or repair.

The reason for this outcome is that in peristaltic pump technology nothing but the hose or tube touches the fluid, hence there is no chance of the abrasive fluid damaging pump components.

The peristaltic design means there are no valves, seals or glands to repair or replace.

Replacing a hose or tube takes only minutes and they are relatively low-cost items compared to spares for other pump types.

At Greencore’s Selby site, this all adds up to a low-maintenance, low-cost solution, for an operation that produces around 250 million jars per annum across around 500 different product lines.

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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