Seal-free pump cuts costs and annual maintenance for Australian Bakels
09/07/2009 - "The engineer who invented mechanical seals for pumps has a lot to answer for," says Australian Bakels site manager, David Arandall. Years of replacing seals in gear pumps triggered annual frustration for Mr Arandall until Australian Bakels became the first Australian company to install an unusual seal-free pump: Hurll Nu-Way's Blackmer Mouvex Eccentric Disc Pump.
"Every year, when we had to replace the seals, I used to search for another type of pump that didn't depend on mechanical seals," Mr Arandall says.
Aside from the cost and downtime associated with the annual replacement of seals, the gear pump seals had to be flushed with a constant flow of water that added up to hundreds of litres of drinking water a day. Mr Arandall was concerned by the wasted resources and potential for breakdowns.
"If an operator forgot to turn on the water, the pumps would fail," he said. "I wanted to reduce the risk of human error."
The Mouvex Eccentric Disc Pump was a rare alternative to the gear pumps. An international supplier of bakery and food ingredients, Australian Bakels used the pumps on a line producing fondant for the decoration of doughnuts, cakes and pastries. The glucose and water syrup must be kept hot and it is corrosive.
"There really wasn't anything else that could cope with corrosive, viscous liquids running at up to 120° Celsius," Mr Arandall says. "It looked like we were stuck with the gear pumps and mechanical seals but Richard Eisenbise of Hurll Nu-Way presented a solution that addressed all our issues and improved consistency."
Australian Bakels also demands exceptionally accurate flow rates – with tolerances of ±1.6 per cent – and an equally high degree of consistency.
Unlike lobe pumps, which leak faster as they age, the Mouvex automatically adjusts for piston and cylinder wear, delivering full flow efficiency and high levels of product stability at all times. At the heart of the pump is an oscillating piston that moves a disc eccentrically against the chamber, gently forcing the liquid out at constant flow rates – even at varying pressures and low viscosities.
"When Hurll Nu-Way introduced the Mouvex pumps to us, they hadn't yet been installed in Australia but I could see they were exactly what I'd been looking for," Mr Arandall says. "They made mechanical sense and since we commissioned two pumps four or five years ago, we haven't had to touch them."
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