The Packo CRP2 pump and the cleaning of tanks with low level outlets (Het Bedrijf)
Food companies are totally unlike any other traditional industrial companies. They have had to become more and more aware of the risk of public health issues. The food standard authorities are now imposing higher and higher hygiene standards with ever increasing penalties for companies who do not meet them.
For many food companies this is a real challenge. The magazine 'Het bedrijf' spoke with Chris Van Acker, production and personnel manager of the Bavik brewery and Tom Eelen, product manager Process, Systems and Equipment at Packo Inox.
Higher hygiene demands, means constructors of installations and production equipment have to become very inventive, especially with pumps for the food and food-related industries. It is not at all a simple task for the constructors – It is becoming very common for them to be buying pumps from manufacturers who are also competing with them for the complete contract – for the users the issue is even more complex. A pump or any other production equipment component is only a part of a full production installation. A pump fits as a part of the installation and by meeting the required demands, it can contribute to the compliance of the total production installation with the regulations, after all it is the full installation that has to meet e.g. EHEDG (European Hygienic Equipment Design Group) regulations or HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point).
If today, in the Bavik brewery a fully new beer production installation had to be built, based on the technical knowledge and experience in the field of hygiene, materials, the production process, ..., the problem in total would be a little bit easier. However, the production installation already exists. Building a new production installation would mean throwing away past investments and would be impossible financially and economically, it would even be absurd. The production installation met the requirements and Hygienic standards from the past, but today, considering the new demands, many production installations in the food industry have structural problems, that can be difficult or even impossible to be solved by quickly changing a component like a pump.
Low lying tanks
The Bavik brewery considers themselves to be the largest independent, family, Belgian brewery. Beers like Bavik, Petrus and Wittekerke are being brewed there. To save water, cleaning agent and to obtain a more efficient cleaning, Bavik and Packo Inox are looking to solve the structural problems from the past. The problem is the low lying tanks, more specifically pumping the CIP (Clean In Place Liquid). Chris Van Acker: 'In our production installation, we have some really low lying tanks. Tanks of 15,000 liter each. Pumping these low lying tanks especially causes problems with the CIP cleaning. Basically, we should use a self-priming centrifugal pump or a liquid ring pump. Together with Packo, we tried to solve this with the air handling Packo pump. We deliberately did not choose a traditional self-priming pump or liquid ring pump, because the problem was not entirely solved or other problems occurred. With a self-priming pump, there is always some water in the chamber, which does not guarantee 100 % cleaning, unless we drain the liquid. The liquid ring pump that is also self-priming, has a very narrow clearance between impeller and pump casing, through which abrasive wear occurs quicker. The connections of the pump inlet positioned to high for these low lying tanks. Further more, this pump runs at a lower speed, which demands a larger and more expensive pump.'
Packo CRP pump
To solve the problem of low tanks and more precisely to avoid cavitation, they use a lot of cleaning liquid and water for the CIP cleaning of the tank. This is for example to obtain pressure on the inlet of the pump. There are a few disadvantages doing this: higher consumption of water and chemicals. In addition to that the consumption of a lot of cleaning liquid is not a guarantee for good CIP cleaning. 'For a good cleaning, it must be possible that turbulence in the cleaning liquid can appear. By using a lot of cleaning liquid, it becomes a more static liquid, which does not clean or at least cleans the tanks less. The target set together with Packo was the opposite: using as little water as possible during the CIP cleaning, as well as using less chemicals, because water is and becomes more and more valuable. All this without reducing the quality of the CIP cleaning or even improving it.'
In the test setting the new Packo CRP (CIP return pump) was used. This pump has proved itself for pumping and cleaning of milk tank lorries, which is used to collect milk from farms. These milk tank lorries are fitted with flat and also relatively low lying tanks, because of this the problem shows a lot of resemblances. The first signs of this type of installation with the self-ventilating and air handling pump are positive. Pumping can be done with a minimum quantity of water. Because of the low lying tanks and the very long suction line the pump has to process a lot of air. To ease this, there is de-airation on the pump casing, through which the water level sinks, the pump casing starts to fill and the water is attracted in the pump.
The biggest advantage, besides less cleaning liquid and chemicals is the fact that there has to be less flushing with water. 'We recorded the amount of flushed water through the conductivity of the water that was pumped away. This enables us to precisely detect the quantity of flushing water automatically, because we know the micro Siemens value, which flushed water has to meet. Because of this we reach this value much quicker, which results in an extra water saving.'
Other advantages concern the construction of the pump and the policy that Packo follows as to the design of the pump. Tom Eelen: 'Our CRP pump, which we also deliver to the pharmaceutical industry, but then fitted with a drain, has little difference with the other Packo pumps. The CRP pump only has a different pump casing. All other components are fully standard and interchangeable. We try to restrict the numbers of parts of our pumps: for all pumps, we only have two diameter mechanical seals available (DIN Standard, no Packo special dimensions). The motors too are according to the IEC standard and perfectly interchangeable. Moreover, the CRP pump has a higher performance, through which a motor with a lower power is possible to obtain the same flow. The most important aspect in design was a perfectly cleanable pump with a better performance and less noise. ...