FC-1012-FA_WinnersIn the September issue, we announced the winners of the 2012 Flow Control Innovation Awards program. Here we’re providing short case studies/application stories to show how this year’s winning technologies are being applied in real-world scenarios. Our aim is to give you a feel for how this year’s Innovation Award winners are making a real difference in a range of application environments, from a baby food manufacturing plant in Central Mexico to an oil and gas refinery in Oklahoma, and beyond.

MEASUREMENT

Measuring the Flowrate of Reactive Ammonia Gas
Bios International, a division of Mesa Laboratories, Inc. | ML One Primary Gas Flow Calibrator

FC-1012-FA_BiosThe new ML One primary gas flow calibrator measures flowrates from 5 to 50,000 sccm with an accuracy of 0.15 percent. The ML One is constructed from materials resistant to attack by corrosive gases allowing measurement of reactive and non-inert gases. The gas flow is measured by timing the displacement of a precision piston fitted in a borosilicate tube. Simultaneous measurement of gas temperature and pressure along with piston displacement result in highly accurate standardized gas flowrate measurements. Unlike thermal or differential-pressure-based flow measurement technologies, the piston displacement technology is independent of gas species, which allows accurate gas flowrate measurements even with reactive gases and gas mixtures consisting of unknown or varying concentrations. In addition, the ML One features:

•    Three measurement tubes in one instrument that auto select for the flowrate being measured;
•    A clear and simple touch screen user interface;
•    A compact all-in-one design that can be moved on a cart for factory floor measurements; and
•    Built-in self-diagnostics.

This is an ideal instrument for calibration laboratories doing gas flow calibration and for manufacturers of thermal-based gas flow controllers and meters. Several mass flow manufacturers are using the ML One to accurately measure and calibrate thermal-based instruments with reactive gases. Until now, reactive gas flow calibrations were performed by measuring the flowrate with an inert gas and then applying a correction factor derived from gas properties to “correct” the gas calibration. Correction factors vary widely from different manufacturers resulting in significant measurement differences. Now with the introduction of the ML One, thermal-based gas flow manufacturers are calibrating with the actual reactive gases resulting in improved gas flow calibrations critical to many manufacturing processes.

One need for accurate measurement of reactive gases came from the semiconductor industry in the fabrication of wide bandgap semiconductors. A semiconductor manufacturer expressed frustration in variations in thermal- based flow measurements correction factors with the reactive gas ammonia (NH3). Ammonia is critical in the fabrication process used in wide bandgap semiconductor manufacture and gas flowrate variations could not be tolerated. The engineers developing the ML One responded by designing the ML One to measure these gases. The ML One is now being used for thermal-based flow controller calibration to accurately and consistently calibrate ammonia flowrates critical to this industry.

Ultrasonic Flowmeter Withstands Practical Test at Bioethanol Plant
Endress+Hauser | Prosonic Flow B 200

FC-1012-FA_EndressHauserIn order to secure mobility today and in the future through sustainable sources, The CropEnergies Group produces bioethanol as fuel for gasoline engines. The largest sugar generator in Europe, CropEnergies Group has successfully positioned itself as one of the leading European bioethanol manufacturers—with production quantity of over 95 million gallons/year.

This state-of-the-art plant is characterized by unique flexibility in raw materials processing. The company gets valuable fuel from grain and sugar beets. The biogas that accumulates during effluent treatment, with a methane content of approximately 70 percent, is used in a gas engine with 600 kW thermal and electrical outputs, respectively. The gas quantity must be reliably measured directly before the gas engine. The particular challenges at this measuring point are the very low process pressure of only a few pounds per square inch (relative) and the wide operable flow range of 13 to 57 gallons/hour.

The new ultrasonic flowmeter, Prosonic Flow B 200, was developed for such applications. CropEnergies was already able to prove its worth in practical use. Jörg Voigt, head of measurement and control technology, states, “The Prosonic Flow B 200 makes it possible to obtain a reliable measurement even at low process pressure and causes no pressure loss. The non-contact measuring technology, with no moving mechanical parts, guarantees stable and maintenance-free operation. This decreases our maintenance costs and increases plant availability."

For the technician, Prosonic Flow B 200 comes at exactly the right time for commissioning the new gas engine, "With vortex flowmeters, we at CropEnergies have always had very good experiences. However, these devices cause an additional pressure loss. Due to the minimum process pressure before the gas engine, vortex flowmeters cannot be used in this location and therefore are not an option. Turbine flowmeters are not a real alternative. Due to the mechanically moving parts and the use of reed contacts, these systems are maintenance-intensive in practical use."

Direct Methane Content Measurement
Prosonic Flow B 200 is an industry-optimized ultrasonic flowmeter that measures the volume flow of biogas, landfill or digester gas reliably and with high accuracy—even under greatly fluctuating operating conditions. One of the most significant features is its in-situ methane content measurement. This enables a continuous measurement of not only gas flow, but also gas quality. For example, it allows biogas plant operators to better understand the health of the digestion process and react quickly and efficiently to any disturbances.

Rheometer for Continuous In-line Measurement Overcomes Challenges at Yogurt Manufacturing Facility
KROHNE Inc. | VISCOLINE CVL030S

FC-1012-FA_KROHNEIn the food processing industry, viscosity indicates whether the product is lumpy or smooth, watery, or too thick. A company may test a product and then adjust it to build the texture it wants. But, if not handled properly in the processing line— for example, if the product is sheared too much—it will take much more energy and expensive raw materials to achieve the final desired texture. In reality, controlling texture is difficult and there are frequent fluctuations. Especially, for non-Newtonian products, it is a real challenge to effectively measure viscosity in-line.

Take the example of a large yogurt factory that uses batch processing to mature its product. Quality control personnel found that the quality of the white mass yogurt was not as stable as for what they expected, particularly after the maturation and cooling processes. Viscosity measures were determined by sampling several production batches, and the results showed a variability of +/-25 percent for the same product manufactured within one month. QC personnel did not expect such a wide variation, and it then became a serious concern.

The off-line measurement method used involved sampling and laboratory analyses. However, the very act of taking a sample out of the line affects the product. The product goes through the line in a pressure condition, so when passing through the sampling valve, the product is submitted to a shear rate that affects its texture. In addition, the time needed to get the product to the laboratory and conduct an analysis has an impact on the results.

In this context, the QC group at the yogurt plant was seeking more information and measurements to understand the factors generating defects and inconsistencies so they could avoid them. Rather than the off-line measurement process, they sought to continuously monitor viscosity during a batch transfer, after its cooling process, on a main production line. So, they installed a VISCOLINE CVL030S, manufactured by KROHNE Inc. The VISCOLINE is constructed from stainless steel, no moving parts, and no in-situ calibration required. It features continuous measurement with analog or digital outputs. The unit is reliable, with a repeatability of 0.2 percent, resolution to 0.1 CP, while meeting government policy on metrological traceability.

With the VISCOLINE installed in the mainline, the smoothing valve can be opened or closed in an automated fashion to achieve constant viscosity in real time. Leveling the texture fluctuations, the recipe can be adjusted upfront to get closer to the required minimal specifications. This reduces the consumption of expensive ingredients like proteins and results in a consistent, stable, uniform product that costs less money.

In addition, with the VISCOLINE installed right after the cooler, operators observed that 10 percent of the product was out of specification for texture after the transfer. This was happening at every start and stop during a batch transfer, due to a lack of heat exchanger control during these transient operations. Prior to using the VISCOLINE, there had been no way to measure the effect of these transitions.

 

In-situ Flowmeter Calibration for Carbon Credit Generation
Sage Metering | Sage In-Situ Flowmeter Calibration Check
By David Belcher, P.E., Camco International Group, Inc.

FC-1012-FA_SageCamco is in the business of carbon credit and renewable energy project development. Carbon credits can be generated for either voluntary purchase by corporations and organizations that have sustainability or goodwill initiatives or for purchase in compliance markets where qualified emitters such as utilities have greenhouse gas reduction mandates that they must meet. There are differences in the various standards or protocols used to develop voluntary and compliance-grade carbon credits; however the premise of developing any carbon credit is the same: greenhouse gas emissions of the ‘Project’ must be less than the greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere in the baseline condition before the Project was built.

In North America, Camco is primarily focused on developing anaerobic digester projects that produce biogas from livestock manure and/or other organic materials. Biogas produced from digester projects is typically fed to engine generator sets to produce renewable electricity, used in a boiler, or is refined and compressed for use as ‘green’ natural gas. Livestock anaerobic digester projects that have a baseline condition of anaerobic lagoons for manure management are also candidates for carbon credit generation and can earn additional revenue from the sale of their carbon credits.

The key to generating carbon credits from livestock digester projects is good monitoring and data management. Biogas flow to each destruction device (e.g. engine gen-sets, boilers, and flares) must be continuously metered along with indication that the biogas destruction device is working properly (e.g. kWh meter readings from gen-sets and flare temperatures). Quarterly calibration inspection of the Project’s biogas flowmeters is an additional requirement for several of the leading carbon credit protocols including the Livestock Protocol for California’s Cap-and-Trade Program. Review of flowmeter calibration documentation is an essential part of the Project carbon credit verification (audit) process.

The ability to calibrate our Sage thermal mass biogas flowmeters in-situ and on-site with no additional instrumentation provides both savings and ease to our carbon credit management program. Using manufacturer guidance, our technicians and subcontractors quickly check the calibration of our biogas flowmeters in a repeatable and reliable manner that is accepted by the leading U.S. carbon credit protocols. Some of our project sites have thermal mass flowmeters that require electronic diagnosis calibration that can be performed on-site, however we find the in-situ test of the Sage thermal mass meter at zero flow of biogas or air to be the easiest calibration check method to conduct.

In summary, reliable biogas measurement is important both as an indicator of project performance (understanding system biogas production) and to carbon credit quantification. In-situ calibration is a fast and reliable method to check the calibration of biogas flowmeters that is consistent with the most widely accepted livestock carbon credit generation protocols.

Ultrasonic Flow Measurement Solves Refinery Pipeline Problem
Siemens Industry | SITRANS FUT1010 Liquid & Gas Flowmeters

FC-1012-FA_SiemensAn Oklahoma refinery recently required a flow measurement solution for a finished gasoline and diesel fuel line leaving the refinery site. They were already using a Siemens clamp-on check meter and interface detector elsewhere on the site and hoped to install the same solution on the fuel line. However, the local Siemens representative, the Ernie Graves Company, determined that there simply would not be enough straight run of pipe to support a clamp-on meter, and the refinery decided that they would need to bring the pipe above ground. Since the refinery was going to invest so much in altering the pipeline, the representative recommended that they choose a flow solution offering the same benefits as clamp-on technology, but with an even higher level of accuracy: the liquid version of the SITRANS FUT1010 ultrasonic flowmeter.

The SITRANS FUT1010 now provides the operators with real-time flow information so that they are able to determine media conditions within the pipeline and be made aware of any changes immediately as they occur. The meter supports them in making informed decisions about pipeline operation and helps to maximize delivery and performance control. In addition, the customer likes the fact that there is no need to shut down the flow should a transducer ever need to be replaced, which saves considerable time and money.

“The refined petroleum pipeline required a great deal of precision in flow measurement, so I knew right away that this application would require a very high-performing flowmeter,” said Colby Graves, CEO of the Ernie Graves Company. “I recommended the SITRANS FUT1010 because of its unique combination of flow measurement accuracy and capability for multi-product identification, which makes it an extremely cost-efficient solution. The customer is now reaping the benefits.”

The SITRANS FUT1010 was developed specifically for measurement of liquid and gas applications within the hydrocarbon industry, including pipeline, terminal, refinery and transportation applications. With the newly developed TransLoc mounting system, the transducers are permanently mounted on the outside of the sensor, providing custody-transfer accuracy while eliminating contact with the medium. To demonstrate the accuracy and repeatability of the SITRANS FUT1010, the liquid version was subjected to extensive tests at an accredited third-party test facility. The excellent results prove that the meter is a perfect match and a wise investment for the hydrocarbon industry.

CONTROL

Harsh Environment Valves Suited for Low Power Consumption Applications
ASCO Valve | 1/4" NPT 316L Harsh Environment Valves

FC-1012-FA_ASCOASCO’s new Low-Power, Harsh Environment valve series is designed for use in harsh and hazardous locations and applications where low power consumption is a must.

One typical application for this valve line is in emergency shutdown systems on offshore oil platforms where the environment is extremely hot, humid, and corrosive. To handle these challenging conditions, the valves are constructed with 316L stainless steel for corrosion resistance. Also, the conduit and leads are factory sealed to prevent moisture from attacking the solenoid coil.

Another important factor for an offshore system is a small footprint, since space is very limited. ASCO’s new valve line addresses this need with a perpendicular mounting on the side of a panel. This configuration optimizes the use of space on the panel allowing the overall panel size to be reduced. In addition, the perpendicular mounting permits the process connections to be accessed from the outside of the panel, while the electrical connections remain protected inside the panel.

The new solenoid valve series is also ideal for use with solar panels and PLC/DCS applications where low power consumption is critical. For example, for process control systems in remote locations, such as oil pipelines and remote gas extraction stations, the low power consumption (.55W and 1.3W) of ASCO’s new harsh environment valve line provides huge savings. It allows the system to be specified with either a smaller battery bank—or the same size batteries to extend operation without sunlight.

In addition, other benefits include:
Same ASCO reliability with lower power consumption: 0.55W and 1.3W constructions:

  • Up to 35 percent lower power consumption
  • Low power DC for solar panels
  • PLC compatibility
  • Reduced wiring cost
  • Reduced temperature rise
  • Increased battery life
  • Energy savings

 

More approvals and certifications—designed for harsh and hazardous environments per UL, CSA, ATEX/IECEx requirements:

  • UL & CSA approved for Class I Div. 1, Groups C & D; Class I Div. 2, Groups C & D
  • Types:1,2,3,4,4x,6, 6P,7
  • ATEX/IECEx: II 2 G Ex d IIB T6 Gb
  • CSA, ATEX, and IECEX approved with factory seal leads
  • SIL 3 capable per IEC 61508, third-party certification provided by Exida
  • One valve meets all approvals: UL CSA, ATEX/IECEx.

 

 
Additional features include:

  • Increased corrosion resistance: 316L stainless steel body, 316 stainless steel externals
  • Up to 9 percent higher pressure ratings on low power constructions when compared to competition
  • High flow constructions with a 1.1 Cv pressure port and 1.4 Cv exhaust port for larger valves and actuators
  • Quick exhaust constructions with a 1.4 Cv exhaust port for fast shut-down of valves and actuators.

 

Fine Metering Shut-off Control in a Single Unit
Ham-Let | MBV Series Instrumentation Metering Ball Valve

FC-1012-FA_HamletRecently, Ham-Let, a manufacturer of instrumentation valves and compression fittings, partnered with Vinci Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of pilot plants for the oil and gas industry.
 
Vinci Technologies was pursuing an improved method of pressure control for their catalyst testing units to achieve high reliability at a cost-effective price. Their current design employed a rather expensive proportional valve for which they were seeking higher value alternatives.

Ham-Let’s MBV Series instrumentation metering ball valve is a compact design for high-precision, sensitive-flow regulation, integrated with a leak-tight soft seal shut-off control. The product provides the functionality of a ball valve (shut-off) and a needle valve (metering) in one compact package, while also including a diverting option for shut-off or metering-flow position, without loading or damaging the sensitive regulation needle.
Prior to Ham-Let’s innovative design, product users would mount a shutoff valve in series with a metering valve to control critical flows. This required additional tubing or piping segments as well as additional connection points, creating potential leak points. Ham-Let’s MBV eliminates these requirements and results in a more efficient flow control scheme with a smaller footprint.

The heart of the MBV series is a patent-pending design that allows users to achieve various control configurations of metering/shutoff. The MBV series is rated to 2,000 PSIG (138bar) and 300 F (149 C). Various end connections are available (male and female taper threaded, Let-Lok double ferrule compression, and HTC face seal) in sizes ranging from 1/16 inch to 3/8 inch. Specific stem tapers enable manual metering control as low as Cv=0.0001 and as high as Cv=0.15. Available configurations include metering/full-flow control scheme or metering/full-flow/shut-off with three-way operation. In addition, optional actuated diverting control is available.

The MBV from Ham-Let has provided a number of benefits for VINCI Technologies and their customers. Vinci Technologies President Mr. Renaud Presberg explains, "In our Catalyst Testing Unit the main challenge is to achieve the most cost-effective design and to assure reliable operation. With Ham-Let’s Metering Ball Valves we achieved both. The unique combination of full shut off and fine metering capabilities in one single unit helped us to improve our design by reducing overall skid size and eliminating dead volume in the Catalyst Testing Unit system. Additional benefits are reduced installation labor time and costs as well as more efficient operation for our customers.”

 

Cake Pump System Improves Process at Wastewater Treatment Plant
seepex |Cake Pump System with Load Cell

FC-1012-FA_seepexThe Harpers Ferry & Bolivar W.V. Public Service District Waste Water Treatment Plant is home to the first fully integrated seepex cake pump system. The towns are located near the Potomac and Shenandoah river fork. Quaint, quiet and serene, with a population of around 1,500, the town’s never had a huge need for waste treatment. However, new, more stringent eco-laws are pushing for better, more contained systems. Replacing drying beds and front-end loaders, the new, more compact system is more efficient and environmentally friendly. Load cells, discharge pressure protection, run-dry (TSE) protection, and thermal motor overheat protection are connected to a custom control system, which allows for easy adjustments and monitoring.

Before seepex, the combined WWT service district utilized drying beds. The cake was open-air dried and then loaded into dump trucks and hauled off to a local landfill.

seepex replaced this method of open-air cake dewatering and front-end loader disposal. The plant has installed a belt press machine that squeezes the solids to reduce the moisture content. The belt press is being fed by a seepex BN 30-6LT progressive cavity pump. The dewatered remains have a solid content of 16 to 18 percent. The dewatered cake solids are doctored off of the belt and fall into the hopper of the seepex BTI 17-12 progressive cavity pump. When the cake reaches a certain level, the load cell system will register the increase and it will tell the pump to turn on. The pump will increase or decrease production as needed; when the belt stops feeding the hopper, the pump will turn off.

As a preventative measure, the system is also outfitted with TSE – run dry protection, which will shut off the pump if it senses temperatures above safe levels. Motor thermal overheat protection is similar to the TSE. It will shut off the pump if the motor temperature reaches unsafe levels. Finally, the discharge pressure ring will protect the discharge piping from catastrophic failure due to overpressure.

All of theses sensors are monitored through a seepex control panel. The control panel shows the load cell weight level, shutoff button, cake output temperature, lime feed signal, and various fault signals for the above-mentioned sensors.
The system is equipped with a lime feed system, which enables operators to create Class-A bio-solids. Class A can be used in agriculture as fertilizer. To reach Class A, cake pathogens are reduced to non-detectable levels through chemical and heat treatments.

Jimmy Williams, Harpers Ferry-Bolivar WWTP Supervisor says, “We are happy with the product that seepex has provided. The pumps are running without issues.” seepex is proud to be a part of the installation and will continue to offer a superior product and service.

Total Automatic Purging System Flushes St. Bernard Parish Back to Clean & Safe Waters
Singer Valve | Total Automatic Purging System (TAPS)

FC-1012-FA_singerSt. Bernard Parish is situated southeast of New Orleans in the state of Louisiana. In 2000, its population was 67,229, but today it is only half as populated due to the evacuation and outmigration as a result of the destruction by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

In the summer of 2008, the parish’s Sewer & Water Division started to notice a drop in water quality and began getting complaints from residents saying that there was a chemical taste in the water and it looked rusty and yellow and sometimes had a septic smell to it.

Jacob Groby, Superintendent of Quality Control for the parish, said, “Our water quality was being affected by loss of physical integrity such as contaminant intrusion due to breaks, repairs and lower than normal flows, which was causing us to show lower than normal chlorine levels, higher than normal nitrate levels, and elevated bio-film growth in our distribution system.”
Hurricane Katrina had not only caused damage to the system, but the loss of population also meant low usage, which lead to low velocities that resulted in the accumulation of ammonia and other sediments.
 
St. Bernard Parish needed a proactive flushing system solution and contacted Todd Burnett, President of Coastal Process, to find the best option. “The Singer Valve Total Automatic Purging System (TAPS) was chosen for its superior heavy-duty design, AWWA valve compliance, and its ease of programming which would ensure consistency and not require extra manpower among other benefits,” said Mr. Burnett. The compact size was also an advantage for handling and installation.
St. Bernard Parish used the 40 mm (1 1/2 inch) valve to optimize the flushing process for their pipe size by providing the correct velocity to pull fresh water into each zone. This, coupled with the pressure-sustaining feature, scours and cleans the pipes, which reduces corrosion and has dramatically improved the water quality. Each unit includes a water sampling port so that onsite clarity and testing can be easily seen and sampled without disrupting the process.

“The programming was easy, the hard part for us was deciding how to set them so that we could use them in the best manner possible,” said Mr. Groby. They designed the flush cycle to create a weekly wave action to force flush 27 miles of the distribution system. With regulated flush cycles and perfected velocity at each individual installation point, fresh water is effectively drawn into areas where water quality was falling below standard. In addition, they decided to start flushing from every dead-end in the system, which ensured the removal of this poor water.

The programming allows the parish to activate flushing at any given time with the best time being at night when the demand is low. This prevents cloudy water, low pressure and standing water complaints that are associated with conventional high-volume, daytime flushing activities. This also enables distribution of the discharged water over several hours, if necessary, by programming the units to activate for shorter multiple durations.

TAPS also has a unique pressure-sustaining feature to ensure minimum upstream pressure is maintained for system needs and in the event that fire flow is needed. Unlike conventional flushing valves that are either open or closed, TAPS has a hydraulically operated valve that introduces or releases water from the control chamber above the diaphragm to maintain accurate water flow.
 
St. Bernard Parish is now on track with water quality standards and regulations with improved chlorine residuals, lower total Trihelomethane, and Haloactic acid values.

Mass Flow Controller Delivers Ultra-Low Pressure Drop & Cost-Savings to Silicon Wafer Production
Sierra Instruments | SmartTrak 140 Ultra-Low ΔP Mass Flow Controller

FC-1012-FA_SierraPrecision mass flow control with low pressure drop requirements is critical for gas delivery efficiency and productivity in the semiconductor industry. With the expensive high-purity gases used by this industry, maintaining initial pressurization of the gas is critical until the gas is eventually put to work in the tool. The challenge for applications that require low pressure drop has been that traditionally precision gas mass flow control at higher flowrates, typically greater than 300 slpm (nlpm), rely on a large pressure differential (ΔP) across the control valve, specially with the small flow bodies and control valves commonly used in capillary-type thermal mass flow controllers. Without a low pressure drop mass flow controller solution, industries that use expensive process gases have lost countless dollars in gas costs and suffer compromised efficiency due to their differential pressure requirements.

A case in point is a large semiconductor company in the Midwest that builds tools that use very expensive ultra high purity gas to blast the wafers clean in the silicon manufacturing process. To effectively clean the wafers, the semiconductor tools require extremely high-pressure gas, which is pressurized using ultra-clean compressors. This pure gas is very expensive, so it's critical to use the gas efficiently and effectively, not losing a single molecule in the process. Since gas flows from high to low pressure, the higher the pressure, the less pressure is lost in the system. With the introduction of the new Sierra SmartTrak 140, a mass flow controller that delivers unprecedented low pressure drop, they can now deliver highly pressurized, ultra high purity gas to work on the tool with almost no gas pressure lost in the process. This greatly increases the efficiency of their process, lowers the cost of wasted gas, and very simply results in more clean wafers.

Sierra's SmartTrak 140 Ultra-Low ΔP mass flow controller was specifically designed to meet the needs of the semiconductor and burner control industries. The SmartTrak 140 controls gas mass flow up to 500 slpm (nlpm) with an ultra-low ΔP of 4.5 PSID (310mBard), considerably lower than other mass flow controllers on the market that typically offer ΔP values of 25 PSID (1700 mBard).

The SmartTrak 140 mass flow controller is a hybrid of two innovative Sierra technologies: the award-winning SmartTrak 100 Series with its industry-leading, inherently linear Laminar Flow Element (LFE), sensor and digital electronics and industry staple SideTrak 840’s low ΔP with its large flow coefficient valve, which is a measure of how “easily” or efficiently flow goes through the valve. By combining these two technologies, the SmartTrak 140 includes all the best features of Sierra’s flagship SmartTrak 100 Series and boasts the lowest pressure drop in the industry.

 

CONTAINMENT

Drum Unloader Speeds Up Process for Baby Food Manufacturer
Graco | SaniForce Drum Unloader

FC-1012-FA_GracoA worldwide manufacturer of baby food products, located in central Mexico, needed to find a more efficient and cost-effective way to quickly unload 55- gallon (208-liter) drums of highly viscous (225,000 cps) apple paste. The manufacturer’s process involved adding water to the apple paste to decrease the viscosity so the material could be unloaded out of the drum with a diaphragm pump technology. This method proved to be inefficient, labor-intensive and costly since when water is added to the material it typically needs to be removed at a later part in the process. The manufacturer searched for alternative technologies in the marketplace and discovered Graco’s SaniForce piston pump drum unloading systems.

The manufacturer tested the SaniForce 5-to-1 piston pump drum unloading system in their facility. The trial proved to be hugely successful; Graco’s SaniForce system unloaded the apple paste without having to dilute the product with water. In addition, after the evacuation was complete, less than 1 percent residual remained in the bottom of the drum. The manufacturer was so impressed with the performance of the equipment they purchased the unit immediately.
 
After installing the SaniForce drum unloader, the manufacturing facility discovered additional benefits. They found the drum unloader was extremely easy to clean, with its quick knock-down design, and easy to operate. As the baby food manufacturer’s business continues to grow, they will be adding additional drum unloading units and have stated they will only choose Graco SaniForce unloaders for their high-viscosity unloading.