The use of four MasoSine SPS pumps from Watson-Marlow Pumps Group in a bespoke drum unloading system has allowed Britvic to unload 45 gallon (200 litre) drums of fruit juice concentrate – four at a time – in just two minutes. So impressed is the soft drinks manufacturer, that the company has recently enquired about taking further rigs.
Birkenhead-based Compere Systems Ltd is a specialist in control systems integration and the supply of complete turnkey projects that encompass industrial automation, palletising solutions, air conveyors and drum unloading. In terms of the latter, standard four-lance/four-pump solutions include those using automatic pallet conveyors and an emptying station to support lances/hoses, or alternatively, gantry-based systems. When the company received an enquiry from the Rugby plant of Britvic, the company knew a bespoke solution was the only way forward.
“The original project specification sought to unload 45 gallon drums to holding tanks, but in small batches of 6-off. However, this suddenly shot up to a batch size of 80 drums, which obviously changed our entire approach,” explains Graham Fenney, Managing Director of Compere Systems. “Additionally, we had a target to fit inside a 75 minute cycle for a batch to be made up, while the available floor space for drum unloading was also too small for our standard solutions.”
ponto de inflexão
In the first instance, Compere’s team of project specialists examined the marketplace for conventional drum tippers, but the cleanliness requirements were not sufficient for the application, and most failed to fit inside the necessary compact footprint anyhow.
“As an alternative to tipping we began looking at pumping options,” says Mr Fenney. “We had used Watson-Marlow before for a more conventional syrup pumping application which proved very successful. As a result, we got in touch and began to develop a bespoke solution together based on MasoSine SPS technology.”
Described by Mr Fenney as “totally unique”, the custom rig uses four 5.5kW MasoSine SPS pumps which are piped to four suction lances mounted on a pneumatic cylinder. This allows the simultaneous unloading of four, 45 gallon drums in just 2 minutes.
The basic concept centres on a semi-circle configuration feeding six stations. At each station it is possible to datum a pallet holding four, 45 gallon drums.
“The unloading head pivots in the centre of the semi-circle and can rotate round to each position,” says Mr Fenney. “This allows the operator to bring in a pallet, position it, remove the drum lids, prepare the inner plastic and insert the lance – all in the 2 minutes it takes for the previous pallet of four drums to unload. It’s a very efficient load and unload process.”
The MasoSine pumps themselves are mounted on a mezzanine in the middle of the semi-circle approximately one metre off the ground. In fact, working in close liaison with Watson-Marlow was one of the key fundamentals to a successfully delivered solution.
“Britvic were over the moon with the system, especially as it was required for a new product being launched and we were up against a tight deadline,” says Mr Fenney. “We had three or four site meetings at Rugby along the way and Watson-Marlow were involved at all of them.”
The MasoSine SPS series is ideal for all industrial and sanitary applications involving high pressures (up to 15 bar). Capacity is up to 91.2m³/hr, while a gentle, low shear action makes them well suited to the safe pumping of highly viscous materials – at Britvic the concentrate can sometimes be presented as a form of ‘frozen slurry’ in the worst case. At the same time, the single rotor design helps preserve and maintain product integrity and eliminates the need for fragile timing gears associated with rotary lobe pumps. The other inherent advantage that comes with the single rotor design is, XCHARXone shaft, one sealXCHARX, resulting in lower maintenance and life ownership costs.
According to Mr Fenney, the rig at Britvic has been in regular use in the 18 months since installation and there hasn’t been any maintenance issues regarding the MasoSine pumps. Compere has recently quoted for further systems at Britvic and at another beverage manufacturer.
Compere Systems Ltd was established in 1987 and today employs 35 people at sites in Merseyside, Cambridgeshire and Kent. Annual turnover is in the region of £3.5 million.
Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group
Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG) é o líder mundial em bombas peristálticas de nicho e tecnologias de caminho de fluidos associadas para as indústrias alimentícia, farmacêutica, química e ambiental