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How to Attain High Accuracy Using Air-Operated Double-Diaphragm (AODD) Pumps

| Author / Editor: Peter Schüten / Dr. Jörg Kempf

To help identify the best pumping solution, Gerrit Brinkman (left), Project Manager for Technology Unlimited, turned to Holland Air Pumps’ Commercial Director Gerrit Klaassen (right).
To help identify the best pumping solution, Gerrit Brinkman (left), Project Manager for Technology Unlimited, turned to Holland Air Pumps’ Commercial Director Gerrit Klaassen (right). (Source: Almatec)

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For a leading European animal-feed producer AODD pumps are the ideal choice for an enzyme-dosing application — last not least to the joy of gourmet goats.

While it may not be the most significant philosophical discussion of our time, there does seem to be quite a bit of disagreement regarding the eating habits of goats. On one side, many will argue that goats are actually very particular about what they ingest and will not devour everything in their path. On the other hand, there is a faction that insists that goats are walking trash compactors that will eat anything, up to and including tin cans.

As for Gerrit Brinkman, he knows firsthand that goats are very particular about what they eat. “Goats are very picky when it comes to their food,” explained Brinkman. “They don’t like dust or other contamination on their food, so they eat more of it when it is clean.”

No, Gerrit Brinkman is not a goat farmer or a veterinarian, but he is very concerned with their eating habits. That’s because he is a Project Manger for Technology Unlimited, an Almelo, The Netherlands-based creator of customized stainless-steel systems, solutions and components used in the manufacture of animal feed and other food products. Recently, Brinkman and Technology Unlimited were tasked with fashioning a system for one of Europe’s largest animal-feed producers that would inject an enzyme consisting mainly of palm oil onto the exterior of goat feed, an operation that is critical in producing feed that finicky goats won’t turn their noses up at.

“The coating helps them digest the food better,” Brinkman continued. “It tastes good and it’s good for their stomachs, their digestion. They like the enzyme, it tastes good and it keeps dust from gathering on the food.”

Putting a tasty coating on goat feed is not as simple as it sounds. The process in this particular customer’s installation begins when the enzyme is transferred from an outdoor storage tank through a pipeline into the production facility and to a cabinet that is located 35 meters (115 feet) above the storage tank. The cabinet contains a series of pumps that are outfitted with mass flowmeters, temperature and pressure gauges, and a filtering system. After passing through these components, the enzyme is fed through small valves to a series of coaters that must deliver a highly regulated amount of the enzyme onto the goat feed at a predetermined flow rate and pressure. Pulse dampeners are used to ensure that the flow rates do not vary and that dosing accuracy is maintained throughout the process.

“The challenge is the flow is very low and it has to be very stable for accuracy,” said Brinkman. “It’s not easy to do that, so the customer asked us to engineer a solution for them. The flow has to be very stable through the flowmeters in order to get the accuracy that is needed.”

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