“The new setup has cut down our pumping and bottling time tremendously,” says Co-owner Greg Blanchard. In fact, it has reduced the time to pump the product from the blending tank to bulk tanks from several hours to less than an hour, and the 45 minute bulk tank to batch process to just 13 minutes! “Previously the operators had to eyeball the tanks to see if they were full – now they can set it to 55 gallons, for example, and it dispenses just the right amount into the tank,” says Blanchard.
The new pumping system also controls the pressure, increasing efficiency and diminishing foaming, which was a problem in the old system. The plant’s operators agree that the controller’s remote feature increases their ability to do more tasks in the day and reduces the tedium of having to stand and watch the tanks fill to make sure nothing goes wrong. If the controller senses a problem in the pressure or process, it sounds an alarm.
Improvements also include wider piping and a manifold connected to the pumping system, enabling easy flow management between multiple tanks. ARO experts worked closely with Pro Chem to configure and install just the right pump and control system to meet the company’s requirements. The new setup, with smoother pumping and wider piping, also prevents foaming, which was problematic with the old equipment.
Safety, Leak Prevention and No–Stall Operation
Safety is a priority for Pro Chem, as with any chemical manufacturer. “If there was a leak or spill of hazardous materials, it could pose a major risk to the people working here,” says Blanchard. “We designed the facility and the system to prevent that from happening.”
Also, with automated pumping, operators do not have to keep traveling back and forth to check the tanks as they did with the manual pumping system, reducing the risk of tripping or falling. Other benefits of the ARO pump include its availability in materials that handle a range of fluids, including some caustic chemicals. It is engineered to hold up under the rigor or chemical applications and has a patented ‘unbalanced’ air valve for a reliable no stall operation.
As Pro Chem embarks on expanding production, with a goal of tripling capacity, Blanchard plans to apply the same new technologies in his new plants. He concludes, “We are extremely pleased with the results,” he says. “And we are prepared to grow significantly in the coming years.”
* The author is ARO Product Manager for Diaphragm Pumps