This gives the eccentric disc pump an operation that is similar to that of a peristaltic pump, but without the need for any hoses, which are not recommended for food-processing operations because of their tendency to shed hose material during operation, which creates a contamination risk. During operation, the pump’s disc is driven by the eccentric movement of the shaft, allowing product to flow through both the pump’s inner and outer chambers.
This style of operation eliminates any possibility of pulsation — which is another critical consideration in food production — within the pumped liquid, and since the pump does not depend on clearances to facilitate product flow, any slip is negligible. Additionally, with the pump needing no mechanical seals, there are no surfaces present where products that are difficult to seal and prone to crystallization can adhere and cause damage, which eliminates a maintenance concern.
Efficient CIP/SIP Operation
Speaking of maintenance, eccentric disc pumps also feature simple, efficient clean-in-place/sanitize-in-place (CIP/SIP) operation that does not require the vertical drain porting that robs lobe pumps of a good portion of their efficiency. In most cases, the CIP process begins with a water flush with concentrations of different cleaning solutions, such as a mild caustic, and perhaps a reheating of solutions that are circulated through the pump, piping and valves, concluding with a final rinse. In some cases, steam is used in place of water or other cleaning solutions.
It is also important to minimize the amount of residual product, especially if the pump is used to handle different types of foodstuffs, that remains in the pump and piping prior to starting the CIP cycle. For optimum cleaning of sticky or viscous products, the flow rate through the pump is generally between 76 and 757 L/min (20–200 gpm) and less for thinner, easier-to-handle products.
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