Pumping media which contain large solids can create major problems for food processors. However, AxFlow believes that it has overcome such problems with the introduction of the Saniflo VC pump which is capable of moving compressible solids of up to 6in while protecting product integrity. "The pump's flap valve technology can help to move muscle meat products, fruit, and vegetables trouble-free," says product manager Peter Carfrae.
The pump contains only two moving parts and is driven by filtered compressed air. This method, along with the technique of drawing product in to the pump's vertical column by vacuum ensures that solids in the medium are not damaged.
One area of the food industry identified by AxFlow for the new pump is protein processing (meat, poultry) as the volume of water required is far lower than for conventional pump technologies and higher yields of undamaged products can be achieved. Manufacturers of products which contain vegetables or soft fruits also can achieve improved output as the shear sensitivity of the pump eliminates the possibility of solids bruising.
The vertical pumping column of the Saniflo VC works in conjunction with two liquid check valves in the base of the pump. When the control panel draws atmospheric air from the column the product is pulled up until it reaches a conductivity sensor. Then, the panel reverses the air flow and pushes the product gently down the column and downstream. Flow rate adjustments can be made by changing the air supply pressure, the vacuum pressure, the discharge head pressure, or the vacuum timer.
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