The Runcorn plant of leading food manufacturer, AAK Foods, has swapped an ageing progressive cavity pump for the latest MasoSine pump from Watson-Marlow Pumps Group.

AAK initially tried a progressive cavity alternative, only to find it was taking three hours to strip, clean and rebuild. Accordingly, they turned to a MasoSine SPS4 sine pump, which offers both higher performance levels and quicker strip-down times.

AAK Foods produces over 300 different products for the retail and food service markets. By its own admission the company has a number of progressive cavity progressive cavity pumps on site approaching the end of their useful life.

The pumps are used to transfer product from intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) to depositor feed hoppers on the filling lines. However, for thicker viscosity products, this area had become a bottleneck. When Engineering Manager Ian Roberts began his search for a modern equivalent, the result was a trial with a progressive cavity pump.

“Because these pumps now have an extra chamber, we found it was taking 2-3 hours to strip, clean and rebuild,” he says. “With a lot of short runs here – losing 3 hours to change product is simply out of the question.”

By chance, Mr Roberts read a trade magazine article about a food manufacturer that had enjoyed considerable success using a MasoSine SPS pump from Watson-Marlow.

“Our pumps have to pump everything from thin dressings to coarse grain mustards and everything in between, representing a big range of viscosities” explains Mr Roberts. “Furthermore, we need a gentle acting pump so the particulates within our foods are not destroyed in the transfer process.”

The pump’s impressive suction capacity of 0.85 bar allows fast and efficient transfer of high viscosity products from the IBC to the filling line. Furthermore, its gentle, low shear action and large pumping chamber helps preserve and maintain product integrity. The single rotor design and inherent one shaft one seal allow for ease and speed of maintenance and strip down. In addition, the 91.2 m³/hr, pumping capacity is twice that of the original progressive cavity pumps. Importantly for AKK, strip down is also remarkably easy and fast.

“While we might be able to source lower cost alternatives, the MasoSine is superior in every way, ultimately making it better value for money. When we add in the fact that Watson-Marlow is very supportive, then there really isn’t a better solution for our business.”