Ensuring the production process meets all the current hygienic and food safety regulations is one of the main challenges facing any wholesale bakery business, when the budget is simply not there to have a fully automated food production system, handling all the different products in a safe sanitary manner can prove quite difficult. The North Ridge bespoke food grade pump kits are the solution to this.
A traditional family-run bakery established over 50 years and located in Ireland required a fully hygienic, easy to clean mobile pump to transfer fruit jams, toffee sauce, fruit curds, and whipped cream. The variety of products being handled posed a real challenge for us. Some of the products are directly dispensed from a cooking kettle into the pump at an average temperature of 100 – 110 °C and others are incredibly vicious as they are stored in a fridge before being used. The customer needed a bespoke multipurpose solution for their processes, the sanitary pump kit supplied had to be capable of handling all the products in question, hence had to be suitable for high viscosities and temperatures up to 120 °C, but also have a very gentle pumping action due to the shear sensitivity of the whipped cream. High-temperature liquids can have a negative impact on seals, NPSH, and the overall pump lifespan so careful consideration must be taken during pump selection.
Their current procedure involved manually transferring sauces via totes and buckets, however, the customer wanted to improve their process and automate food transfer, reduce the likelihood of burns or accidents, and eliminate manual lifting and tipping of containers. They needed a custom cost-effective unit that operates like a semi-automatic liquid filling machine. We supplied a completely bespoke pump system consisting of one DX hygienic progressing cavity pump, mounted on a mobile trolley, with an integrated control panel. The pump is 3A sanitary certified, which means it is suitable for CIP (cleaning-in-place) and SIP (sterilization-in-place) furthermore, is specifically designed to have no dead zones or sharp edges where the product can build up ensuring the internal components are fully clean after the operation and guaranteeing zero cross-contamination when handling different products.
We also ensured it is easy to clean the unit externally by fitting a stainless-steel shroud that covers both the motor and the gearbox. The control panel has a built-in inverter that allows the operator to vary the flow rate of the pump, this feature is extremely beneficial for the customer as the pump has run slowly when handling the whipped cream.
All the construction materials are sanitary grade, the pump body, connections and rotor are manufactured in AISI-316L stainless steel with an internal surface finish of Ra 0.8 μm. A hygienic high-temperature stator is also installed to deal with the elevated temperatures of some of the products as well as a hard face high-temperature mechanical seal configuration.
Besides having an integrated inverter, the control panel has several other safety and operation features, such as a start/stop switch, reverse (clockwise/anti-clockwise) switch, emergency stop, alarm for motor overload protection, and temperature control sensor, with an alarm for dry running protection. There is also the added feature of controlling the inverter via a Bluetooth mobile phone app, this enables the operator to view the status of the pump while also controlling the speed. We are proud to say that thanks to our pump kit the customer improved their production efficiency dramatically, which in the food industry literally translates as an increase in profitability. The layout enabled users to operate the kit with very little training due to the simplicity of design but also the built-in protection ensures the unit cannot be damaged.