After only two years of preliminary work and numerous challenging tests, an exclusive framework agreement on the supply of centrifugal pumps was signed with FBR-ELPO, one of the most important producers of plants for tomato paste and fruit concentrate.
In spring 2014, ANDRITZ, an international technology company based in Graz, Austria, received its first order for centrifugal pumps for the production of tomato paste and juice concentrate. The request came from FBR-ELPO based in Parma, Italy. FBR-ELPO is a manufacturer of machines and complete lines for the processing of tomatoes and fruits and has been one of the international market leader for over 50 years. Founded in 1963 under the name of FBR , the company was a small manufacturer of specifically custom-tailored machinery for the food industry. The company has always sought to acquire and increase its expertise in complex food applications. After only a short time, FBR was able to expand its position in the market internationally and to gradually gain access to more well-known companies as customers in the food sector.
In the wake of the acquisition of ELPO in the early 1990s, a pioneer in the construction of aseptic filling machines, the company has received its current name FBR-ELPO. Their aseptic fillers are the flagship and are considered a high-quality product worldwide. Today, FBR-ELPO offers a complete range of tomato and fruit processing solutions, from single machines to turnkey complete lines.
The global marketing director of ANDRITZ Pumps says: “The development history of our customer is impressive, particularly if you are aware of the challenges in the food production!”
FBR-ELPO has always strived for the highest quality and performance to best serve its customers. In the light of the fact that existing suppliers and their products had reached technological limits, the Italian company was looking for a reliable partner with a global service network, top products as well as extensive experience in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT). ANDRITZ already had 10 years of experience in IoT in 2014.
Following brief negotiations in autumn of 2014, an agreement was reached on the basis of many discussions, factory visits and customer visits as well as careful studies of theoretic data. The aim was to determine if the single–stage centrifugal pumps from ANDRITZ’s ACP series could meet the specific demands of the production process. First, these pumps have to deal successfully with the different varieties of the incoming raw product. Furthermore, depending on weather conditions, product quality can vary and this, of course, affects its media properties. So plants and pumps have to work under different conditions in the production process and are confronted with totally different media behavior and data.
The technical director of FBR ELPO states: “We found that ANDRITZ pumps behaved extremely constant in all conditions – this gives us an additional big value for our customer.” FBR-ELPO customers include renowned companies such as Coca Cola, Danone, Dohler, Heinz, Nestlè, Smuckers, Unilever and many others
Based on the preliminary discussions, the decision was made to first test the ACP pumps in the tomato paste and juice concentrate production. Therefore, the first test pump was installed in a plant in Egypt. Due to the successful test, an exclusive framework agreement for the supply of centrifugal pumps was signed in spring 2016. After this other pumps were installed in a plant in Algeria and in another plant in Egypt
The project manager of ANDRITZ Pumps highlights the importance of this project: “With this strong partner we have gained access to a new, interesting market in order to position our top ACP pump with their unique capabilities in relation to the high requirements in the food sector in a targeted and effective way worldwide.”
At the beginning of 2017, pumps for the project in Algeria were already delivered. In summer 2017, tomatoes flew through the custom-tailored orange ANDRITZ pumps with blue motors to be exported worldwide.
The technical director of FBR ELPO explains the choice of ANDRITZ products: “The fact that ANDRITZ has such a long proven experience in heavy duty applications gave us the extra confidence to trust in ANDRITZ products. Our evaporation plants work only as good as the circulation is. Pumps are absolutely mandatory for our plants!”
With a flow rate of up to 3,000 m³ / h, the pumps used do not only operate significantly above the industrial average, but also already offer all the devices to be remotely serviced and operated by internet-of-people applications as part of an integrated, fully IoT-based application. This enables further optimization of production efficiency, realization of the lowest energy consumption and an early recognition of faults or power decreases through the application of the IoT-based PATTERN RECOGNITION PROCEDURES (PRP) method.
The ACP pump with fluidizer is used in tomato production in a stainless steel version in order to process a concentrate with 30 ° Brix and a viscosity of 400 mm² / s. The machine must withstand an average temperature of 80 ° C permanently at a concentrate density of at least 1,100 kg / m³.