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A flexible wine pumping solution

01 April 2021

Food Processing finds out how a winemaker found a portable and flexible liquid handling solution for barrel filling and tank transfer operations. 

Defined Wine is a UK-based contract winemaker. The company needed to find a solution to transfer wine around the plant at temperatures of between 2 and 65°C. To do this they wanted a pump that would be able to handle maximum flow rate requirements of up to 15,000 litres per hour. Another requirement was that the pump have variable speed capabilities al to enable the volume of wine being transferred to be controlled.  

To help the company find a good solution to its liquid handling requirement, it contacted Castle Pumps.

In order to ensure the selected pump was able to handle the performance requirements of the application, Castle Pumps first needed to understand the pressure capabilities required for the application. After discussing the application in more detail with the team at Defined Wine, Castle Pumps identified that, while the pump would be used primarily to fill barrels, there was a hope that the same pump would also be able to carry out tank-to tank-transfer tasks and this would require a maximum head pressure of 8m. 

In addition, Defined Wine also wanted to be able to control the pump remotely and wanted reverse operation to be yet another feature.

The key challenges in this application were, that for the safe handling of wine the pump system would need to be of a suitable food grade, and it would also need to be fully portable, to allow the company to redeploy it for the different tasks they required it to handle.

A flexible solution
Given that the application was for wine transfer, Castle Pumps put forward its flexible impeller pump range as offering the best solution. The low shear operation, food grade construction and smooth, steady pumping of this range make it suitable for the accurate filling of barrels without altering the consistency of the wine. The pump is also able to handle small solids, enabling any sediment at the bottom of a tank to be handled without damage to the pump.

To ensure ease of manoeuvring around the winery, the impeller pump was mounted onto a trolley. The requirements for remote control, variable speed and reversible operation of the pump was ultimately met by a Liverani all-in-one flexible impeller pump. The addition of the control panel allows the user to schedule, automate, control, monitor and review wine transfer and filling operations. From the pre-set barrel filling setting to enable multiple barrels of the same size to be filled without the operator having to set all dispenses up individually, to the free transfer option to enable tank to tank transfer, this solution exactly met Defined Wine’s requirements.

After consulting the performance tables of the Liverani All-in-One table, the Major 10-200 was specified as this was able to meet the flow and pressure requirements of the application. The customer was offered a choice of either 230v or three phase 400v.

This wine transfer pump solution was delivered within four weeks of the order being placed.

Commenting on the solution, a Defined Wine spokesperson said: “The Liverani pump has been a great addition to our cellar in that it has an inbuilt flow meter so we can accurately measure volumes that we are transferring; a barrel filling programme so we can accurately and reliably fill barrels to a set volume and a remote control and touchscreen which are easy and intuitive to use. We also like the trolley it is mounted on, which enables us to manoeuvre it around the cellar with ease. It's a fast, reliable and versatile pump and we are really happy with it”.

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