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Cat Pumps launches “Wash-Saver” for hygiene and sanitation cleaning systems

10 October 2014

Cat Pumps has introduced an energy-saving high pressure pump package for centralised hygiene and sanitation cleaning systems.

Called “Wash-Saver”, the package utilises a sophisticated variable frequency drive (VFD) and returns typically 85% mechanical energy efficiency irrespective of operating speed. This compares favourably with other solutions, particularly rotary pitot-type tube pumps which typically operate at less than 40% mechanical efficiency and must run at very high speeds between 4,500 and 5,500 rpm just to achieve 60 bar.

The Wash-Saver concept uses a feedback signal to the VFD to control the pump speed. The pump, drive motor, accessories and VFD panel come fully assembled, tested and pre-configured at Cat Pumps’ UK facility, to match individual end-users’ requirements. The option of a pre-piped water header tank is also available, and installation into existing centralised high-pressure pipe system is an uncomplicated procedure. The control panel can readily be incorporated into a factory automation system or linked into a local area network.

Cat Pumps’ Wash-Saver only uses as little water as required, as the pump only runs when wash-down guns and lances are activated. As the pump remains fully primed and pressurised even when in idle mode, water is delivered at the required pressure and flow as soon as any wash-down gun is activated. Thus, it is not necessary to keep high pressure water recirculating and the pump running constantly at high speed. This capability saves energy and reduces wear on the pump and its components.  As each additional gun is opened, the pump speed ramps up rapidly in response to the increased demand, then gently slows down when no longer required. As a result, each operator will not notice any drop-off in cleaning performance when co-workers activate adjacent guns.

When left in idle mode for longer periods of time, the control stops the pump completely, another energy-saving benefit, yet the system still responds instantly when any wash-down gun is activated. Finally, built-in protection against dry-running should there be any disruption to the water supply, as well as automatic detection of both minor and major pipework leaks, comes as standard.

The Wash-Saver concept can be applied to any of Cat Pumps’ reciprocating high pressure positive displacement triplex plunger pumps, enabling individual configuration to any size of wash-down plant. 

“Most large food processing and production sites have a centralised hygiene or sanitation cleaning system, many of which feature one or more high pressure pumps feeding a distributed array of wash-down guns and lances,” comments Cat Pumps’ general manager Brian Hubbard. “Using high pressure water demonstrates several advantages over chemical-based cleaning, not least of which are the effective removal of deposits and simpler wastewater disposal. With many users moving to pressures below 60 bar, the objection against airborne aerosols has also been largely addressed.”

Lime-scale build-up which can throw the rotor out of balance and lead to premature seal and bearings failure on a pitot-type rotary pump is never a problem with a Cat Pumps reciprocating pump as all the rotating parts are outside the liquid chamber.  Cat Pumps products are designed to be serviced on site,  in-situ and this capability together with readily available spare parts in stock in the UK, contributes further reduces overall running costs.

According to Brian Hubbard, the capital investment in a Cat Pumps Wash-Saver package could be recouped in less than 24 months through energy cost savings, reduced repair and maintenance expense and improved up-time.

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