An SPX25 direct-coupled peristaltic hose pump from Watson-Marlow Bredel is helping to maintain quality at one of the most productive breweries in Europe.
The success of the initial SPX25 installation has encouraged the Anheuser-Busch Inbev UK Magor Brewery in Monmouthshire, South Wales to go in for additional six hose pumps.
Brewers use kieselguhr, a sedimentary rock/mineral in the beer filtration process. A pump is deployed to dose kieselguhr in slurry form into the filter so that it forms a 'bed' on a plate and frame filter.
The brewery was using unreliable piston pumps that ran the risk of introducing dissolved oxygen (DO) into the beer.
According to Paul Evans, technical-services line manager at the Anheuser-Busch Inbev Magor Brewery, even the slightest traces of DO in beer can change its flavour and make it taste stale.
Continuous monitoring is required to check the ingress of DO into the beers and the production team strives to achieve levels of less than 10ppb (parts per billion), which can be difficult over the entire brewing process, where the potential for exposure to oxygen is high.
Evans says that the stainless-steel non-return valves on the discharge side of their piston pumps began to stick due to the corrosive nature of the kieselguhr slurry.
This required maintenance or replacement of the pumps, which would inevitably expose the beer to the atmosphere.
With three filter mains on site at the Magor Brewery, Inbev decided to trial an SPX25 peristaltic pump supplied by Watson-Marlow.
Evans comments that they were intrigued by the peristaltic technology and introduced an SPX25 model to one of their filter mains.
Peristaltic pumps have no valves, seals or glands and the fluid contacts only the bore of the hose or tube, eliminating the risk of the pump contaminating the fluid or vice versa.
At the Magor Brewery, extensive trials were completed successfully, and they decided to acquire the pump in addition to two more pumps for the other filter mains.
Evans says that the pumps are linked via an inverter to their PLC using a Scada interface so that they can ramp the speed up and down as required.
Evans adds that they find the running signal to be extremely useful as it allows them to change the hose as part of a planned and preventative maintenance schedule when they come anywhere close to the 2,000 hours recommended by Watson-Marlow.
Featuring a rugged hub with twin-bearing rotor at its core, the SPX25 combines the advantages of bare-shaft construction with that of a close-coupled pump.
The pump bearings absorb the forces occurring in the pump centrally, eliminating load on the gearbox bearings.
Installation time, maintenance and costs are reduced in the peristaltic hose pumps since there is no coupling, alignment or heavy-duty base plate.
The success of the hose pumps in the filter mains project at the Anheuser-Busch Inbev Magor Brewery has led the company into acquiring a further three SPX25 peristaltic pumps for use on a similar application in a different operation.