Hygienic high-pressure pumps for dairies

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Gea presented its first high-pressure pump for membrane filtrations such as reverse osmosis and nanofiltration in dairies at Anuga FoodTec 2018. The Hilge Hygia H is designed for system pressures up to 64 bar with outstanding cleanability characteristics and a modular motor connection.

The new high-pressure pump is based on the Hygia premium range of hygienic pumps, which has been proven for decades and is suitable for a large number of viscous fluids and applications as a result of its high surface quality and adaptability. It is designed to pump fluids as well as homogeneous media containing air or gas and withstands a system pressure of 64 bar. “40 bar is standard in the dairy industry”, says Martin Zickler, product manager for hygienic pumps at Gea.

“With a 64 bar system pressure, the successful line of pumps can now cover the high pressure ranges required for membrane filtration in whey processing, meaning even more valuable substances can be extracted.” Producers are increasingly attaching importance to this because modern membrane processes significantly increase the value added in fractionation and concentration of whey and milk protein.

The Hygia H with the Adapta design allows for variable standard motors. The pump may remain in the system when replacing the motor.

“The new high-pressure pump closes a gap in our product range, and now enables us to tailor complete membrane filtration solutions to our customers.” It is available in two sizes, of which the large variant—powered by a 45 kW motor—delivers a volume flow of up to 200 m³/h and reaches a maximum delivery height of 72 m.

In order to facilitate cleanability for hygienically sensitive applications—such as in milk processing—Gea opts for a forged casing instead of a cast metal casing for product-wetted components. “Cast metal alternatives are undesirable—especially in the pharmaceutical industry—because of the surface cavities. Cleanability is affected and the 3-A certification is not easily obtained,” says Zickler. However, both cleanability and 3-A certification were important parameters for GEA in the development of the pump. All materials have therefore been carefully selected for use in hygienic processes. The casings are made of forged CrNiMo (1.4404) and have a nonporous and cavity-free surface.

Adapta motor connection with additional value

Gea has designed the Hygia H to use the flexible Adapta motor connection: It enables the pump to remain in the pipeline when the motor needs to be replaced. The entire system does not need to be re-sterilized or cleaned. “Experience has shown that customers choose an Adapta motor connection when the demands are particularly high. In the pharmaceutical industry—where cleaning time and effort has a massive impact—the percentage has already reached 80 to 90 percent. The demand for flexible, cost-saving solutions is also increasing significantly in the food industry”, says Zickler, explaining why GEA also uses this bearing bracket for its new high-pressure pump.

Thanks to the modular design of the Adapta motor connection, the pumps can be equipped with a wide variety of standard motors, allowing them to easily meet all country-specific requirements for electric motors. This will also make the Hilge Hygia H attractive to foreign markets: “Customers in the US are now able to connect their own Nema motors”, emphasizes the product manager. “We can deliver the pumps without motor, which means that the plant manufacturer can simply place the pumps in the warehouse. A suitable motor is mounted depending on the country in which they will be used.”

A 3-A certification becomes the equivalent of a seal of hygiene

While in Germany the 3-A certification plays only a minor role, it is very interesting for small and medium-sized plant builders who deliver dairy plants to North America. “Meanwhile, we also see a demand coming from Asian customers with 3-A requirements. You see, the certificate is a kind of quality seal that proves the pump is easy to clean and complies with the hygienic design guidelines”, summarizes Zickler. The Hilge Hygia H will be issued the 3-A certification this year, while the Hygia K and Adapta range already bear the seal for the US market.

Hilge Hygia H

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