A cardboard mill customer suffered from regular pump breakdowns in the fiber line effluent sump. Two submersible pumps replaced by one non-clogging process pump of the Sulzer Ahlstar line equipped with a Sulzer Ejector. After more than two years in operation, there has been no disturbance.
This European mill produces 240’000 tons of cardboard from wastepaper per year. The cardboard is used to make plasterboard and for packaging. Various effluents from the mill are collected in different steps of the process and then treated in a modern, integrated wastewater treatment plant.
The main effluents from the fiber line process are collected in a large, 2.5 m deep sump prior to being pumped further through rotary drum screens and sent to the wastewater treatment plant. The liquids in the sump have varying characteristics and can be highly polluted with all kinds of solid particles (fibers, clips, tapes, ropes, etc.).
The initially installed sump pumps failed frequently. The two submersible pumps were regularly clogged, disturbing the whole process and generating high repair costs. The customer decided to look for a more reliable pumping system.
After thorough discussions, the client and Sulzer agreed on a radical alternative: one dry-installed process pump with a complete priming system. An Ahlstar NPP42-150 non-clogging pump unit with ejector soon replaced the failing submersible pumps. The installation was fast and easy, and only minor piping modifications were needed.
The NPP42-150 pump unit is located above the liquid level in the sump. At each pump start, a fully automated priming is done in a few seconds with the Sulzer Ejector package. The NPP42-150 pump has been running smoothly for more than two years now, without any blockage. One of the initial submersible pumps was removed from the sump and the other one is kept as standby, only being used from time to time in parallel with the NPP42-150, when a maximum drainage flow is required.
The non-clogging NPP42-150 with vortex impeller is optimized for sump applications where liquids are heavily polluted with debris and other big solid particles. All wetted parts of the NPP42-150 pump are of duplex stainless steel. This material is ideal for liquids which can be both corrosive and abrasive.
The Sulzer Ejector is an inexpensive and simple device powered by compressed air from the mill network. It allows full priming of the inlet pipe and pump in a few seconds. After priming, the ejector is stopped, and the NPP42-150 pump starts running. No compressed air is required during normal pumping operation.