Watson-Marlow Pumps Limited

Case Study: Reliable pumping of media containing soft solids in the food industry

In the food sector especially, the reliability of machinery is extremely important, since the manufactured products have a limited shelf life. If a machine fails due to just one small spare part that costs barely a few cents, then the whole production facility often grinds to a halt. If the replacement part is not there fast enough, the financial consequences of the damage can reach untold levels. So it is great if the manufacturer of the machine delivers on his service promise with action and delivers the spare part in the space of a few hours. This was the experience of the Kessko sweets and chocolate factory in Bonn/Germany with its partner Watson-Marlow, which has supplied various models of its MasoSine SPS pumps.

Reiner Liffmann, Technical Manager at the Kessko sweets and chocolate factory in Bonn, made the call on a Thursday evening: “Mr. Kremser, our SPS 2” urgently needs spare parts. When can you deliver?” Matthias Kremser, Industrial Sales Engineer West at Watson-Marlow MasoSine, the world’s leading specialist in the field of positive displacement pumps, was standing just a few hours later on Friday morning in Reiner Liffmann’s office, holding the much-needed spare parts in his hands. The filling line was put back into operation without any downtime. “Previously, we had also fitted a usable pump, but the service was lacking. The situation with the new SPS pump from Watson-Marlow MasoSine is much better. This level of service really impressed me. It confirms that we’ve made the right decision with our choice of pump,” says Kessko’s Technical Manager.

If the pump fails, the entire filling system at the long-established, Bonn-based company is forced to grind to a halt. Reliability and good service are therefore essential for sanitary and industrial pumps. “It’s very important to us. With our pumps, we also offer a 15-year warranty on the housing,” says Watson-Marlow sales agent Matthias Kremser.

“Chocolate for the director” movie

A total of four SPS pumps from Watson-Marlow MasoSine are installed at Kessko. “The pumps are good, fast and extremely reliable,” says Reiner Liffmann, delightedly. The largest, a 2.5” model from the SPS series, is used at the filling system in the production hall. “This is also where famous German actor Götz George filmed “Schokolade für den Chef” (“Chocolate for the director”), reports Helmut Kessler proudly, partner spokesman and grandson of the company’s founder, Gustav Kessler.

Inside the hall, it smells a bit like the Christmas markets. A scent of cocoa and chocolate hangs in the air. Instead of loud music playing in the background, the only sounds heard are the voices of the employees and the clattering of the machinery. The MasoSine pump is used in the production of hazelnut spread. One of the total of 180 Kessko employees who work across Germany has entered the exact weight of 12.5 kilograms per bucket in the filling system, while his colleague places the buckets on the steel plate. He now actuates the foot pedal and the light brown, sweet mixture that children so enjoy spreading on their toast at breakfast flows quickly into the white buckets. Lid on, job done.

“We fill 160 containers in this process every hour,” says Reiner Liffmann, “which is the equivalent of two tons of hazelnut spread. We’re not about manufacturing mass products, but rather about quality.”

No foam build-up

A feat of strength for the employees, but a perfectly routine operation for the MasoSine pump, which can now demonstrate its prowess: “Look! No foam build-up,” says Matthias Kremser, from Watson-Marlow MasoSine. “The SPS pump is absolutely ideal for difficult liquids in particular, since they are suctioned up with a powerful suction force, allowing them to flow evenly and quickly. The result is a particularly gentle, virtually pulsation-free pumping operation. This is what distinguishes MasoSine pumps from other positive displacement pumps such as gear pumps, for example.”

The food and cosmetics industry in particular therefore very much appreciate the reliability of the Watson-Marlow MasoSine SPS pump. The sinusoidal design of the rotor creates four chambers with each turn, through which the medium – in this case the liquid – is pumped from the inlet port to the higher-pressure discharge port. The rotor – unlike on rotary lobe pumps, which have multiple shafts – is powered via just one shaft by a motor. The scraper gate prevents any liquid from flowing back from the discharge side to the lower-pressure suction side of the pump. Since the chamber volume does not change, the system is absolutely perfect for pumping liquids containing soft solids or viscous media, such as chocolate spread. A heated jacket for the housing and lid is used especially for this type of application. Other pumped liquids require a cooling jacket, in order to keep the temperature of the product constant. This is also available for the SPS pumps from Watson-Marlow MasoSine.

Thorough cleaning

Even the cleaning of the Watson-Marlow MasoSine SPS pump is a straightforward process: “The pump is stripped down in ten minutes. All you have to do is undo four screws on the pump head and the shaft nuts, then all the internal parts that come into contact with the product can be removed without any other tools and cleaned until they are spotless,” says Matthias Kremser. The SPS pumps are also suitable for CIP and SIP cleaning processes. “We clean our MasoSine pump after every filling procedure,” says Reiner Liffmann from Kessko. “We're able to clean the pump thoroughly, right into the last corner.”

The MasoSine pump’s long service life is another impressive characteristic: “Depending on the product being pumped, a wear part such as a new plastic scraper is needed after only around three to four years, which costs around Euro 150 for the pump size we use here,” says Watson-Marlow sales agent Matthias Kremser. The SPS pump is installed on a stainless steel console. After delivery to Kessko, it was quickly fitted, connected to the in-house electronics system and put into operation. The motor comes from SEW-EURODRIVE, the world’s market leader in drive technology – a conscious decision, as Matthias Kremser explains: “We deliberately chose this motor manufacturer, since it satisfies our quality requirements extraordinarily well.” The motors also correspond to energy efficiency class 2.

The next project at Kessko is the procurement of a new pump. Reiner Liffmann promises: “We’ll definitely be talking to Watson-Marlow about it first. We’re extremely satisfied with what they have to offer.”

Exhibitor Data Sheet