Progressive cavity pumps for efficient waste removal

Thanks to their versatility and reliability, progressive cavity (PC) pumps continue to remain popular among food processors for a variety of product transfer duties including waste removal of by-products and waste.

Most food plants generate by-products, particularly if engaged in primary processing and these must be removed from production areas as efficiently and hygienically as possible, complying with ABP regulations, incurring minimal costs whilst maximising any potential revenue.

Traditional removal methods for solid waste include: manual removal using tote bins; blown air systems and vacuum systems; and water flumes. Food processors often use a combination of these, however, they can incur high running costs in the form of manual labour, energy use or water treatment. PC pumps offer an alternative, removing waste in enclosed pipework from both high care and low risk areas, with low energy and labour demands.

Chopping with pumping

SEEPEX has designed a progressive cavity pump that can chop and pump in the same unit, removing solid waste containing up to 40% dry solids (ds), without the need to add water. This open-hopper PC pump features an auger feed into fixed and rotating knives that can chop most products, producing a lower volume of waste which is easier to handle. Discarded products, raw materials, trimmings and rejects can all be handled within a single multi-purpose unit enabling efficient and hygienic removal from both high care and low risk areas. Food processors gain a solution that delivers low cost removal while preserving the highest residual value of their by-products – particularly if the resultant ‘soup’ is sent to be converted into biogas.

PCPs in action

SEEPEX has provided a series of bespoke pumping solutions to Natures Way Foods, a manufacturer of fresh convenient foods including ready-to-eat fruit, and mixed fruit packs. The preparation of the finished products generates peelings, cores and stone waste, all of which must be removed from production areas.

Their existing systems were not able to handle the volume or variable nature of either the different fruit types or the process methods, some of which are automated whilst others rely on hand trimming. To combat this, SEEPEX has installed three different PC pump systems to handle different waste types and to fit within the factory configurations. They have low energy requirements compared to blown or vacuum systems and require no additional water to function efficiently. Their versatility and modular design enables them to cope with all the waste products, delivering cost savings and improved hygiene for today’s food processors.