Purity Soft Drinks Ltd, a UK based beverage manufacturer with a history stretching back over a century, has replaced air operated diaphragm pumps with MasoSine process pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group. The move has cut the time taken to unload barrels of juice concentrate by a factor of 10 – the operation now takes just 2 minutes against the previous time of 20 minutes.
Increasing numbers of process engineers in the beverage industry are beginning to realise the benefits of sine pumps and Purity Soft Drinks is among the latest to adopt this innovative technology. Established in 1892, Purity today places itself among the UK’s leading family-owned soft drink manufacturers. Its commitment to delivering quality and value for money to its customers is epitomised by its strategy of investing in technology that will enhance both its product offer and process efficiency.
The adoption of MasoSine SPS series pumps from Watson-Marlow is a case in point. Juice concentrate can arrive at the company’s advanced manufacturing facility in quantities upward of 200 barrels at a time. To decant these, Purity was until recently using air operated diaphragm pumps. However, the process was taking 20-30 minutes for each one, causing a significant production bottleneck.
Proven track record
Having successfully used another Watson-Marlow product in the past, namely Bredel high pressure peristaltic hose pumps, Purity approached the company for a solution to its decanting problem. The results speak for themselves. Using the Watson-Marlow electric-operated sine pumps, the transfer time is now reduced to 2 minutes for the same volume of concentrate. This is aided considerably by the sine pump’s suction lift capability, and this fact will also help Purity pump up a thick prune juice concentrate for use in a new product.
There are large financial benefits too. With labour costed at £10 per hour during drum pumping, three syrup room operators were previously employed for up to five hours a day on this task alone. It doesn’t take a genius to see the significant sum that has been saved – a figure that ensures very rapid payback on Purity’s investment.
“There’s no doubt that the sine pump technology has reduced our make-up time and allowed greater production time,” states Purity’s Production Director, Stuart Nalley. “Furthermore, the ability to vary the speed easily via an inverter to match it to the product being handled is of great benefit and allows us to pump concentrate ranging from semi-frozen juices to thick purees.”
Gentle but robust
MasoSine pumps feature a sinusoidal rotor for gentle, low shear product handling, while their heavy duty construction means they can also handle high pressure applications. Mr Nalley says that “the pump is robust, of simple construction and easy to strip down for inspection and cleaning”.
The success of the pump replacement project is yet another reflection of Purity’s advance in recent years. For instance, the company recently purpose-built a £1.5 million national distribution centre in Wednesbury, West Midlands. The move is based on the success of its premium juice drinks range, known as Juice Burst™, where increased sales now require distribution of more than 500,000 bottles per week. In total, Purity’s bottling plant today produces more than 18,000 bottles per hour, more than a month’s production when compared to output in 1892.