A Guide to Choosing and Using Sine® Pumps in the Bakeries Sector

Bakery industry Bakery products are big business in modern society. Everything from cakes, muffins and fondants through to pies, pasties and quiches are best sellers in bakeries around the world. This also means that competition is fierce and factors such as product quality become a vital element of sales success.

Consumers demand first class appearance, an even spread of ingredients and product integrity. The pressure to deliver these requirements passes far down the manufacturing process to the pumps deployed for operations such as transfer and mixing. Here, increasing numbers of bakeries are turning to MasoSine SPS pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group.

What are the most challenging applications?

Very specific pump capabilities are needed in bakery applications. For instance, custard and cream must be transferred without shearing or any change in viscosity. Similarly, batter must be pumped without thinning or aeration, as any change here may cause it to rise. Chocolate fondants and creams must be pumped gently without crystallisation or caramelisation, while the integrity of fruit in a batter mix is also important to avoid discolouring the batter and destroying the fruit.

Are there pumps that can handle such challenging media?

Absolutely! But, first you need to ensure correct pump selection. This is a decision that must involve additional considerations such as flow rate, system pressures, temperature, suction conditions and the size of any inclusion. The pump will need to be able to handle inclusions without blocking or causing any damage. At Watson-Marlow, we have teams of sector specialists who can help you to make the right selection.

What’s the solution to these challenging applications?

The superior suction – suction lift or flooded suction transfer – and viscous product handling capability of our MasoSine sinusoidal pumps enable bakeries to transfer batters, doughs, liquid sweeteners, fruit fillings, creams and frostings with ease.

MasoSine pumps are designed to meet a range of requirements in the bakery sector that include low cost of ownership, reliability, ease of maintenance and conformity to recognised industry standards. 

What about low shear handling?

One of the biggest issues faced by bakeries is how to deal with shear sensitive products such as batters, dough, creams and custards, which change their viscosity when moved. For bakery products, maintaining integrity is vital for quality, brand and reputation, and the use of a low shear pump is essential.

Sinusoidal pumps are widely regarded as being the best low shear option. The smooth, undulating contour of the unique MasoSine pump rotor transports confectionery blends through the pump whilst maintaining the product’s integrity, viscosity profile, texture, colouration and value – even at high flows.

What about transfer of fillings?

Pies present a challenge all of their own – but, with the right pump, the transfer of fillings is ‘as easy as pie’! Regardless of whether the pie is sweet or savoury, the fillings usually entail large pieces of fruit, meat or vegetables, for example, which need to stay intact when passing through the pump.

The transfer of such fillings – often involving high suction lift of the product from the mixing bowl to the depositor feed hopper – can be a significant challenge for bakeries. However, thanks to large pumping chambers within MasoSine pumps, product integrity can be preserved and maintained even for very fragile product such as soft fruit or pre-cooked meat.

Are there any examples of ‘transfer’ applications?

We have scores of fantastic reference sites we can point you to. But, one case in point can be seen at the Syston, Leicestershire bakery of Pukka Pies, which produces around 60 million savoury pies a year. The bakery’s previous pumps were used to transfer pre-cooked meat from a 200 litre capacity mixing bowl to a depositor feed hopper ready to fill the pies. The company found that the meat mixture – which is rich, thick and full of meat chunks and therefore must not be damaged – was problematic for the pumps. Pukka needed to find a pump which could suction lift the mixture from the mixing bowl up to the depositor feed hopper, while maintaining product integrity.

Now, one of our easily-integrated SPS series MasoSine pumps, which features impressive suction lift for the dense pie fillings, is delivering a further benefit in the name of 20% faster pumping times. Today the company has a number of SPS pumps on site, including several pumps operating with flooded suction and three that utilise the suction lift capacity of the sine pump.

What about viscosity? 

SPS series pumps offer capacity up to 99m³/hr and pressures up to 15 bar thanks to their heavy-duty construction. They can safely pump high viscosity products, while their innovative yet simple design allows economical in-line maintenance.

Are sinusoidal pumps as noisy as AODDs?

No, they are not! Again – a great example of this ‘in action’ is at Pukka Pies.  The air-operated diaphragm pump which they had used previously was very noisy and the team at Pukka wanted to improve the working conditions for its bakery operatives.  The solution arrived with installation of a MasoSine SPS pump, which immediately lowered noise from 94 decibels peak, to only 74 decibels peak.

Are sinusoidal pumps easy to clean?

Ease and speed of changing from one product/recipe to another is vital to efficient operations. Unlike other pump types, MasoSine SPS models can be dismantled and cleaned, and ready to go again in minutes. No special skills or tools are required and the task can be completed by production line operatives rather than skilled maintenance engineers.  Furthermore MasoSine SPS models can be cleaned with a fully automated CIP process if required. Our own MasoSine pumps also meet stringent levels of certification such as FDA, EG1935, 3A and EHEDG standards depending on customer’s demand.

Can energy bills be reduced by using a MasoSine pump?

Yes, in viscous handling duties, MasoSine pumps use up to 50% less energy for the same flow in comparison with other pump types. MasoSine sinusoidal pumps move the product gently through the pump from suction to discharge, therefore handling within the pump is minimal, irrespective of viscosity. To prove that our pumps are virtually unaffected by increasing viscosity, we have created a set of flow/viscosity versus energy requirement performance graphs known as Mee curves.

The Mee curves demonstrate that in viscous fluid applications, smaller motor drives requiring less power are required, in turn saving energy, so reducing your carbon dioxide output. Furthermore, energy savings contribute to a reduction in the total manufacturing costs of your product.  We will be publishing a White Paper on this topic later in 2015.

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