‘Versatile’ pumps aid chocolate production

01 April 2007

An internal gear pump has become an integral part in the production of several million chocolate bars a day at a major UK confectionery company. The Varisco ‘V’ series from The Pump Company are used throughout the chocolate manufacturing process, from pumping the raw cocoa mass to the finished product.

Where smooth flow is the priority, The Pump Company says, the choice of pump is critical. Understanding the rheology of the fluid and obtaining the correct balance has allowed the company to specify and supply the Varisco ‘V’ pumps. The pumps’ versatility is claimed to handle a range of substances, including watery or highly viscose liquids.

The confectionery company uses the internal gear pumps to feed the conchers (refining process), feed the moulds, off-load chocolate from road tankers and transfer the product to bulk storage. Featuring extra large clearances, the chocolate pumps operate at slow speeds, typically in the 50 to 60 rpm range. This is claimed to not shear stress the chocolate.

Also used for glucose and syrups, the pumps are available from a 25mm to 100mm port size.

By giving a constant capacity, directly proportional to the rotation speed and virtually independent of the pressure, the pump is said to give a smooth flow without pulsation or pressure peaks. These can cause vibration or even destroy the pumped liquid.

The reversible pumps have two moving parts, the rotor and idler gear, and one shaft. The company says the high vacuum created by the pump permits rapid self-priming at the maximum height made possible by the physical characteristics of the pumped liquid, for example temperature, vapour pressure or viscosity.

Varisco ‘V’ pumps rotate slowly and are claimed to have a low wear rate. The number of teeth on the rotor and idler are not multiples of the other. This is designed to ensure wear is evenly distributed over the gears. The rotor wear adjustment system is said to allow peak performance and maintain high volumetric efficiency.

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