Greenvale fixes potato problem

01 February 2007

Greenvale AP has invested in a PCM GVA pump to reduce costs and effluent at its potato processing plant. The Wisbech factory claims the self-modulating speed control of the pump has freed up operators and performed without problems.

The PCM pumps proved capable of handling the sticky and high viscosity product
The PCM pumps proved capable of handling the sticky and high viscosity product

With a capacity to generate 6000 tonnes of potato product each year, Greenvale supplies the fresh and ready meal industry. Before the installation, from Corby based PCM, emptying waste from mobile hoppers was a time-consuming and labour intensive process involving a heavy, sticky, highly viscous, abrasive product.

At the start of the process, potatoes are emptied into an industrial washing and peeling machine with a capacity of more than three tonnes. This process ejects waste, which was previously discharged via slow speed augers into mobile hoppers, to be wheeled away manually.

PCM recommended its GVA pump with closed loop level control as it was a system specifically designed for heavy viscose products.

The new-found ability to pump waste from the outlet of the auger directly into the holding hopper removes the need for operators to wheel potato skins and warm water a distance of 70m before unloading into a 7m high holding hopper. The pump operates quietly and its self-modulating speed control and the freeing up of operators is claimed to have resulted in considerable savings and a reduction in effluent.

As with the waste solution, the main process needed a stainless steel pump, fitted with food grade elastomers and capable of transferring warm (65°C) mashed potato at a rate of 675kgs/hr – 1000kgs/hr.

The PCM recommendation to install GBB Hopper Pumps to handle the process has proved hygienic and capable of maintaining an optimum packing rate.

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