A private label food manufacturer in Chester, Ill., was experiencing a repetitive, expensive problem with a key component of their operation and turned to IPEG for a cost-saving solution.
The Gilster-Mary Lee Corp.’s shredded wheat and marshmallow plant uses a TRA10-0600 Wright Flow lobe pump for transferring liquid marshmallow to an extruder. The pump performed satisfactorily during normal operation. However, restarts were very problematic after being offline. The mechanical seal faces would stick together, causing them to fracture and fail. The seal failure would result in a marshmallow mess on the floor, down time and other maintenance issues. Because the failure had occurred 10 times in the past three years and cost $3,500 each time in pump rebuild costs alone, the company decided it was time for a new solution.
IPEG, which offers a wide selection of pumps from leading manufacturers, converted the customer’s single mechanical sealed pump into a double mechanical sealed design. IPEG’s team retooled the pump casing and created a flow path for a secondary seal barrier fluid. The customer now has the option of running hot water or low-pressure steam as a liquid or gas barrier between the outboard and inboard seals prior to start-up. In addition, increasing the temperature in the seal area prevents the failure by liquifying the marshmallow between the seal faces enough to keep the seal faces from sticking. Since the upgrade, this Gilster-Mary Lee plant has been operating for six months without the issue occurring again.
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