Repair the leaky pump - it's good for both the environment and your wallet
Process industry / Foodtech
Now more than ever, it pays to refurbish well-worn industrial pumps rather than buying new ones. Here's the story of how a leaky milk pump was given a new lease of life with a skilled hand and a fresh mechanical shaft seal and is now running flawlessly again.
We've all heard the mantra that was prevalent until recently: It's hardly worth getting the equipment repaired, it's cheaper to buy new! This was also the experience an electrician on Funen was left with after the centrifugal pump in a milk processing plant started leaking and the leak could no longer be ignored.
Beware of automatic reaction, decades of mantra is about to fall
The electrician had been commissioned to repair the plant. On behalf of the owner, he consulted the system supplier and was offered a brand new pump, but still thought it might be worth listening to a repair rather than discarding the old but otherwise excellent pump.
This is where Hoppe & Møldam Elektro came in, an electromechanical service company with three workshop departments in Southern Denmark. The electrician contacted Claus Madsen in the Ringe branch, who also thought the pump was worth repairing. And it turned out to make sense for all parties.
- In these times when it can be both expensive and difficult to get new equipment, we often see that repair is a far more attractive option for customers than buying new. Repair is a good choice for both the wallet and the environment, says Claus Madsen.
They are 10 employees at Hoppe & Møldam Elektro in Ringe. Claus Madsen took on the case with the small centrifugal pump. Ove Andersen, who had actually retired but was called back into service due to the abundance of work at the workshop, took on the renovation job.
They are both electromechanics, and together with their other colleagues, the workshop represents many decades of practical experience in repairing and renovating motors, gears and pumps. Claus says that it is crucial for customers that they can quickly tune in to the right solution at a reasonable price. Most importantly, however, is to do a solid and proper job.
When they received the milk pump, Claus contacted Bjarne FeddersenProduct Manager at Betech. The two had previously worked together on similar tasks, and Bjarne was quickly able to help Hoppe & Møldam with the correct dimensional measurement and choice of mechanical shaft seal. In this case, a bellows seal type 528 from French manufacturer Groupe Latty was recommended.
Many parameters in play
The shaft seal is the heart of a pump and the component most exposed to wear and tear. Mechanical shaft seals are specifically designed as seals for rotating equipment and applications with pressurized media.
Mechanical seals consist of a rotating part (primary seal), a carrier, spring and retainer and a stationary (secondary) seal part. The correct type is selected based on the parameters of media, pressure, temperature, speed and dimensions.
Bellows seals are a popular type of mechanical seal for pumps in applications as diverse as food equipment, pharmaceutical production, water supply, power/heat supply and wastewater treatment.
Added value for the customer
In the pump, which was brought in to Hoppe & Møldam Elektro, drinking milk was passing the sliding surfaces of the seal, which therefore also had to be made of materials approved for food contact.
Many parameters were in play, and despite the team's vast experience, it was reassuring to have a specialist from the supplier on the sidelines so that the right seal could be found immediately.
Big gain by renovating the leaky pump
The only question that remained was the cost. Was it even worth it to repair the milk pump? Well, yes, it was: With a high-quality mechanical shaft seal from Betech, Hoppe & Møldam Elektro was able to disassemble, clean and refurbish the pump at a quarter of the cost of a new pump.
- The collaboration with Betech on the new shaft seal is also a good case for the workshop here. We have helped the installer with a very competitive solution, and the plant owner has once again got a good pump that will run smoothly for a long time to come. Everyone is satisfied and will tell others about the good service from Hoppe & Møldam, Ove concludes.
Repair is a good choice...
"In these times, when new equipment can be both expensive and difficult to source, we often find that repair is a far more attractive option for customers than buying new.
Repair is a good choice for both your wallet and the environment."
Want to know more about shaft seals?
See our complete range of mechanical shaft seals and read about their applications.