Food and Beverage: Centrifugal Pumps vs Discflo Disc Pumps

The food and beverage industry faces unique challenges that pose difficulties for many commonly used pumps. For the user, this can mean expensive, unplanned downtime and high replacement parts costs.

One of the most commonly used pumps in the food and beverage industry is the centrifugal pump. These pumps and their replacement parts are readily available and typically well understood, thus making them a frequent choice for users. Are they truly the best option for the industry, though?

Centrifugal Pumps

Centrifugal pumps use a traditional impeller technology to transfer energy into the material being pumped.

Choosing a Centrifugal pump for a Food & Beverage application has its drawbacks. The impellers in these pumps cause impingement which will damage delicate materials and create a drop in efficiency when pumping fluid over 300 cP.

This makes centrifugal pumps a less than ideal choice for many food and beverage manufacturers. If you have to move solids, highly viscous liquids, or low shear materials, centrifugal pumps can damage goods, clog, or fail.

On the other hand, using Discflo’s unique proprietary, state-of-the-art discpac technology allows you to easily move hard-to-pump materials.

Discflo Disc Pumps

Discflo disc pumps provide non-impingement pumping, which means less wear and more protection for your product.

Through viscous drag, fluid is pulled through the pump without impingement. The boundary layer attracts and drags successive layers of fluid molecules into layered flows of parallel streams. This is the simple principle of viscous drag, and, in the disc pump, it is a powerful dynamic force that ‚Äúpulls” the fluid through the pump in a smooth, laminar, non-turbulent flow.

Our pumps use parallel rotating discpacs to make this happen. These discpacs create a flat efficiency curve, ensuring you get the most out of your pumping experience.

Challenges Faced by the Food & Beverage Industry

When looking at whether centrifugal pumps or Discflo disc pumps are the best solution for your food and beverage operation, we need to first identify common challenges faced by the industry.

1. Degradation

One of the primary challenges faced by pumping food and beverage applications is degradation. This wear occurs naturally over time but can be exasperated by abrasive materials, close tolerances, and other factors.

In a Discflo disc pump, there are low, to no close tolerances and no impingement. The material being pumped does not come into direct contact with the pump, which drastically reduces maintenance needs. Discflo disc pumps often reduce replacement parts needed by 90%.

2. Pumping Shear Sensitive Materials

Shear sensitive materials are impacted by impingement. Discflo disc pumps do not use impellers and, instead, create smooth laminar flow using the principles of boundary layer and viscous drag.

3. Pumping Shear Sensitive Materials

Pumps in the food and beverage industry often have to move very viscous materials, like dough, ice cream, yogurt, and mash.

Discflo’s unique discpac technology allows the application to maintain efficiency despite the change in viscosity.

4. Pumping Abrasive Materials

When pumping abrasive materials, like blood and bones, pumps face exasperated wear and tear and clogging. Close tolerances lead to direct contact with the abrasive materials, resulting in increased wear.

Discflo disc pumps have low, to no close tolerances and are non-impinging, making them the ideal choice for handling abrasive materials.

5. Pump Cavitation & Air (or Gas) Entrainment

When pumping from one tank to another and the fluid level reaches the bottom of the tank, the nPSH goes down and air bubbles can cause the pump to cavitate. This leads to air or gas entrainment and can cause massive damage to the pump, if not complete failure.

Discflo pumps can handle up to 70% entrained air, making them an excellent choice for applications that typically face pump cavitation and entrainment.

6. Pumping Delicate Materials

Many food products require moving delicate materials. Pumps with high close tolerances, combined with impingement will damage these materials, resulting in product loss.

Discflo disc pumps have low, to no close tolerances and use a non-impinging technology, allowing them to move delicate materials without experiencing yield loss.

7. Clogging And Running Dry

Does your operation move solids? Do you experience clogging and running dry, which creates damage and causes expensive downtime and repairs?

Discflo disc pumps can run dry and continue functioning, thanks to our unique technology.

8. Winner: Discflo Disc Pumps

Discflo disc pumps provide powerful solutions for an industry that frequently faces unique challenges. Our pumps offer a comprehensive, low to no maintenance solution for those in the food and beverage industry.

At a chicken processing facility in Arkansas, existing centrifugal pumps were experiencing frequent clogging when moving poultry waste, including chicken parts. Even when the chickens were passed through a chopper before being pumped, the centrifugal pumps continued to clog.

When we installed the Discflo disc pumps, the processing plant quickly saw an improvement, as our pumps outperformed all existing designs. This is thanks to our non-impinging design, which results in minimal contact between the material and the pump.

Discflo disc pumps were able to move large and stringy solids and abrasive materials while decreasing maintenance costs and downtime. This company would go on to replace their pumps with our disc pumps in a number of their plants throughout the country.

The toughest applications require the toughest pumps – and Discflo is ready to answer the call.

Are Discflo disc pumps the right solution for your food and beverage operation? Find out today.