Pumps & Valves 101

1000709Pumps and valves are the hearts and lungs of a dairy processing plant. They control the flow of fluid milk, cheese curds, ice cream mix, and other dairy products through a facility. Pumps move ingredients from vats to fillers and valves direct liquids to a line and allow for cleaning. Choosing the right equipment for a given application is critical for a plant to lower waste and increase production.

downloadAny pump or valve considered for a processing system should bear a 3-A symbol. 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. is an independent, non-profit corporation dedicated to advancing hygienic equipment design for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. The 3-A symbol assures that the equipment is configured and built to exacting sanitary standards.

A well designed pump or valve allows for complete and efficient CIP (Cleaning in Place). The pump or valve would have minimal dead zones, no sharp corners, or other places where product entrapment could occur. Product entrapment may result in cross contamination and loss of product.

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Along with an easy to clean design, it is important to use proper seal materials and elastomers. Seal materials should be compatible with all product ranges. Choose the seal material that stands up to the most demanding application. EPDM is often the standard elastomer for pumps and valves because the material is resistant to most fluids used in a dairy processing plant. However, high temperatures and product compatibility may require different types, such as Viton, Buna, Silicone, etc….

Proper design coupled with the correct seals and elastomers will allow for an efficient, clean, and productive pump or valve. Here at Nelson-Jameson are in the unique position of offering these products to our customers, and possessing baseline knowledge will help us provide the service they have come to expect. Pumps and valves are critical in the day to day operations of a dairy plant. For more information on pumps and valves, contact our Process Systems Department at 800-826-8302 or see our website.

About J.R. Banks

Process Systems Assistant Product Manager, Nelson-Jameson, Inc.
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