Problem: One of the most critical processes in the production of margarine and shortenings is the transfer of the oil/water emulsion into a scraped surface heat exchanger to chill and crystallise the product. This process impacts on the entire production cycle and on the end product, so it is essential that the fluid is pumped into the heat exchanger at a constant pressure and flow.

Solution: Processing and packaging equipment supplier Amtech Developments, has recently started fitting Cat Pumps triplex plunger pumps to its shortening, margarine and low fat spreads production equipment for this duty. The first recipient to benefit from this pump type is a Nairobi-based food processing plant manufacturing shortening. Here, Amtech has replaced an existing positive displacement pump feeding the heat exchanger with a Cat Pumps’ model 3841 Stainless Steel 38 Frame block-style pump.

The high pressure triplex plunger pump is used to pump an oil/water emulsion at pressures typically between 20 and 70 bar through the crystallisation equipment. Once reduced to a temperature of between 10 and 15°C, the crystallised fat turns the emulsion into a semi-solid (plastic) product. In this form, considerable force is required to keep an even and steady product flow through to the packaging line, and it is the pump that overcomes the high back-pressure and ensures a smooth and continuous flow of product through to the packaging line. 

The advantages of Cat Pumps’ 3841 pump are efficiency, high pressure capability, and constant volumetric flow rate irrespective of pressure. The pump is also sufficiently hygienic to suit the equipment user’s process and cleaning regime.

Cat Pumps

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