Guest Column | January 14, 2016

Tips For Choosing A Pump System For Food And Beverage Applications

Pete Ciorrocco, Business Field Manager, NETZSCH Pumps North America

By Pete Ciorrocco, Business Field Manager, NETZSCH Pumps North America

In the simplest terms, pumps in food and beverage applications are used to transfer product from one place to another. The examples are endless — unloading rail cars filled with corn syrup destined for a cola beverage, use in dewatering devices or presses, and feeding high-temperature cooking processes or heat exchangers. Other applications include dosing or metering processes used to apply coatings, such as placing chocolate onto a pretzel.

Depending on the size of the facility, there could be hundreds of pumps at a food or beverage processing plant. Pump types could range from centrifugal pumps to positive displacement (PD) pumps, including rotary lobe (RL) and progressing cavity (PC).

The pumps used for these processes are subject to a variety of nationally and internationally relevant manufacturing and hygiene standards and guidelines. The most significant — and the baseline for all pumps in the food market — is the FDA’s requirement calling for use of “approved” materials.

Use of FDA-approved materials, such as 300-grade stainless steel, is required for the pump housing. Elastomer materials used in pump seals must also be submitted and approved. FDA-approved food-grade lubricants are required for pump lubrication.

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