Discover VIBWORKS, your go-to portable solution for asset health monitoringSponsored
Cereal is not just for breakfast. It is a food that many people enjoy for a light snack or even a topping for their dessert. Americans consume approximately 3 billion pounds of cereal each year. While we savor our cereal, we hardly think about all the work that goes into producing the many varieties in which we delight. Cereal processing plants have ‘many working parts’, so when one cereal processing plant wanted to improve the functionality of their wastewater lift station, they worked with a reputable service provider to ensure reliable operations.
Serving the industrial and municipal pump aftermarket since 2004, Goforth Williamson, Inc. provides comprehensive pump repair and field services for most pump makes and models. The Georgia-based equipment and service provider has a long-standing relationship with a cereal processing plant in the southern United States. Having consistently provided the cereal processing plant with quality pump repair and on-site support, it was no surprise when the plant solicited help from GWI to find a solution to a frequent repair problem. As most end users know, excessive pump repairs can take a big bite out of the maintenance budget.
The wastewater lift station at the cereal processing plant had been utilizing two grinder pumps within a duplex system. Designed for constant duty, one pump would operate while the other acted as a back-up, and the pumps would switch operation as needed. Unfortunately, both pumps needed to be pulled for repair at different times each year. This short time between repairs resulted in an annual cost of $7000 and continued for a few years. Every repair involved the same set of issues:
Seal Failure – The wastewater lift station, which has a submergence depth of about 18 feet, was using these grinder pumps to process liquids that contained bits and pieces of cereal as well as sugars in the wastewater. The grinder pumps were experiencing excessive seal failure that required them to be removed and sent to GWI’s service center in Griffin, Georgia.
Impeller Degradation – While at the GWI service center, the inspectors would see signs of degradation of the impellers and other internal metals which had been exposed to the wastewater. The wastewater contained varying amounts of sugar that would cause wide swings in the pH of the liquid being pumped. The pH level of the liquid would range from 2.5 on the lowest end to 8.0 on the highest end. The grinder pumps had cast iron components, which are more susceptible to degradation when exposed to acidic or corrosive liquids. The wastewater being pumped at the cereal processing plant had been slowly damaging the cast iron impellers.
After years of constant repair, the cereal processing plant contacted John Boswell at Goforth Williamson, Inc. to discuss their issues with the grinder pumps and find out if there was a submersible pump on the market that was better suited for their wastewater application.
Boswell suggested that the cereal processing plant replace the grinder pumps with two BJM stainless steel shredder pumps. “We have used BJM pumps before,” explains Boswell, “and when the plant asked for a recommendation for a better pump to use in their wastewater lift station, BJM quickly came to mind.” Boswell provided a recommendation to the plant, sharing these key attributes about the SKX75 Submersible Shredder pump:
- Manufactured from Cast 316 Stainless Steel, all the parts of the SKX75 that would be exposed to the liquid could stand up to the pH of the wastewater. The swings in pH would not have the same corrosive effect to the wear and wet parts of the BJM submersible shredder pump. Because the impeller, wear-plate, oil housing, pump-housing, and inner pump top are all made of Cast 316 Stainless Steel, this pump would be an ideal fit for the application and essentially result in increased mean-time-between-repair.
- Specifically designed for industrial shredding applications, the SKX75 is engineered to use a Tungsten Carbide Tip Fang™ impeller. This cutting impeller cuts against a spiral-shaped diffuser plate to continuously rip apart solids with 360-degree shredding action.
- Manufactured with non-clog, single vane impellers designed for high volume and lift performance, the SKX75 is proven to cut and pass solids up to 3.5 inches in size, while delivering high liquid volume at up to 700 GPM.
- The SKX75 offers “Three Seal Motor Protection”, which means the following:
- the motor is protected with an oil-lubricated double seal design;
- the double mechanical seals are comprised of a lower seal made of silicon carbide/silicon carbide and upper seal faces made of carbon/ceramic;
- an additional lip seal is installed above the impeller to help prevent abrasives from entering into the seal chamber.
- The motor overload device protects the motor from thermal and amperage overloads. Utilizing winding protection and (NEMA) Class F motor insulation, the SKX is superior to pumps with Class A and B insulation because the (NEMA) Class F motor insulation allows the motor temperature to raise up to 230°F. An automatic switch turns the pump motor off if the temperature and/or amp draw raises too high. When the motor cools, the switch is designed to automatically reset and the pump will once again begin operating.
After careful deliberation, the cereal processing plant accepted Boswell’s recommendation to replace the grinder pumps. The plant purchased two 10-horsepower BJM SKX75 Submersible Shredder pumps to be installed in the wastewater lift station. Though the SKX75 offers the option of NPT discharge, GWI advised the cereal processing plant to order the submersible pumps with 4″ ANSI flanges so the pumps could be installed with the custom-built slide rails that were manufactured by GWI at their aftermarket service center. GWI purchased adaptor kits from BJM for their custom-made slide rails and completed the installation of both pumps in only four hours. The BJM SKX75 Submersible Shredder pumps were installed in December of 2013 and have not been pulled for maintenance since their initial installation.
About BJM Pumps
BJM Pumps®, headquartered in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, has been providing fluid handling solutions for industrial and municipal services since 1983. Over its thirty year history, BJM Pumps has grown quickly by supplying world class pumps and accessories, priced competitively, through its global network of stocking distributors.
About Goforth Williamson, Inc.
Goforth Williamson, Inc., located in Griffin, GA, is a full service pump repair company that provides quality pumps and pump repairs to local industrial and municipal markets. GWI is a solutions-provider with extensive experience servicing all types of pumps, valves, and other industrial equipment.