Agrochemical manufacturer Albaugh Inc. is one of the largest producers of generic herbicide in the US. Albaugh Inc. annually produces some 20 mill. gallons of product around the clock. In their hot water filter wash application, the Missouri-based plant washes 40 batches on a typical day.
By replacing a handful of pumps with the versatile Grundfos CR centrifugal pump, Albaugh Inc. reduced maintenance dramatically and saved $6000 a day.
In connection with a retrofit, Albaugh Inc. looked for a pump system that could accommodate a broad range of applications, including the plant’s hot water filter wash. Performance and long-term reliability weighed heavily in their choice. As Albaugh Inc.’s maintenance foreman, Bob Hueser, puts it, “There’s no time for downtime. It’s critical that the pumps operate with extreme efficiency and have a long life to support our rigorous 24/7 operation.”
The Grundfos solution
The local representative for Lee Mathews Equipment Inc. was in no doubt that this was a job for Grundfos CR. It’s reliable under rigorous conditions, energy-efficient and maintenance-friendly. Most notable is the fast replacement of the shaft seal: the pump is back in operation in less than half an hour. The combination of both motor and pump efficiency has repeatedly proven that Grundfos CR can significantly reduce energy costs.
Albaugh Inc. replaced two horizontal pumps with a single vertical Grundfos CR, which freed up floor space and improved access. In the hot water filter wash the same Grundfos CR model replaced four centrifugal pumps.
A daily cost saving of $6000 put a smile on the face of foreman Bob Hueser and Albaugh Inc.’s management. “The wash down of a batch of filters with one CR takes seven minutes compared to 30 minutes with the former centrifugal pumps,” says Hueser of the hot water filter wash. This means that the water doesn’t take as long to heat, which saves Albaugh Inc. a considerable amount of energy and related costs.
“The CR paid for itself in just two batches,” adds Hueser, recalling that the plant washes 40 batches of filters a day.
Additionally, Albaugh Inc. saves significant maintenance time. Hueser’s lead maintenance man, Chris Walker, no longer sees shaft seal replacement as a chore. “That’s a job I can practically do with my eyes closed!” The motor remains in place, and Walker simply pulls out the worn cartridge seal and slips in the new one. The pump is back in operation within 25 minutes compared to two hours with the now retired pumps. A complete stack change takes only an hour compared to 4 hours previously.
The significant time and cost savings have made such an impression on Albaugh Inc. that management is currently reviewing three more applications with a view to retrofitting with Grundfos systems.