White Paper: AODD pump choice drives sustainable manufacturing
7 Oct 2023
Choosing the right AODD Pump helps cut energy consumption, optimise air usage and promote sustainable manufacturing asserts Tom Zuckett…
There is no aspect of human existence that can function properly or reliably without energy. It is imperative that companies that rely on energy to power their industrial-manufacturing operations create and implement systems that are as energy-efficient as possible, especially as energy costs continue to rise.
The Hydraulic Institute revealed the importance of electricity in industrial manufacturing in a study that showed industrial pumping systems can account for nearly 20% of the world’s electricity demand and that energy consumption can be up to 90% of the total cost of owning and operating a pump.
At the same time, it’s estimated that 30% to 50% of the energy consumed by pumps can be saved through the implementation of equipment or control-system upgrades. This makes pump systems an easy target for developing operational improvements that can lower energy consumption, reduce costs and create a more environmentally friendly mode of operation.
Many industries are incorporating more environmentally and socially friendly sustainable manufacturing. While these methods can have long-term benefits for the future, they can also have higher upfront implementation costs: Air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps are powered by air, and air compressors are ultimately powered by electricity.
Six elements must be optimised to create a reliable, sustainable-manufacturing process and pumps that can operate efficiently and sustainably can contribute to at least four of them: manufacturing cost, power consumption, operational safety and environmental friendliness.
It’s estimated that 30% to 50% of the energy consumed by pumps can be saved through the implementation of equipment or control-system upgrade
AODD pumps have proven over the decades to be one of the top choices for utilitarian pumping applications. They are reciprocating, positive-displacement pumps that are driven by electricity-generated compressed air.
AODD pumps are the best solution for many industrial liquid-handling applications because of their simple design, which simply features two diaphragms that are connected by a common shaft, two inlet valve balls and two outlet valve balls. However, electricity prices have increased in recent years. While it might only be a couple of pennies per kWH, costs can quickly add up.
The engineers at Wilden invented the Pro-Flo® SHIFT Air Distribution System (ADS) to help reduce the overall amount of compressed air needed to operate the pump while simultaneously optimising the air that is used. The inefficiency in the operation of traditional ADSs is the time delay that AODD pumps experience when pressurised air is switched from one air chamber to the other, which results in overfilling the air chamber.
To combat overfilling, the design and operation of the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS restricts the air flow into the air chamber near the end of each pump stroke so that only enough air is introduced to keep the pumping process functioning. The key here is the incorporation of a specialised air control spool that automatically meters the air to prevent overfilling with no reduction of product yield. The result is reduced air consumption while still maintaining maximum operational efficiency and flow rates.
In fact, the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS can operate reliably and efficiently with up to 60% less compressed air when compared to other AODD-pump technologies while still being able to achieve flow rates that are up to 34% higher than competitive AODD-pump models.
For example, one manufacturing facility replaced its existing AODD pump with a Wilden Pro-Flo SHIFT model, which was run 7.5 hours a day and five days a week. The result: savings of up to £820 in annual energy costs to operate just that one pump.
With energy costs continuing to increase and companies encouraged to make their manufacturing operations more sustainable, finding the right pumping technology has never been more important. AODD pump technology is proven to ease energy consumption and contribute to more sustainable manufacturing processes.
Tom Zuckett is AODD Business Development Manager, Americas for PSG and Wilden