Solvent Manufacturer Discovers Best AODD Pump to Optimize Production Rates and Air Consumption

Wilden has provided this case study and pump comparison test of one of their customers, IndoChem, a major solvent manufacturer in Jakharta, Indonesia.

The Challenge?  IndoChem needed to optimize the loading times, energy efficiency and product containment of its solvent-handling pumps.

The Solution.  Pro-Flo® SHIFT AODD Pumps deliver enhanced loading times with leak-free operation and optimized air consumption.

Meeting Large Production Output Demands

IndoChem’s solvent-manufacturing business consists of three plants located in Indonesia. These plants have holding tanks that can accommodate up to 45,000 liters (11,888 gallons) and are constantly being filled and emptied depending on the facility’s manufacturing and delivery needs. In all, IndoChem produces and handles a total of 300 million liters (79.3 million gallons) of solvents per year at its three production facilities.

As IndoChem’s customer base has increased, several operational challenges have begun to hamper its ability to meet its production quotas reliably and efficiently.

The time needed to fill one 45,000-liter holding tank has approached seven hours, which is unacceptable for IndoChem’s clients.  The capacity of IndoChem’s air-compressor unit has been maxed out and it is not possible to add another compressor from both an economic and available-space standpoint.  Perhaps most importantly, the solvents produced by IndoChem are highly flammable, and some of them self-spark, so it is important from a safety standpoint that they are contained adequately.

“Our current transfer time is approximately three hours for transferring input and three hours for transferring output, plus 30 minutes for mixing and 30 minutes for preparation,” said Erwin Juardi, General Manager of Operations for IndoChem. “Since we’re planning on some improvements, we wanted to add more pumps, but we want to stay with the same air-compressor capacity. I’d love to see whether it’s possible that I can save air even though I’m adding pumps and getting more pumping capacity.”

Current AODD Pumps Unreliable and Costly to Operate

To facilitate the transfer of solvents, Juardi utilizes a total of 60 pumps between his three manufacturing facilities. He had been strictly relying on a single brand of AODD pump, but over time he had come to find the pumps unreliable and costly to operate.

“They have a high cost of replacement parts, and I have a hard time getting diaphragms; I’m fed up with these pumps,” he said flatly. “The diaphragms don’t hold up and it’s hard to work on them. It takes two guys to simply change a diaphragm and I don’t want manpower wasted on pump maintenance. We needed a simpler, more reliable, higher-performing alternative.”

Wilden AODD Pump Comparison Live Test

Juardi worked with Peter Koh, Regional Product Manager for Winston Engineering, who was quick to suggest the new Pro-Flo® SHIFT AODD Pump from Wilden®, Grand Terrace, CA, USA. Company founder Jim Wilden invented AODD pump technology in 1955. The Pro-Flo SHIFT is an AODD pump air distribution system (ADS) that can deliver as much as 60% savings in air consumption when compared to other brands. Read more about these comparisons here.

But rather than simply have Juardi take his word for it, Koh arranged to have an on-site test and demonstration of the Pro-Flo SHIFT technology done at one of IndoChem’s facilities. The test involved three separate trials in which both a Wilden Pro-Flo SHIFT pump—specifically, a 51-mm (2-inch) PS800 Bolted Series aluminum AODD pump—and a competitive model would pump 200 liters (52.8 gallons) of water, with all pumping done at a pressure of 4 bar (58 psi). Measured would be the time it took to pump the water along with the amount of air that would be required to complete the pumping process.

Extrapolating the results for one of IndoChem’s standard 45,000-liter tanks, the test results showed that the Wilden pump would be able to fill the larger tank in 78 minutes less than the competitive model, while needing 2,164.08 fewer standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM) to complete the transfer process.

Juardi was easily convinced.

“I know that Wilden pumps are very reliable,” said Juardi. “We’ve had one here for more than 20 years and we haven’t found any problems with it. So, I’m thinking, let’s change the old pumps to Wilden. What we’re learning from the old Wilden pump is that it has been here forever, but with no problems. I was also looking for air savings because I cannot afford to buy any more air compressors.”

In addition to the air-consumption improvements that the Pro-Flo SHIFT ADS can provide to the Advanced Series AODD Pumps, there are a number of operational benefits that IndoChem will be able to take advantage of.

  • The bolted configuration of the pumps ensures total product containment, a key consideration with the hazardous materials that IndoChem creates and handles.
  • The pumps have a redesigned friction-reducing liquid path that contributes greatly to their ability to deliver maximized flow rates. In fact, the PS800 (51 mm) pump can achieve flow rates as high as 704 L/min (186 gpm), while the larger PS1500 (76 mm) model has flows to 1,045 L/min (276 gpm).
  •  A variety of elastomer options, including PTFE, Wil-Flex® (Santoprene) and Neoprene, are available to meet abrasion, temperature and chemical-compatibility concerns.
  • Wilden’s newest diaphragm option is the innovative Chem-Fuse Integral Piston Diaphragm (IPD). The design of the Chem- Fuse locates the piston within the diaphragm material, which eliminates a notorious leak point and further helps to guarantee leak-free product containment.

The Best AODD Pump Solution

3happyengineersToo often, the easy suggestion when a manufacturing facility has reached the limits of its operational capacity is this one: Find a bigger facility. In the case of IndoChem, though, that was not a feasible solution. So, that meant the solvent manufacturer needed to find a way to optimize its productivity in terms of time, air consumption and energy usage while operating from the same footprint.

IndoChem found the answer in the new Bolted Series Pro- Flo SHIFT AODD Pump from Wilden, which will enable it to simultaneously improve both its fluid-transfer times and energy savings while working out of the same facility with the same air compressor.

“The unique features of Wilden pumps are very easy for maintenance, portable and with a very unique high- efficiency ADS, which is the heart of the pump,” said Koh. “Every part is replaceable, even for pumps that have been in the factory for more than 10 years. That’s part of why customers stay with the Wilden brand. Wilden is the unique market leader in diaphragm pumps.

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