New Bredel Air Diaphragm Pumps Reduce Failures at Plant

Challenge

Cooper Natural Resources was experiencing difficulty transporting Glauber salt slurry with their air diaphragm pumps.  The company, located near Loop, Texas, uses the pumps during the manufacture of sodium sulfate—a key ingredient in detergents, glass manufacturing, the paper Kraft process, and in the textile dyeing industry.
While the diaphragm pumps were capable of getting the job done, they broke down often, due to the low temperatures and inconsistent viscosity of the slurry.  This required service technicians to rebuild the pumps often—sometimes several times per year.

“We’re pumping a thick slurry, and the air diaphragm pumps couldn’t give us the consistency or regulation we wanted,” said Rick Hopping, the Director of Engineering and the Plant Manager at the Ozark Division of Cooper Natural Resources.  “This material is also extremely cold, typically well below freezing temperatures.”

Solution

air-diaphragm-pumpHopping searched for a pump that would be able to better withstand the rigorous demands of pumping the slurry—with less downtime and repairs.  He had used peristaltic pumps at previous locations, and contacted IBT Industrial Solutions about trying it.

“I’ve used peristaltic pumps in different applications for another industry, and they worked well,” Hopping said.  “So we decided to try it here.”

IBT has serviced Cooper Natural Resources since 1998, supplying a wide variety of industrial products—such as bearings and motors.  Dwayne Williams, a General Manager at the IBT branch in Lubbock, partnered with David Brown, a Fluid Power Product Specialist at IBT, to find the pump that Hopping wanted.  They worked with supplier Watson-Marlow to deliver a Bredel hose pump to Hopping’s plant for testing.

“When we looked at the application, we discovered that it’s highly harsh and corrosive, with lots of variables to process,” Brown said.  “They needed something that could handle not only slurry of varying viscosity, but also the occasional solid or chunk that might make its way into the system.”

The test pump worked well, but after observing it in operation, Hopping decided to move up to the next larger size—and it worked.

“The maintenance staff at Cooper is top-notch,” Williams said.  “Rick had a good experience with this pump in other applications, and I’m glad we were able to source it for him.  After seeing this pump in action, I’m very impressed with it, and plan to recommend it to other customers.”

Result

After the successful trial run with the Bredel pump, Hopping ordered and installed a total of 10 pumps.  In addition, the Electrical Group at IBT recommended the installation of Yaskawa AC drives, to better control the speed of each pump.

To date, there have been no pump failures other than a couple of hoses, which is expected after a period of time—eliminating the hassle of constant downtime and repairs that Hopping had experienced.

“We’re very happy with the new pumps, and all 10 are working really well,” Hopping said.  “The Bredel pumps are more consistent in their operations, and handle the freezing temperatures better.  IBT had the best price, and they’ve serviced us very well.  We enjoy a good working relationship with them.”

Want to reduce pump failures?

Call Brent Hanson, the Fluid Power Business Group Director at IBT Industrial Solutions, at (913) 261-2125 or bhanson@ibtinc.com.