A leading manufacturer of bakery ingredients in The Netherlands turned to Certa Sine pump technology from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG) after its previous lobe pump encountered problems such as damage to product integrity and blockages when transferring a viscous marinade. Such proved the success of the Certa that Sonneveld, which has its headquarters at Papendrecht, near Rotterdam, now has six pumps on site, with a seventh on order.
Founded in 1956, Sonneveld has built a global reputation manufacturing innovative solutions for the bakery sector. Although the company’s head office and primary production site is in the Netherlands, Sonneveld also has a presence in Belgium, the UK, France, Russia, China, and Hungary, with further sales representation throughout Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, South America and Southeast Asia. Typical products include bread and cake mixes, glazing agents, marzipan, fillings, marinades and release agents. Some of these offerings are in highly viscous liquid form which was proving difficult for the company’s lobe pumps.
Sonextra Pomodori (tomato-based) is a ready-made marinade for various bread types, from wheat to white bread. The product minimises bakery loss as bread products approaching their use-by date can be reprocessed into a distinctive savoury snack (bread chips). Further flavours include Cheese Onion and Green Herbs. The pumping issue at Sonneveld centred on the Sonextra range.
John de Vos, maintenance engineer at Sonneveld’s Papendrecht plant, takes up the story: “Some of our Sonextra marinades contain fresh herbs and have a greasy-type consistency based on natural fats, which proved challenging for our lobe pump. The lobe pump often crushed the fresh herbs excessively and would regularly block, resulting in a suboptimal product and significant downtime.”
The requirement of the pump is to transfer marinade between IBC containers and 5-litre jerry cans (steel canisters).
“Each time the lobe pump blocked we lost a lot of production as, in order to get it running again, we had to take it apart, which was difficult and time consuming,” says Mr de Vos. “This meant that both the quality of the end product and downtime due to maintenance were not at the expected levels.”
Certa Sine pumps from Watson-Marlow are particularly well suited for use with viscous products. However, it was a chance call by a Watson-Marlow sales engineer that alerted Sonneveld to their advantages.
“Arthur Van Geet, Watson-Marlow’s Food & Beverage Sales Engineer, took the initiative to contact us and proposed the Certa Sine pumps,” confirms Mr de Vos. “We are always very cautious about implementing changes to our production processes, but the pump’s features were of great interest, and it seemed a very good match for some of our products.”
Not wishing to take any chances, Sonneveld wanted to undertake extensive trials of the Certa pump.
“Right from the start the pump excelled on almost all levels,” states Mr de Vos. “Most important was the impact on product quality. Using the Certa pump significantly improved the quality of the end product as the fresh herbs were pumped gently throughout the process. This resulted in a much more aesthetically pleasing product compared with using the lobe pump.
Maintenance at food manufacturers is vital for many reasons, not least hygiene, as Mr de Vos highlights: “The Certa pumps have a completely smooth internal surface which prevents product remaining inside and keeps them very clean. If we want to use the pump for another product, a simple CIP cleaning routine suffices. We rinse the pump with hot water and drain it, then we can start right away with the next product.”
Product specialist Georges Paans is also very satisfied with the Sine pump technology: “With this pump the fresh herbs in our marinades remain intact and the pump does not get blocked. The pump also transfers less heat into the production process, which means less crystallisation of the marinade, thus improving its consistency.”
Three years in operation
After favourable trials, Sonneveld decided to replace the lobe pump with a Certa pump for its Sonextra marinades. This pump has been operational for about three years, pumping product with viscosity up to 8,000 cP (containing particulates up to 7mm in size) at rates of up to 5,000 l/h (at 4 bar). The pumps success proved to be the start of a great working relationship between Sonneveld and Watson-Marlow.
“Indeed, sometime later, bread production ground to a halt due to a broken twin-screw pump used in another part of the process,” explains Mr de Vos. “The pump supplier could not fix the problem quickly and, what’s worse, we were asked to return the pump to them without knowing how much time or money the repair would cost. This was unacceptable, so we decided to call on Arthur from Watson-Marlow once more.”
It was immediately arranged for a demonstration model of the proposed Certa pump to be delivered to the Papendrecht production plant.
“This enabled us to both resume production quickly and test this pump extensively in its role,” says Mr de Vos. “The pump had to transfer a bread improver in the form of a liquid paste with a high viscosity of 10,000 cP at a capacity of 7,000 l/h [at 7 bar]. This proved not to be a problem, and again for this application we were very impressed with the results. In addition, the fast action of Arthur and the outstanding service we received, gave us no doubt that we should choose Watson-Marlow once again.”
Although pump quality is a key factor in Sonneveld’s decision to use Watson-Marlow pumps, the level of service and commitment is deemed equally important. This combination has led the company to install a number of additional Certa Sine pumps.
“At the moment, six Watson-Marlow pumps are in use here, with a seventh on order,” concludes Mr de Vos. “The Certa pumps are perfect for us, especially when pumping fats and releasing agents, and the excellent customer service has been an important factor in our decision to continue using Watson-Marlow.”