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Pump Motor Technologies Food and Beverage

4 Features to Consider When Purchasing Sanitary Food Pumps

By OTC Insights Team on December 16, 2022

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OTC Insights Team

Established in 1963, OTC Industrial Technologies is one of the largest industrial distributors & service providers in the United States. We're committed to seeing industrial operations advance through expert technical solutions & unmatched support using our years of experience.

As a plant manager, facility manager, or maintenance manager, you understand the significant process of making a high-dollar purchase.

There are several options on the market for a capital or equipment purchase. You need to weigh functionality against cost, reliability against budget, and expense. It’s a balancing act. This process can be difficult, time-consuming, and stressful.

When a poor purchase can mean a regulatory issue, this process can be even more frightening. That’s the situation facing manufacturers purchasing a sanitary food pump.

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What Is a Sanitary Food Pump?

Sanitary food pumps are a key component in the food processing and agricultural industries. Specifically, sanitary food pumps are used to move and meter various food and agricultural materials through operations where cleanliness and sanitation are either mandated, desired, or both. These pumps are commonly used in food processing plants.

Facts and Features of Sanitary Food Pumps

Identifying the need for a sanitary food pump is a rather simple task, but determining which specific food pump best fits the needs of your organization can be tricky. Food pumps come in many varieties with several different features, which makes the selection process difficult.

Sanitary food pumps can be placed into four categories: centrifugal, positive displacement, jet, and airlift.

Centrifugal Food Pumps

Centrifugal food pumps have two distinct features: a stationary casing and a rotating impeller. Combined, these features produce the liquid velocity, then release it.

Positive Displacement Food Pumps

These pumps are built with two expanding cavities, one of which is on the suction side and the other on the discharge side. Unlike centrifugal pumps, positive displacement pumps produce liquid velocity and a consistent flow regardless of the discharge pressure.

Jet Food Pumps

Jet pumps operate using velocity energy that is generated from a fluid jet. In this process, fluid is pushed through a nozzle, which then allows for the conversion of fluid motion to velocity energy. Jet pumps are typically used in processes where solid matter is found, as centrifugal pumps cannot be used in a process with solid matter.

Airlift Food Pumps

While referred to as a pump, the airlift pump does not change the velocity of the fluid and isn’t technically a pump. Airlift pumps produce a liquid that is then mixed with the leftover air at the end of the conversion process. Airlift pumps are typically used when liquids are corrosive or contain other foreign materials.

Purchasing a Food Pump

Purchasing a sanitary food pump is, potentially, a difficult and time-consuming process. To properly select and purchase a sanitary food pump, several criteria should be prioritized:

  • Ensure process requirements will be met through the sanitary pump. Consider the necessary discharge speed, pressure, and liquid action that the product requires.
  • Determine whether product properties will meet desired goals. For example, if the product requires a certain temperature, or if it will also include solid matter, then the pump you select should manage those properties.
  • Assess installation and operation requirements. For example, look at the expected pace of production. Will the pump be able to manage peak production times? Will there be a need for manual control of the process? Are there any safety considerations?
  • Calculate cost and determine overall expenses. Consider the cost of the unit you are evaluating and the expected timeline for an ROI.

While every facility and production process will have different needs, different requirements, and different workflows, the following criteria should be an important part of any equipment evaluation and purchase.

Optimizing Sanitary Food Pump Operations

Keep in mind, purchasing a sanitary food pump is only one aspect of optimizing production and operations for the food and beverage industry.

Installation of the pump, assessing facility and production needs, the system in which the pump operates, regulations, maintenance, repairs, and more are all components in optimized production. Working with an end-to-end, turnkey solution provider with the expertise and resources to support you and your production goals is critical.

OTC and its Pump and Motor Technologies team have the resources, expertise, and experience to deliver manufacturing solutions, not just equipment. Before purchasing a sanitary food pump, contact OTC to discuss your needs and see how you can optimize your solution. 


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