Case Study: FKL COP Eliminates Downtime + Rotor Replacement

Almond butter is a food paste, similar to peanut butter, but made from almonds. It offers more health benefits than peanut butter, such as less saturated fat and higher vitamins, minerals and fiber. The process of manufacturing almond butter begins with placing cooked almonds in a grinder; then, sending the ground almonds through a scrape plate heat exchanger to pasteurize the paste. The almond butter is then sent into the manufacturer’s filler machine. When it reaches the filling machine, viscosity can be near 900,000 cps.

A major US almond butter manufacturer was in search of a durable pump that could withstand elevated pressure from pumping the highly viscous almond butter. Previously, the manufacturer was using a tri-lobe rotor pump with rubber rotors to pump their almond butter into the filler machine.  Unfortunately, the pump was not built to withstand pumping products under high pressure.  As a result of the elevated pressure, the rubber rotors began to deflect and rub against the pump housing, causing them to wear out and need to be replaced every two to three weeks.  The manufacturer grew tired of the high maintenance costs and downtime associated with that.

While searching for a better solution, the almond butter manufacturer discovered Fristam’s FKL COP pump. The FKL COP offered higher pressure capabilities (up to 500 psi) than the manufacturer’s old pump and has stainless steel rotors instead of rubber. This means a longer pump life overall because the stainless steel rotors are much stronger than rubber and do not wear away. The manufacturer was also pleased that the FKL COP was built for easy teardown, since they take apart and clean their pumps every two to three weeks.

With Fristam’s FKL COP, the processor is able to save on downtime and repair costs, because the FKL COP rotors, on average, will last over a year, instead of two to three weeks like rubber rotors. This means that the processor will no longer have to stop production to replace rotors 17- 26 times each year. And since the FKL COP has only three seal parts per shaft, the process of strip cleaning the pumps is much simpler and less time consuming. The processor has been using Fristam’s FKL COP for six months and is very pleased with the results.