5 Reasons Why Centrifugal Pumps are the Most Popular Pump in the Sanitary Processing Industry

Sanitary centrifugal pumps are an ideal option for transferring low viscous fluids in food, dairy, beverage and other high purity applications. Centrifugal pumps are the most common type of process pump and their design offers various advantages for food-grade pump applications.


1. Flexibility


Sanitary centrifugal pumps can deliver high flow rates and accommodate clean-in-place (CIP) procedures. They have a small footprint and the flexibility for various configurations to deliver a vast range of pressure output and flow. In certain food-grade pump applications sanitary centrifugal pumps can accommodate liquids containing some small solids or suspended particulates, adding to their already robust offering.


2. Performance


Our leading Alfa Laval centrifugal pump, the LKH series has a uniquely designed semi-open impeller with a special vane design to ensure particularly low NPSHr (Net Positive Suction Head required). This helps prevent cavitation minimizing the risk of mechanical damage and ensuring a smooth, pulse free flow rate and dependable performance.


3. Superior Efficiency


Sanitary centrifugal pumps employ an internal impeller utilizing centrifugal force to “throw” material against the outer wall of the pump to force fluid out of the pump. Because lower viscous fluids are easier to accelerate with centrifugal force, this design enables greater fluid transfer efficiency than other food-grade pump designs. 


Industry leader, Alfa Laval’s LKH pumps offer a robust design, tight tolerances and an advanced impeller design to minimize recirculation and deliver efficient transfer of energy.


4. Cleanability


Dairy, food, beverage and other high purity food-grade pump applications demand hygienic processing conditions to prevent contamination. Therefore, routine cleaning is a top priority. Although relatively simple in design, the sanitary centrifugal pump and cleaning method does vary by manufacturer.


The LKH pump, puts extra focus on cleanability and hygienic design. Controlled compression gaskets, crevice free internals, an external mechanical seal, and an optimized impeller with balancing holes all ensure that the pump is thoroughly cleaned during a time effective CIP cycle. Perfectly aligned components and joints with O-rings tightened to a predefined compression minimize the elastomer product contact surfaces, which also safeguards hygiene.


5. Low Cost


In general, sanitary centrifugal pumps are relatively low in upfront cost. Their dependability, flexibility and high efficiency all result in a lower total cost of ownership than other food-grade pumps.  Another consideration for total cost of ownership is serviceability of the sanitary centrifugal pump. Spare parts, downtime for maintenance or repair and man-hours can significantly impact overall operational costs. A well thought out pump design can ensure simple maintenance.


Overall, sanitary centrifugal pumps deliver the flexibility, performance, efficiency, cleanability and relatively low cost which make them a top choice for many food, beverage and dairy processors. For a centrifugal pump to meet pharmaceutical grade specifications, the UltraPure line of Alfa Laval centrifugal pumps offers a documentation package providing transparency of sourcing, production and supply chains, and full traceability of all changes in material, procedures or spare parts.