Until recently, diaphragm pumps were used as standard in the dosing stations at BIA, but they were proving problematic.
“The diaphragm pumps simply failed to provide the essential level of precision we require when transporting additives,” says Christian Fanenbruck who, as master electroplater, is responsible for two of the four electroplating machines at BIA. “We frequently had to carry out volumetric measurements to ensure precision.”
However, a more serious issue was the frequent, time-consuming and costly maintenance incurred by the diaphragm pumps.
“We sometimes dose highly concentrated acids and these frequently damaged the pump components that were transporting the media, so the parts had to be replaced,” continues Mr Fanenbruck. “What''s more, the diaphragm dosing pumps produced a flow with a high level of pulsation. This had a negative impact on the quality of the substances being transported. Surfactants are a particular example of where it''s important to pump at a steady rate to avoid damaging their structures.”
According to Mr Zabel, the company had been looking for alternatives to diaphragm pumps for a long time, and “struck gold” when it found Watson-Marlow.
“We will gradually replace all our diaphragm pumps with Qdos dosing pumps from Watson-Marlow,” concludes Mr Zabel. “Put simply, the Qdos pumps installed in our plant have been extremely reliable and have required practically no maintenance so far. And that''s exactly what we want; after all, who likes maintenance?”