Walther Trowal is benefitting from reduced maintenance costs thanks to a new Elmo Rietschle liquid ring vacuum pump from Gardner Denver distributor, Mid Tech (Compressed Air).

Earlier this year the company, which has manufactured standard and special systems for the surface finishing industry for over 80 years, changed its vacuum pump supplier to Elmo Rietschle.

Adrian Martin, Manufacturing Director at Walther Trowal explains: “At Walther Trowal we produce a range of abrasive products for the surface finishing industry and at our UK headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, we specifically manufacture ceramic abrasive products.

“Although we export worldwide, we are a significant supplier to the UK manufacturing industry which utilises mass finishing technology, with a high proportion used in the aerospace industry in the production of turbine blades. Here where strict approvals, manufacturing consistency and quality control measures need to be observed.

“Vacuum pumps are used in the manufacturing process to remove trapped air from the product during the extrusion process before it is dried and then fired. This is a critical part of the procedure as without an efficient vacuum pump system, our plant operations would immediately grind to a halt.”

Adrian continues: “Our previous vacuum pump system was not offering us the reliability we needed to operate efficiently. As the machine was oil-flooded, when humidity was drawn into the pump it caused lubricant contamination issues that drastically reduced the unit’s working life.”

Matt Millington, Sales Engineer at Mid Tech (Compressed Air) Ltd. adds: “Although the previous vacuum pump system had been configured to cope with manufacturing demand, the machines were not suited to the application, resulting in increased maintenance costs and production downtime.

“By specifying an Elmo Rietschle L-BL2 water-powered liquid ring vacuum pump, the problem of moisture build up and lubrication contamination would no longer be an issue. Also, with contact-free technology, the liquid ring range minimises maintenance intervals.

“In the Walther Trowal installation, we could have simply replaced the existing technology with the same oil-flooded systems, although this would have resulted in a lower initial capital investment, the same issues would have persistent, leading to higher cost of ownership in the long term.”

Adrian concludes: “As the previous system was proving expensive to maintain, Mid Tech (Compressed Air) Ltd.  was not only able to specify a cost-efficient alternative, but was also able to discuss a range of service options available to us that would best suit our needs.

“Even though the current system is in its infancy, with Mid Tech’s support and Elmo Rietschle liquid ring technology, we are expecting our maintenance costs to be substantially lower than previously.”