Pumping solution working reliably with a host of different chemicals
Industry challenge: Consistent quality
Process challenges involve numerous variables. Surfactor, a manufacturer of surface materials, is not alone in facing the challenges of ensuring process quality. The biggest challenge for the industry is to produce consistent quality, as the diverse and not homogenous raw materials.
Surfactor Finland Oy has been manufacturing resin coating films since 1983. The special coating films are based on amino and phenol and manufactured in Puhos at Kitee by coating the paper with resin. The membrane film that is produced is suitable for coating veneer and other types of plywood. Surfactor supplies these membrane films for various applications within the construction and automotive industries, which demand durable and quality consistent products.Stabile accurate dosing flow helps optimize the process
“Due to the variations in the quality of the paper, resin and additives, as well as humidity, the process needs to be monitored continuously. The fewer variables there are in the process, the easier the work of the operator becomes. The operators can then focus on overall quality control instead of worrying about the performance of the auxiliaries,” explains Eino Kuronen
, Operations Manager, Surfactor Finland.
To ensure accurate and reliable operations, Surfactor ordered seven new LPPD pumps from Flowrox. The purchase decision was made after successful three months of testing the Flowrox LPPD pump for colour pigment dosing. Hose pumps also for resin dosing
The successful trial period with the Flowrox LPPD pumps for colour pigment dosing encouraged Surfactor to extend the application to resin dosing. The diaphragm pumps that Surfactor used previously faced a typical performance challenge, jamming of the diaphragms. The thickness of the pigments caused an inconsistent and inaccurate pumping flow rate.
“We were not satisfied with the air-operated diaphragm pumps because of the challenges of adjusting properly the accurate dosing flow with the pump. With the new hose pumps the dosing is very accurate,” Kuronen confirms.
The availability of spare diaphragms for the air-operated diaphragm pumps was also complicated.
“The new hose pumps are very easy to maintain, as the hoses need to be changed only twice a year and spare parts are readily available and nearby,” Kuronen adds.
“Spare parts for our hose pumps are manufactured by Flowrox Lappeenranta and are always available off the shelf,” ensures Matti Saloranta
, Flowrox Area Sales Manager.
As a responsible manufacturer, Surfactor keeps its own spare parts in stock, however motors are not kept on the shelf.
“We really do appreciate the fact that the spare parts provider is nearby, so if something major would happen, the needed spare parts can be delivered to us fast,” Kuronen states.The quality of hose materials is essential for durability
Flowrox has over 40 years of experience in elastomer technology. When delivering a solution to the customer, each process and application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and the customer is given a quotation for the most suitable solution with the optimal materials.
Flowrox recommended to Surfactor an NBR hose for the feed of the removal substance. The colour pigment used in Surfactor’s process is almost pure oil, so a nitrile hose was the best option. The reliability of Flowrox products is based on process expertise and the optimal selection of hose materials based on the colour pigment and the application.
Surfactor has successfully extended the application of its new pumps into different process areas.
“When we started co-operation with Flowrox, we had some issues with the circulation pump and the durability of the hoses. Together we were able to resolve the issues quickly and since then equipment is working very well. Recently we have ordered a new pump for the feed of lye (sodium hydroxide). I can recommend Flowrox products, as they have worked very well in our applications and processes,” Kuronen continues.
The focus on operational efficiency and quality at Surfactor reflects a positive trend in the company. Surfactor’s main markets are in Finland, where there is strong demand for its products.OUR CUSTOMER: SURFACTOR
Surfactor Finland Oy is part of Surfactor Germany GmbH, which has three manufacturing facilities in two countries. The group is continuously looking to introduce best practices and process improvements. The company’s plant in Kitee, Finland, produces 40 million square meters of membrane film a year. The Finnish plant’s turnover represents 25 percent of the Group’s total, and it employs 33 people.