New Feed Pump Technology From Blue-White Offers High Performance Today and Upgrades for Tomorrow

A new peristaltic chemical feed pump offers performance and reliability features along with built-in capability to advance through software upgrades.

New Feed Pump Technology From Blue-White Offers High Performance Today and Upgrades for Tomorrow

1. The M3 FLEXFLO pump is built with durability features including a heavy one-piece rotor that uses no springs.

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Accurate chemical feed is essential to cost-effective drinking water and wastewater treatment. Various companies offer peristaltic and diaphragm pumps for that purpose.

Key attributes of these pumps include reliability, precision delivery, long service life, and ease of use, especially related to the controls and display. Now Blue-White Industries has released the M3 FLEXFLO peristaltic metering pump. It’s designed with new performance features, and with built-in capability for software upgrades in the future.

The pump (capacity 33.3 gph, pressures up to 125 psi) can accommodate plants’ existing legacy communication connections, as well as the latest network protocols. This means it can be easily adapted when plants complete upgrades that include the latest communication systems.

The display screen is large and is designed for simplicity and intuitive pump setup, programming and operation. Patrick Murphy, director of engineering with Blue-White, talked about the new technology in an interview with Treatment Plant Operator.

What makes this peristaltic metering pump different?

Murphy: This pump is going to advance over time. It’s not a static product. We’ve built in the capacity for upgrades and to take on future capabilities. For example, we plan to add features through software downloads. Sooner or later we intend to add connectivity, so that our pumps will be able to communicate with each other without wires.

Mechanically speaking, what is new in this pump?

Murphy: Self-priming is a common feature of peristaltic pumps, but this pump has Remote AutoPrime. When feeding a chemical such as sodium hypochlorite, vapor can fill up the suction line during periods of slack demand, such as overnight. With Remote AutoPrime, the operator can program the pump to prime every morning and can select the speed and time. For example, the pump can be set to run at 100% motor speed for 10 seconds every time it kicks on in the morning. That evacuates the vapor quickly, and then the pump goes into its normal run cycle.

Is there anything unique about the tube design?

Murphy: We offer an optional a dual-channel tube designed to overcome an industry problem. The dual channels enable high flow rates, and with smaller bore sizes in the channels we can get higher pressures. So with our tubing we’re able to get high flow rates at high pressure ratings with long tube life. The pump also provides tube failure detection, which is a safety feature. In the event of a tube failure, a sensor detects the conductivity in the fluid and stops the pump.

What has been done toward enhancing durability?

Murphy: The M3 has a heavy one-piece rotor that uses no springs. Over time, springs wear out, and when that happens they lose strength for squeezing the tube; performance is reduced and the roller has to be replaced. Our rigid rotor maintains its squeeze. We also use M12 connectors that are IP67 rated, so users’ connections are protected from dust, water, vibration, UV, impact and temperature cycling. This eliminates the need for a junction box. In addition we made the pump eight pounds lighter by using a durable plastic housing instead of a metal.

How do the screen and controls simplify operation?

Murphy: There is a large, colorful 5-inch touchscreen display that uses capacitive technology, very similar to a cell phone. It’s bright and responsive. The on-screen buttons are large and bold for touchability even with gloves on. The text is large and easy to read. Simple, recognizable icons make operations intuitive. We use multiple colors to indicate pump status so that it’s easily visible to operators. There is flexibility to populate the screen with new buttons.

How does this pump help accommodate facility upgrades?

Murphy: Many plants run on legacy communication protocols such as 4-20 mA or 0-10 volts DC inputs. All of those connections are on back of the pump at the top, by way of six M12 connectors. But at the bottom of the pump are connections for network protocols that modern plants use, such as Profibus, Modbus TCP and Ethernet IP. So if a plant is planning an upgrade to a newer protocol, this pump is ready for it. We use microchip circuits because they’re not limited to one function; they can operate multiple functions.

What kinds of capabilities do you see being added via upgrades?

Murphy: This platform will ultimately spread throughout all of our peristaltic and diaphragm pumps. We plan to upgrade our pumps to be more connective. That includes adding phone applications so that the pumps can communicate with one another on the internet. Users will be able to see from anywhere in the world whether the pump is operating correctly.

What is the advantage of enabling these pumps to communicate with one another?

Murphy: It’s beneficial because these pumps can be in areas of facilities where the Wi-Fi is not strong. With communication, only one pump needs to be near the Wi-Fi. A master pump that’s able to see the internet can tell the other pumps what to do, or hear what those pumps are doing and relay that information to the user wirelessly.

What has been done to prove this technology in the field?

Murphy: We have done beta testing and have received great feedback. Customers like the screen and the menu structure, and the fact it’s intuitive and easy to use, so they can quickly set it up and go. It’s a device that can handle a lot of computational data.   


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