A new air distribution system enables air-operated double-diaphragm pumps to set a new standard in process optimization.
by Carl Glauber, Wilden
June 19, 2013

Recently, a new generation of ADS has attempted to eliminate this overfilling. This technology aims to prevent overfilling by cutting off the air supply to the air chamber before the end of the pump stroke. This approach has two shortcomings, however. First, this ADS technology is electronically monitored and controlled rather than mechanically actuated, which raises an entirely different set of energy usage, maintenance and operational concerns. Second, this electronic ADS requires time to “learn,” meaning that every time the pump is turned on, the electronic system needs a “learning period” of 30 to 40 seconds. During this time, the system must monitor the pump’s operation before it can estimate when to turn off the air supply prior to the end of the stroke. This can result in erratic and inconsistent flow rates for up to 40 seconds and a corresponding waste of air—a drawback that is compounded in dosing operations that feature constant on-off cycles.

While AODD pump operation has significantly improved in terms of air consumption—in large part because of the invention of the signaled ADS—pressure-trace tests show that air continues to be wasted because of overfilling, and the potential for additional energy savings exists.

air spool

The air spool, located within the ADS, automatically meters the air to prevent overfilling the air chamber, resulting in significant energy savings.

The Solution
A new ADS overcomes many of the common weaknesses of AODD pumps and the major shortcoming in traditional ADS operation—the time delay that the traditional ADS experiences when sending an air signal from one air chamber to the other air chamber, which leads to overfilling. The excess air is immediately wasted when it is vented into the atmosphere.

To combat this overfilling, the new ADS restricts the air flow into the air chamber near the end of each pump stroke so that only enough air is introduced to keep the pumping process going. This is accomplished through the incorporation of an air control spool that automatically meters the air to prevent overfilling with no reduction of product yield. The result is reduced air consumption while maintaining maximum operational efficiency and flow rates.

This mode of operation eliminates the need for the operator to manually adjust the pump for efficiency because the ADS corrects it automatically. This creates a new efficiency point in AODD pump operation highlighted by improved energy use with no loss of flow rate. Additional benefits of the new ADS include:

  • Reduced total cost of ownership
  • Faster setup time
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Drop-in configuration capability
  • Ability to be retrofitted into existing AODD pumps
  • Ability to be used in harsh operating environments
  • No electricity required
  • Completely submersible
  • Environmental sensitivity

new ADS

The new ADS for AODD pumps gives facility managers unmatched control of their pumping system’s air consumption, resulting in increased energy efficiency, lower operating costs and improved environmental sensitivity, all without adversely affecting production rates.

Conclusion
Some industrial manufacturing plants may have  300 AODD pumps in operation at one time. While the incremental cost of wasted air per pump may not be impressive, the overall cost to the plant can be substantial. That is why using the most energy-efficient pumping equipment will optimize production rates and help improve a plant’s bottom line and environmental stewardship. The new ADS technology is an attractive choice in many process operations—including paint and coatings, mining, chemical, water/wastewater and hygienic applications. P&S

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