Barley Malting Cleaning

Barley Malting Cleaning

Cat Pumps for new cleaning plant in Scottish barley maltings

The redevelopment of the Bairds Malt Arbroath in recent months malting has provided us with the opportunity to continue our supply of triplex positive displacement plunger pumps into the maltings market.

Bairds Malt operates five malting sites across the UK, stretching from Inverness in the Scottish Highlands to Witham in Essex. The Arbroath maltings opened in1970 specifically to supply the local distilling industry. Today, Bairds’ total annual production capacity is more than 250,000 tonnes.

It was back in 2008 that Bairds Malt first approached us to propose a high pressure wash pump system for new facility at Arbroath which would be capable of producing over 300 tonnes of distilling malt every 48 hours and an annual production of 57,000 tonnes. The project went ahead and the new maltings, featuring a grain drying complex incorporating two continuous tower barley driers capable of drying 40 tonnes per hour, was formally opened in 2010.

Cat Pumps role in the project was allied to the germination process and in particular cleaning germination vessels and machinery. Germination is the "control" phase of malting and continues for four to five days. During this period the grain is kept cool and carbon dioxide is removed by blowing streams of cool, humidified air through the bed. The grain is turned regularly by rotating augers to prevent rootlets matting and to maintain a loosely packed grain bed. Cleaning is an essential operation after every batch as mould can form and if left for too long it becomes difficult to remove.

The cleaning process takes place every two days on one vessel or two days on both vessels and usually lasts for two hours. The process involves forcing water at high pressure through nozzles attached to the slowly rotating machinery to remove matter attached to the malting floor and the vessel’s walls (Fig 1). Being one of Bairds Malt preferred pump suppliers, we were given details of the flow rate and pressure required and our response was to propose a single skid incorporating two 6767 Model triplex positive displacement pumps. Together, these provide a constant flow rate of 400 litres/minute at 80 bar and by offering two pumps in tandem we were able to provide Bairds Malt with the performance specified at minimum cost. They were also to benefit from the advantages of lower weight, simplified servicing and overall lowest life-cycle costs of ownership.

Our contract-winning design and build proposal incorporated drive motors and transmissions as well as pressure regulating and relief valves, all interconnecting pipework, service isolation valves and pulsation dampeners. And that was not all, as Bairds Malt also required a small additional high pressure wash-down system incorporating hand-held lances to clean other parts of their equipment. Our answer to this request was to specify the flow rate and pressure that would be required and incorporate our compact model 7CP positive displacement pump on the same skid to save space. This pump provides an output flow rate of 41 litres/minute at 50 bar, and enables the customer to gain optimum performance from the lances.

The Cat Pumps approach to business is always to see a project through to its conclusion and in the case of this contract we responded to Bairds Malt request for our general manager, Brian Hubbard, to attend the site on start-up day and successfully commission the pumps, leaving the system fully operational. Now well into their operating life, these three pumps are ensuring that Bairds Malt are attaining not just the high levels of operating efficiency that triplex positive displacement pumps can provide, but also low levels of maintenance.


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Sandy Lane
Church Crookham
FLEET, Hampshire
GU52 8BF

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