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Lewa showcases pump technology at ACHEMA

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In preparation for ACHEMA 2015, Lewa GmbH defined three areas of focus. First, an additional process pump is being added to the Triplex pump series; this process pump demonstrates exceptional cost effectiveness thanks to its high efficiency and features a very compact design. This is evident in the 30% reduction in its weight and footprint, which is an important criterion for the oil and gas industry in particular. "Our goal is to provide our customers a customised technology for systems in the chemical, petrochemical as well as oil and gas industries in order to realise high output capacities in these areas," said Stefan Glasmeyer, Managing Director of Lewa GmbH.

In addition, Lewa plans to strengthen its expert position as a system integrator in the realm of process technology, including in pharmaceutical applications. The company has the benefit of many years of system expertise in a variety of application areas to help in this effort. The third development is of particular significance; it is the Intellilab, a laboratory pump utilising Intellidrive technology developed by Lewa. This pump enables exceptionally high precision when metering the smallest quantities while staying hermetically sealed even at pressures as high as 500 bar. "This puts our customers in the laboratory and pilot plant sector in a position to reliably develop new processes and products," explained Glasmeyer.

Micro metering pump

When testing new small scale process technologies in high pressure laboratories, maximum precision is required so that later upscaling will be as accurate as possible. To be able to work safely and without spillages at pressures up to 500 bar, Lewa GmbH has developed a hermetically sealed high pressure micro metering pump, which has been available since January 2015. An initial order is already being processed; a test machine is currently in use at a manufacturer of mini plants. The Intellilab, equipped with state of the art drive and control technology was presented at this year's ACHEMA trade show.

Lewa Intellilab.

The Intellilab is a logical evolution of the K3 and K5 micro metering pumps, which have been used in high pressure laboratories for decades. By using the drive and control technology Lewa Intellidrive the drive side angular speed can be regulated during operation in a highly dynamic manner. The special operation of the servomotor allows the pump in the Intellilab table housing to be capable of generating low pulsation volume flows. At a discharge pressure of up to 500 bar, flow rates between 10 and 500 ml/h at an accuracy of ±1% are possible. In automatic mode, the pump can be controlled from a DCS via an analog signal (0/4 - 20 mA). In combination with various control structures, the fluid kinematics can also be adapted to the requirements of the process, and the profile of the metered flow can be modelled in nearly any way. Metering flow profiles can be programmed and processed to schedule. Input and visualisation are carried out via a colour touchpad with intuitive usability.

The Intellilab is primarily used for accurate and reproducible metering in high pressure synthesis and hydration processes as well as in mini plant applications, because the fluid is hermetically blocked against atmosphere and the hydraulic system of the pump. Spillages to the outside and the danger of fluid coming into contact with air are eliminated by the hydraulically coupled metal diaphragm, which is particularly well suited for very small metering flows. The pressure stiff hydraulic actuation of the diaphragm also keeps the impact of the pressure on the metered flow to a minimum.

Precise low pressure chromatography system

Nowhere are the requirements of precision, quality, and reproducibility as strictly regulated as in modern process chromatography. Using the Ecoprime low pressure chromatography system developed by Lewa GmbH, batch to batch reproducibility in GMP manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals can be enhanced significantly and the yield of the product can be enhanced. Unveiled at ACHEMA trade, the system is notable within its product family for its extremely precise flow control from 0.03 to 60 l/min, its unrivalled dynamic flow rate range, minimal pulsation, and low holdup volume, allowing better product yield, purity, and safety during purification. As a consequence, production time and the costs of validation in the entire production cycle are able to be reduced.

Lewa Ecoprime.

The pumps installed in the systems and registered for patent approval with the servo drive from Lewa operate with the highest precision and allow high reproducibility of the adjustable parameters. Compared with other systems, a considerably higher accuracy over the entire flow rate range can also be covered with its Intellidrive technology. Each Ecoprime system therefore offers an adjustment range of 1:150 or more. Because the Ecoprime system can handle the flow rate of up to three individual conventional process systems, investment costs and valuable floor space can be reduced. It is therefore ideally suited for use in cost intensive GMP cleanrooms.

In the previous year, a license agreement with ChromaCon AG was sought to extend the Ecoprime batch chromatography platform, which applies to the use of Capture SMB technology, among others, at pilot and GMP scale for continuous purification. This allows various process principles such as batch or multi column chromatography, Capture SMB, and MCSGP process principles to be undertaken with the same system platform. In addition, the contract between both companies enables them to further accelerate the development of modern cost reducing purification processes for the manufacturers of biopharmaceuticals at GMP scale.

Triplex process diaphragm pump

The G3M, a heavy duty, medium sized triplex drive unit, was originally developed to bring reliquefied boil off gases from LNG tankers to a high pressure level, rendering these gases usable for the ships' propulsion system. As a rugged workhorse, it is also ideal for various other applications, including use in the chemical industry or for offshore applications on oil platforms. The Lewa Triplex G3M process diaphragm pump was one of Lewa’s main exhibits at ACHEMA 2015. A technical animation demonstrating the synchroniaation of three Lewa Triplex process diaphragm pumps in various operating states was shown at the trade show.

The G3M is an intermediate size product in the Lewa portfolio that attains a maximum output of 200 kW thanks to its stroke length of 120 mm and a rod force of 125 kN. It is intended for use primarily in the oil and gas industry, as well as the chemical process industry. The chief application in the former sector is injecting monoethylene glycol and methanol. In the process industry, a wide variety of pumping tasks in pressure ranges between 40 and 750 bar can be managed. Other possible applications include handling highly flammable materials such as vinyl acetate, slurry in the wet oxidation or high pressure metering of liquid ammonia.

Triplex condensate injection.

Just like the other models from the Triplex series, the G3M is equipped with an integrated worm gear. The monoblock drive element housing, on which the electric motor is flange mounted via a coupling with flexible intermediate element, makes it possible to reduce the number of bearings and seals required to a minimum. This also makes the design highly compact. The optimal phase offset of the three pistons is ensured by a one piece, solid and triple throw crank shaft that requires only two roller bearings. To attain better damping of the swelling load, on the other hand, the bearings of the connecting rods are designed as slide bushings. The flow rate can be controlled using a frequency converter that regulates the change of the motor RPM, the number of strokes per minute and thus the flow rate. Because all components are designed for continuous duty, problem free operation for more than 40 000 h is possible with the drive unit.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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