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Media Coverage

Contributing to improved productivity and quality
"YOKOTA Defoaming/Degassing Pump ASP type"

Featured in MONTHLY FOOD PLANT MANAGER issued on Sunday, May 1, 2016

MONTHLY FOOD PLANT MANAGER Defoaming/Degassing Pump ASP type MONTHLY FOOD PLANT MANAGER Defoaming/Degassing Pump ASP type
Reprinted from MONTHLY FOOD PLANT MANAGER No.229, May 2016 issue, Page 38 to 39

Food Industry
Support Technology

Yokota Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Contributing to improved productivity and quality
"YOKOTA Defoaming/Degassing Pump ASP type"

This product was introduced in "TREND / Food Industry / Support Technology" in MONTHLY FOOD PLANT MANAGER, No. 229, May 2016.

The bubbles in liquids and surface bubbles when charging beverages and liquid food products are problems that many food processing plants must deal with. The solution to these problems is the "YOKOTA Defoaming/Degassing Pump ASP type" produced by Yokota Manufacturing Co., Ltd., manufacturer and seller of products such as pumps and valves. The pump has been widely adopted at various food processing plants, contributing to improved productivity and quality, as well as improved yield ratio.

Company overview
Location: 1-3-6 Minami Yoshijima, Naka-ku Hiroshima
Established in 1953
Main products: Defoaming/degassing pumps, self-priming pumps, non-water hammer check valves, automatic control valves, special stainless steel alloy, among others

Defoaming/degassing pump developed applying self-priming pump technology
Promoting itself as a company finding solutions to water and liquid handling needs, YOKOTA manufacturers and sells pumps and valves, and holds more than 100 patents. One of the representative products displaying its high technological strength, both domestically and abroad, is its self-priming pump which can deliver liquid even mixed with air. The "Enhanced Self-Priming Pump" is well known in the food industry for pumping and transferring liquids mixed with air bubbles or high-viscosity liquids.

Defoaming Principle

"The YOKOTA Defoaming/Degassing Pump ASP type (hereafter, ASP type) is a pump applying the self-priming pump technology accumulated over many years. Its special feature is transferring water only after separating and discharging the air from the water," says Atsushi Fukuo, technical group leader and deputy general manager.

The initial development objective was handling rust in tap water, however, the steady stream of inquiries from food product manufacturers led to the development of a sanitary-specification pump with high cleaning performance.

The ASP type, in combination with an interlocked vacuum pump, instantly and continuously discharges wasteful bubbles and gas occurring when blending and agitating liquid food products. The principle behind the defoaming is as indicated in the figure. First, the vacuum pump depressurizes the pump internally, the liquid mixed with bubbles is suctioned into the pump via the inlet, and the gas dissolved in the flowing liquid is extracted by depressurization.
After this, centrifugal separation is applied using an impeller, known as an inducer, which pushes the liquid to the periphery and accumulates the gas in the center. The vacuum pump draws out the gas, and only defoamed/degassed liquid is transferred to the next process by the main impeller.

Pumping to pressure feed achieved with single unit
Set up on existing manufacturing line possible

The ASP type has overturned conventional notions that food product defoaming/degassing requires expensive, large equipment. Equipped with self-priming and pressurization functions, the single unit manages everything from pumping to agitation, defoaming/degassing, and pressure feed. In addition, with its compact design coming in at about 300 mm width and 800 mm length, it can be assembled to an existing processing line.

Not only does it eliminate bubbles, but also by efficiently extracting and discharging air (dissolved gas) dissolved in the liquid, oxidation and decomposition is suppressed and freshness is maintained. This makes it possible to improve quality and extend the consumption and expiration dates. Additionally, the yield ratio is also improved because the filling quantity is stabilized. There is no need for chemical additives such as deoxygenating agents, and there is no need for a holding tank in cases where a holding tank was used for defoaming, thus holding time is reduced to zero, which leads to shorter lead times.

Further, because the pump has a minimal number of parts and a simple structure, maintenance and disassembly, and cleaning are easy. The main parts such as the suction cover and impeller are of sturdy construction, and consumable parts such as the O-ring packing only require a replacement after a number of years of use, and CIP cleaning is also supported.

Support from smooth liquids to high viscosity products
The intended use is for defoaming/degassing processing at each stage in the manufacturing process such as the boiling, maceration, extraction, oil pressing, agitation, fermentation, and preservation and defoaming processing, and transfer prior to bottling of liquid food and dairy products, and for various targeted products including milk, soy milk, fruit juice, vegetable juice, vegetable paste, mustard, pudding liquid, gelatin, dairy beverages, ketchup, juice, tea, fermentation liquid, yeast, cream, jelly, vinegar, soy sauce, and various seasoning liquid (photos).
In addition, it is also used for supplying degassed water for high-quality (high transparency) ice making, prevention of mis-operation of various measuring instrument, and defoaming/degassing processing and transfer of various raw material liquid.

Actual defoaming examples

When sales of the pump first began, there were no enquiries because many users considered bubbles to be a matter of course, however, after displaying the pump at a number of exhibitions, recognition increased gradually and sales began growing. Examples of use include factories which set the pump on a single line as a trial and after realizing the effectiveness, set pumps on all of their lines. Also, there are examples of overseas factories which set up the pumps at all their factories all at once.

The ASP type can be used for products such as food, paint and detergent, however, 60-70% of sales are from the food industry. In particular, there is a high demand for the pump in the production of food products such as tofu, jelly, cream, and pudding, in which the raw material liquids containing bubbles leave holes when made into products, detracting from the appearance and texture. The pump has also been adopted for defoaming/degassing of seasoning liquid used in ham and sausage making.

According to Yoshiaki Hashioka on the defoaming/degassing system team, "When we get an inquiry from a customer, we first have them test run the pump. The response we get back is almost always one of surprise at the high defoaming/degassing efficiency, expressed to the extent that 'Its ability to remove bubbles goes beyond expectations'. For example, even though tea contains nearly 50% bubbles, defoaming/degassing at a processing speed of 250 L per minute can remove nearly 100% of the bubbles."

Further, while responding to customer requests, it became apparent that the pump has a wide application which goes beyond assumption. It is now understood that the pump can handle products with high viscosity such as cheese and chocolate, and near-solid products such as miso paste.

Sales Launch of DP type in April of this Year
Low speed rotation prevents damage to liquids

According to the third-quarter financial results ending in March 2016, announced by the company, sales of pump products totaled 568,816,000 yen, a 28.9% increase compared with the same period the previous year, in which the growth in sales of defoaming/degassing devices to the domestic food product-related industries has made a large contribution.
According to Mr. Hashioka, "Customers can have the bubbles removed from their products by simply replacing the pump they're currently using without having to reconfigure the line. And, if customers have been using large settling tanks to do defoaming, labor time and effort for washing tanks is no longer required." Mr. Fukuo also adds, "Our products simply defoam/degas mechanically. And, because there is no need for the use of food additives such as defoaming agents, such indications on packaging are also unnecessary, which realizes improved safety and assurance, and reduces cost."

The efficiency of the ASP type has been improved over the past 10 years since its launch by implementing changes little by little such as impeller shape changes, and the launch of sales of the much anticipated new DP type pump began in April of this year. Although defoaming/degassing efficiency is the same as the ASP type, the lower rotation speed is a new, added value. Operation is enabled at a slower rotation speed of 1,500 revolutions from the current 3,000 revolutions. What this means is, for products which are easily damaged by the application of high rotation speed, liquid alterations are prevented which leads to improved quality. Sales of the pump are already rising, but the company intends to further expand its customer segment with exhibition of the pump at the FOOMA exhibition to be held in June.

Defoaming, Degassing Pump DP type Defoaming, Degassing Pump ASP type


Copyright for this article is with JAPAN FOOD JOURNAL CO., LTD.

For details of this product, please refer to Defoaming, Degassing Pump DP, ASP type.

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