Industrial Utility Efficiency

Vacuum and Blower Technology at Process Expo 2015

Process Expo LogoProcess Expo 2015 was held September 15-18, 2015 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. Co-located with InterBev Process and the International Dairy Show, this event draws significant attendance from the food and beverage industries. Show producer, the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA), announced final record attendance numbers with a total combined registration of 19,670 people and a total of 914 exhibiting companies occupying 334,820 net square feet.

"The most impressive feature of this year’s PROCESS EXPO was the tremendous quality of customers in attendance," said Gil Williams, Chairman of the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) and President of Poly-clip System USA and Canada. “During the show we were able to meet with a number of important customers and sit down with prospects that we are confident will lead to new sales in the short to medium term, helping us close out 2015 on a strong note and jump start our sales efforts in 2016.”


Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum

Oerlikon Leybold was presenting their SOGEVAC® FP rotary vane vacuum pumps typical used in bulk, chamber and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). They are also used by food processors with their massagers, marinaters, tumblers, blenders, vacuumizer and stuffer production equipment. Other food applications include bottling, freeze drying and vacuum cooking.

The benefits of the base SOGEVAC FP pumps include water vapor tolerance, extreme reliability represented by lifetime lubrication (up to 30,000 hours), simple maintenance and no oil losses due to an integrated oil return line. The SOGEVAC Hydro range is designed to allow high water vapor tolerance by use of two single or one large gas ballast. The SOGEVAC Oxygen range is designed for MAP and has hydrocarbon-free pump parts and inert PFPE oil filling.

Retrofitting vacuum boosters, in food packaging applications, with the RUVAC® WAU2001 FP booster pump is also a point of emphasis. Thie model has compatible inlet/outlet connections for simple retrofit, wash-down duty IP55 motor, and an industrial-grade oil dipstick in lieu of typical exposed oiler cups. The units claim a 30% greater rated displacement over comparable models. What caught my eye is the robustness of the rotor. It has 13.7 mm of wall thickness at the shaft (compared with 4.9 mm with other models) to ensure greater durability and reduced rotor replacement. There are 5.5 hp and 10 hp models with nominal pumping speed ratings of 707 and 1,449 cfm respectively.


Jim Hupp, Michael Delahunt and Mario Vitale

Jim Hupp, Michael Delahunt and Mario Vitale presented SOGEVAC® FP rotary vane vacuum pumps at the Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum booth (left to right).


Busch Vacuum Pumps and Systems

The Mink series of dry-running, non-contacting rotary claw vacuum pumps have a strong presence in the food processing industry. National Sales Manager Pete Kardok said, “These units feature high levels of efficiency in terms of cfm per brake horsepower (cfm/bhp) while offering the benefits of a dry running design with no sealing or lubricating oil needed in the pumping chamber.” Product literature, for the complete Mink range, states the pumping speeds go from 23.5 to 677 ACFM, vacuum to 15 Torr (29.3” Hgv) and pressure to 31 psig.

Recently introduced are three new Mink MV models with lower pumping speeds from 23.5, 35.3 and 47 ACFM. The ultimate pressure on these units is 30 Torr. All three models are fitted with a frequency converter and synchronous drivetrain as standard equipment.  The control settings of the Mink MV can be adjusted to match the process exactly. Applications for these small horsepower dry units include where vacuum venturis, liquid ring and carbon-vane pumps are used.


Pete Kardok, Tom Grommersch and Chris Napier

Pete Kardok, Tom Grommersch and Chris Napier in front of their R5 25 hp vacuum pump at the Busch Vacuum Pumps and Systems booth (left to right).


Parker Gas Separation and Filtration

Personnel from Parker’s GSF Division have always impressed me with their application and end use knowledge. Brian Weltman has spent years helping factories with point-of-use filtration applications where “things happen to air quality” by the time it gets to the production equipment. We reviewed their sterile air filtration systems and their very innovative CAMTU compressed air microbial test unit. Food and beverage processors have no tolerance for microorganisms and use their sterile filters.  The CAMTU then permits on-site testing of the compressed air to ensure the specifications are being met.

Michael Kinnucane is also a tremendous resource with his background in nitrogen generation systems. Should I food packager have 99.99999% nitrogen purity or 99.9%. Application engineers with his experience have the answers and more importantly know how to ask the packagers all the right questions regarding their process. Getting nitrogen purity right is paramount to food safety and shelf life – while not over-killing purity can significantly help the energy efficiency of on-site nitrogen generators.


Brian Weltman and Michael Kinnucane

Brian Weltman and Michael Kinnucane reviewing sterile compressed air filtration systems and the CAMTU compressed air microbial test unit at the Parker GSF booth (left to right).


Kaeser Compressors

Kaeser continues to expand their presence in the food industry. Their booth featured the BB89C Trilobe Omega blower package. This unit produces pressures to 15 psig and vacuum to 15” Hg. It’s spec sheet states 5 to 20 hp, 85 to 270 CFM. The Omega Tri-lobe blower profile is a proprietary Kaeser design providing significantly reduced pressure pulsations and lower noise levels. Lower pulsations can mean less stress to sensitive process equipment. The units all come with standard and conservatively-sized EPAct compliant TEFC/IP-55 motors.

The booth also featured their full range of variable frequency drive rotary screw air compressors and a new AS20 belt-drive air compressor with significantly increased efficiency. Their new Sigma Control 2 master controller was on display as was a very cool new “golden” Sigma Profile airend.


Tony Witter, Rob Williams, Mike Houston and Drew Johnson

Tony Witter, Rob Williams, Mike Houston and Drew Johnson guarding their new “golden Sigma Profile airend” at the Kaeser Compressors booth (left to right).


ISEL Lubricants

ISEL has recently impressed me as a very technically sound company with a real focus on agility and customer service. I enjoyed speaking with the Sandler Brothers, Michael and Dan, at their booth about air compressor and food-processing lubricants. Their air compressor lubricants are formulated to withstand tough ambient conditions and are rated at 100% fluid life at 212 ºF (100 ºC). Their standard synthetic formulations have a typical fluid life of 8,000 hours with their extended-life air compressor lubricant rated for 12,000+ hours according to their literature.

Their food-grade formulations are non-toxic and non-hazardous so they can be disposed of in the same manner as mineral oils. They meet H1 requirements for indicidental food contact as well as Kosher and Halal specifications. One formulation catching my eye is their advanced food-grade air compressor lubricant providing 8,000 hour fluid life at 212 ºF (100 ºC) discharge temperature. The standard food-grade lubricant is rated for 4,000-6,000 hours.


Michael Sandler and Dan Sandler

Michael Sandler and Dan Sandler reviewed food-grade air compressor lubricants at the ISEL booth (left to right).



The Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) is a global trade association serving suppliers in the food and beverage industries. FPSA members are organized in vertical industry councils focusing on specific needs and concerns that are unique to each industry sector. FPSA councils currently represent the Bakery, Beverage, Dairy, Prepared Foods and Meat sectors. For more information on FPSA visit For more information on the Process Expo 2017 visit .