Unibloc Blog

Unibloc Pump Acquires Flotronic Pumps: More Pump Alternatives

By | September 9, 2021
Flotronic One-Nut Pumps

The Demands of Sanitary Pump Cleaning 

Pumps must follow a daily washdown schedule for proper hygiene and safety in the sanitary food processing market. For typical air operated double diaphragm (AODD) pumps, the cleaning process comes with legitimate frustrations. Standard AODDs have multiple small screws and many pieces that must be disassembled for cleaning and then reassembled. Taking AODDs apart and putting them back together is no easy task. The procedure can be rife with the risks of lost hardware, incorrect reassembly – and it just takes a lot of time! 

Acquisition Unveils a “Secret” 

A recent acquisition by Unibloc Pump promises to unveil something of an industry secret—a secret that can benefit both new and existing Unibloc Pump and Flotronic customers in a variety of ways.  

As a premier manufacturer of positive displacement sanitary pumps, strainers, and valves since 1984, with a solid reputation for reliability and customer service, you might think Unibloc Pump would be satisfied with its success. But with the September 2021 acquisition of UK-based Flotronic Pumps, Unibloc Pump strengthens and expands its offerings to include Flotronics’ “one-nut” design double diaphragm pump. For Unibloc Pump customers, this will open markets in a wide range of industries, including (but not limited to) pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, cosmetics, household care and even chemical manufacturing. This acquisition means that both companies will be able to offer an even more complete pump technology product range. 

With roots dating back to 1981, Flotronic Pumps is a leading manufacturer of AODDs in Europe. Flotronic invented its unique One-Nut™ pump design more than 30 years ago, and that’s where this acquisition gets interesting—especially when it comes to that daily pump cleaning routine mentioned above. 

One Nut Makes a Difference  

The Flotronic AODD pump’s One-Nut design is unique in the marketplace. As the name implies, there is literally one nut to unscrew to pull the pump apart and perform cleaning and maintenance. Flotronic design, disassembly, and reassembly are easy compared to other AODDs in the marketplace. The Flotronic AODD is CIP “clean in place,” compatible for processes that leave the pump in place during the cleaning cycle. This technology sets the Flotronic pump apart from other AODD pumps, which cannot typically offer a CIP design. 

Complementary Technologies Expand the Map 

This acquisition, however, goes beyond just adding a new easy-to-clean pump design to Unibloc Pump’s offerings. The transaction benefits customers of both companies in at least two other important ways: 

  • First, this acquisition benefits the two companies’ customers through the complementary shared technologies, which will now be available under one umbrella. Unibloc Pump offer its customers a complete solution now with AODD pumps for lower pressure applications in the sanitary space, yet the two technologies will not compete because AODD and positive displacement (PD) pumps are very different. 
  • Second, the acquisition has positive and wide-ranging geographical ramifications, with Flotronic being strong in Europe and Unibloc Pump more dominant in the United States. As a combined entity, we can offer customers a broader range of solutions across the globe. It’s not region-specific, with operations in the US and operations in the UK. 

One-Nut Technology Offers a Variety of Customer Advantages  

Other companies offer double diaphragm pumps, but Flotronic’s one-nut approach is unique: 

  • As mentioned before, the hygienic/sanitary industries require that process equipment be fully drained and cleaned “in situ,” and the unique design of Flotronic’s One-Nut AODD pump allows complete cleaning in place, using up to seven-bar pressure from an external CIP pump. There is no need to bypass the pump at all.  In addition, you don’t need to manually drain the CIP liquids, eliminating the need for an external CIP rig that pushes water and pressure through the pump during cleaning. 
  • Traditionally, wastewater transfer applications used diaphragm pumps; however, Flotronic’s One-Nut design has broadened the scope for pump application. As a result, double diaphragm pumps can be used in more sophisticated processes, including transporting aggressive chemicals, transferring food, and provisioning continuous liquid feeds. 
  • Potential buyers of Flotronic’s One-Nut pumps should also be aware of the pump’s reliability and durability. It is hogged out of a solid piece of stainless steel. It is not cast, has no porosity, is not assembled and there are no o-rings or gaskets on the body. 

One-stop Pump Shopping Made Easy 

An AODD pump is air operated, making it safe and easy to maintain. It carries a smaller footprint than a lobe pump and is much less expensive. In addition, an AODD pump operates at lower pressures; maximum pressure is 7.2 bar, but most applications are 5. 

Lobe pumps are similar to gear pumps; however, because the lobes do not contact each other, they can be made from stainless steel, which is compatible with food applications. The design makes lobe pumps ideal for processing large solids, especially food, where damage to the product and contamination are unacceptable.  

Each type of pump, whether AODD, lobe, or gear, has its advantages, and they can work together to help process and move your product. If, for example, you need to fill 55-gallon drums or totes with a final product that includes both shear sensitive fluids and something like marinade, you can use an AODD pump to move product to the line and a lobe pump to deliver the final package. 

Learn more about the Unibloc Pump-Flotronic announcement here.

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