March Madness

Beyond alma maters, fandom, or even betting and bracketology, the NCAA tournament serves as an annual reminder that the best teams rise to the challenge time after time. That’s how we view our team at the Charles P. Crowley Company. It’s also how we approach being your team for delivering superior engineered equipment products, service, and solutions. 

In the spirit of the teamwork and the tournament, this month’s Chatter tips-off with a celebration of 75 years of American ingenuity in thermoplastic pump design and development. That’s followed by a full court press on why design deliberations dedicated to the end-user pays off in the end when it comes to rotary lobe pumps. At the buzzer, it’s a game-winning three from the unrivaled experts in inflated laser welded heat transfer products.

Let’s inbound this Chatter… 

Manufacturer of the Month

Since 1949 VANTON PUMP & EQUIPMENT CORPORATION under the leadership of its founder, Gerry Lewis, pioneered the development of engineered thermoplastic pumps in the U.S. and around the globe. When it comes to handling corrosive, abrasive, hazardous and ultrapure fluids, Vanton thermoplastic pumps set the standard.

Whether your needs call for a seal-less, self-priming Flex-I-Liner® rotary pump, a horizontal Chem-Gard® centrifugal pump, a Sump-Gard® vertical centrifugal pump, or an integrated engineered Pump/Tank System, they’re all backed with three quarters of a century of innovative problem-solving expertise.

Today, Larry Lewis, the second generation of the founding family oversees every aspect of Vanton’s entire line of thermoplastic pumps designed to meet the needs of globally diverse industries wherever a broad range of chemical resistance is required.

The chemical inertness of thermoplastics ensures purity when handling ultrapure water and other fluids required by manufacturers, fabricators, utilities and industries where contamination cannot be tolerated. Vanton thermoplastic pumps provide a broader range of chemical resistance over stainless steel and expensive exotic alloys where corrosion and abrasion issues frequently occur. And, thermoplastics eliminate the problematic issues of wicking, absorption and abrasion that are related to FRP materials as well as the porosity and delamination associated with lined metal pumps. It’s why with Vanton thermoplastic pumps you can transfer process fluids or waste streams of mixed or unknown chemicals without fear of corrosion or contamination.

With over 265,000 pumps deployed around the world, Vanton is backed up by its world-class team of highly skilled representatives. And, coupled with its knowledgeable in-house team of engineers overseeing the performance testing of every pump manufactured, you are assured of always receiving the optimal pump for your specific needs.

Vanton goes to great lengths to solve your toughest pumping problems. Vanton staffers  standing behind one of three 24’ Vertical Centrifugal Pumps designed to handle a sulphuric acid solution collected in deep catch basins.

The Cutting Edge

With a 35+ year legacy of manufacturing lobe pumps in the U.S., including all foundry and machining work, SWABY LOBELINE pumps continues its commitment to the end user maintenance staff over others in the decision-making process. Lobeline demonstrates this commitment through its design focus on features that increase mean-time-between failures (MTBF) over features selected to hit the lowest price point. 

Lobeline’s pump design is renown for this focus on reducing failure frequency (MTBF) and minimizing any failure’s repercussions. Examples include:

Addressing Ingress
A main failure mode in many rotary lobe pump installations is the ingress of the pumped fluid into the gearcase. In many lobe pump designs, the pump construction is such that the gearcase and liquid end are connected by a component frequently referred to as the intermediate chamber. This method results in a compact design, but it also creates a leak path between the liquid end and gearcase, that becomes a factor when the seals separating those components fail. Lobeline pumps mitigate this issue via an air gap created between the liquid end and gearcase.

The air gap is a key Lobeline design feature which deserves much of the credit in reducing plant maintenance costs when compared to short-pump installations. The choice between fluid leaking onto a drain pan, or leaking through an internal seal arrangement and requiring frequent disassembly and repair, or pump failure, is an easy one.

A secondary benefit of the air gap is the location of the mechanical seals. Located outside the pump and in plain view for maintenance staff inspection, minor seal leaks are readily apparent, allowing plants to plan for maintenance. 

A failed gearcase due to sludge ingress
View of mechanical seals through the air gap

Gearcase Endurance
Design choices about the gearcase have also been deliberately focused on the end user, beginning with the decision to design for a bearing B10 life of between 500,000 hours and 1,000,000 hours. In effect, a gearcase will last for decades.

With four bearings per shaft as opposed to the common two bearing design used in shorter pump configurations, gearbox maintenance as driven by bearing failure is virtually unheard of on Lobeline pumps.

The gearcase sports two oil reservoirs, one for each shaft.  While one reservoir is adequate at normal speeds, at slow speeds, the oil contained in a single reservoir does not reach the upper shaft bearings in sufficient quantity to provide adequate bearing lubrication. It may seem a small thing, until the plant runs at partial capacity and pump speeds are lower than those planned for during design.

Finally, the use of grease lubricated labyrinth seals vastly improve the gearcase’s longevity over a gearcase using the more common lip seal arrangement.

All of which idemonstrates how Swaby Lobeline pumps are designed and built with an eye toward trusted and lasting performance, accompanied by reduced maintenance costs.

Top Three

OMEGA THERMO PRODUCTS is both the original developer of laser welded heat transfer plates and the largest supplier of inflated heat transfer plates. Since 1989, Omega Thermo Products has designed, manufactured and sold heat exchanger technology and process systems for many different industries worldwide.

Heat Recovery Bank
Omega’s Heat Recovery Banks capture heat that is exhausted or vented during plant process applications and provide energy savings by using the recovered heat in multiple preheating applications. Heat Recovery Banks have a high return on investment, typically have a lifespan of 20+ years, can reduce your tax burden through relief, credits, incentives and deductions and projects may be eligible for state or federal energy efficiency grants. They are easy to install, easy to clean, reduce operating costs of natural gas and reduce vapor emissions. A few exhaust vapor energy recovery applications are fry cookers, rendering cookers, brew kettles and dryers.

Fluidized Bed Driers
Fluidized bed drying is an efficient method to remove residual moisture from bulk solid materials (examples: granules, powders, grains, beans and crystalline). When it comes to thermal efficiency, the heating panels submerged into the fluidized bulk solid layer make the design unique because of its highly effective method of transferring the heat from the panels to the bulk solid through the fluidizing gas.

Drum Warmer
Omega’s Drum Warmers are clamped onto standard size metal drums to provide heating or cooling of the product inside. Heating or cooling is achieved by utilizing steam, hot oil, hot water, glycol mix and cooling water in the drum warmer. Drum Warmers are manufactured and formed using Omega’s laser welded dimple plates. Omega’s drum warmers are easy to install and are designed to quickly allow for change out from one drum to another. For mobility, Omega offers drum warmers integrated into a horizontal drum cradle.

For more information on these, or any of the products and manufacturers we represent, contact the Charles P. Crowley Company by calling 626-856-5656 or by emailing


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