Japan’s Iwaki, a producer of chemical process pumps, whose U.S. affiliate Iwaki America Inc., based in Holliston, Mass., at the beginning of this year, expanded its corporate headquarters by nearly 25 percent, taking space that had been occupied through 2012 by Terracon Corp., a related business spun off from Iwaki America in 2008.
Iwaki America’s operations include the design, manufacture, and worldwide distribution of its Walchem line of water treatment controllers and related products along with the modification and assembly of Iwaki pumps and their distribution in the Americas. John Miersma, Iwaki America’s president and CEO, said the domestic company’s success has been owed to “significant investments” in new product and market development coupled with “a long-term commitment to leading-edge technology and … superior customer service.
The company’s “ability to integrate its technologies and products in innovative ways that solve customers’ unique application needs and add value to their processes has made Iwaki America the go-to partner for the worlds’ largest water treatment and industrial companies,” Miersma said. He added that both Iwaki America and Terracon are experiencing consistent year-to-year growth and required more space to accommodate their respective activities, in explaining the headquarters expansion after which Terracon relocated to nearby Franklin, Mass.
One of Iwaki’s offerings is the IX Hi-Techno series of metering pumps, which employ digitally controlled brushless DC motors for direct drive. This is said to enable accurate metering (+1 percent), with energy efficiency, for automated chemical delivery in industries from wastewater treatment to chemical processing. The diaphragm pumps can dose reagents into a process stream as a continuous discharge rather than a pulse, helping to reduce pulsation and inertial forces on piping.
“[A continuous discharge profile] also ensures that the resulting concentration in the stream is more uniform,” says Kazunori Ichimura, Iwaki’s manager of product planning in Japan. “Moreover, the return suction stroke is constant and faster for greater efficiency,” he claims. However, the suction speed can be manually lowered for operation with highly viscous liquids or prevention of cavitation.
Through motor control, the IX pumps feature a turndown ratio of 750:1. Moreover, helical gears and return springs reportedly reduce power consumption by up to 70 percent compared to conventional mechanical diaphragm metering pumps.
Other notable features include a sensor located behind the diaphragm that monitors ruptures or leakage. Faulty operation detection, meanwhile, protects the pump (and piping) during discharge pressure. Further, orientation guides in the suction and discharge ports prevent valve cartridges from being incorrectly installed.
The diaphragm material employed is a combination of Teflon and rubber. The pump head can be supplied in either thermoplastic fluoropolymer or stainless steel. Pump outputs of 0.02 up to 40 gph (150 L/h) are available, while maximum operating pressures range between 58 and 150 psi (10 bar) depending on the IX model.
The salient points of the IX Series are accuracy and flexibility into an energy efficient design (average power consumption is 62 watts). Precise control is maintained over a wide output range to satisfy a broad range of application flow rate requirements.
The pump head design, check valve design, and fixed stroke length maintain a high compression ratio throughout each stroke, resulting in fast priming and no gas-lock conditions. The IX drive requires no oil bath or additional lubrication. Iwaki claims the drive is maintenance free over the life of the pump.