Latest Case Studies & White Papers

Oxidation ditch mixers create energy savings in Arkansas

Addressing the fast-rising cost of energy is rightly high on today’s agenda, so when four hefty 40HP rotors serving one’s aeration plant are also sitting at the top of your maintenance budget, finding a better means of mixing certainly concentrates the mind.

In Huntsville, Arkansas, the route to achieving optimum mixing of its oxidation ditches has been a marathon, not a sprint; but this meticulously operated wastewater treatment plant is now reaping the rewards of significantly reduced horsepower and reduced repair costs.

Managing oxygen levels at Huntsville has been a major, fluctuating challenge, especially with the wastewater taken in from a large-scale food manufacturer, nearby.

The 160HP (total) rotors had to run 24/7 in order to sufficiently mix and add oxygen to Huntsville’s WWTP aeration basin, but when the expanding food manufacturer upgraded its own treatment plant, the problematical rotors were creating far too much oxygen; contaminating the anaerobic and anoxic zones.

“We had to find a new, sub-surface means of mixing our oxidation ditch”, commented Bill Eoff, Wastewater Manager at Huntsville.

“And as we only have the one oxidation ditch”, he said, “this presented the extra challenge of finding mixers that could be installed without there being any interruption to our process”.

Bill and his Water Department Director, Sean Davis, had tried pulsing the rotors on timers, and had also been having to feed in chemicals at additional expense to balance out the process, so that the ratio of BOD to ammonia could be harmonized, but to no avail. So, they consulted with their local equipment representative, Instrument & Supply, who have been working with Huntsville for over 20 years.

“We believed that by far the best solution for the plant was to separate the aeration and mixing functions; and that included mixers made by Landia. This provided a subtle, but highly effective solution”, said Chris Enloe from Instrument & Supply.

“We were very confident of our recommendation; plus, the fact that no other mixer manufacturer could, or was prepared to install their mixers without draining down the tank, which was not an option at Huntsville”.


At first, to some, the installation of a mixer to a full and operating ditch might sound rudimentary, especially with what includes about twenty solid blows with a sledgehammer (!), but in keeping with Landia’s long-established designs, no-nonsense simplicity often proves best. Actually, there’s real precision in ensuring that the (pre-marked) guide spike is installed plumb; approximately half an inch into the base, with the mixer on the guide pipe set at nine inches above the base of what is typically an eight- or nine-feet deep ditch. Installation takes just two to two and half hours.

Chris Enloe added: “The team at the plant had to work without the benefit of grants or loans that come with a new design. Everything was funded piece by piece on cash reserves. This made the task all the more trying; for example, keeping the rotors until such times that a second blower could be purchased, in order to meet the state’s requirement for redundancy to be in place”.

‘Big win for the City’

Sean Davis, Huntsville’s Public Works Director, continued:

“The rotors were proving costly and time-consuming to maintain, especially the gearboxes, but although the changes we needed to make to meet our treatment needs took longer than we would have liked, it has already resulted in a 15% reduction in our energy costs alone. This is a big win for the city. In total, the 160HP of course used up a huge amount of resource. The blower is 100HP, but is only needed 25 per cent of the time – and the mixers at just nine HP each (36HP in total) are in comparison, extremely efficient and very effective indeed”.

Bill Eoff added: “Running 24/7, for over five years with no major issues, the Landia mixers have been a great investment. We pull them up every six months to change the oil and grease them – and that’s basically all the maintenance they need. We’re very happy with them. We know that there will inevitably we some wear and tear with shims and seals that over time need to be replaced, but overall, they are very easy to maintain. In five years, we’ve spent less than $3,000 on spares. This is a world of difference compared to the rotors, which no longer provide value.  As well as the help we’ve had from Instrument & Supply, Landia have been very supportive throughout, from start-up to supervising our first service – and much more with additional advice and training. They were and still are determined to help us succeed”.

‘Supports the greater Community’

Chris Enloe concluded: “Huntsville did not have the option to build a new plant, but with real determination they now have the tools to effectively operate the plant within permit – without breaking the bank. This supports the greater community by working together with its neighbors, including the food manufacturer, which is very important to the local economy. The result demonstrates just how good the Landia solution fits within the many constraints that are in Huntsville. Rightly so, the team at the wastewater treatment plant are very proud of their work”.

The Hydropower Industry and Epoxy Coatings


Hydropower is a renewable energy source that has been harnessed for thousands of years. Today, it is one of the most important sources of electricity in the world, and its use is only expected to grow in the future. One of the key components of the hydropower industry is the use of epoxy coatings, which are used to protect the machinery and infrastructure used in hydropower operations. In this blog post, we will explore the role that epoxy coatings play in the hydropower industry and the benefits they provide.

Grand Coulee Dam belzona







Figure 1 Grand Coulee Dam in the United States

The Benefits of Epoxy Coatings in Hydropower Operations

Epoxy coatings are a popular choice for use in the hydropower industry because of the many benefits they provide. One of the primary benefits of epoxy coatings is their ability to protect machinery and infrastructure from corrosion. Corrosion is a major problem in hydropower operations because the equipment used is often exposed to water and other corrosive substances. Epoxy coatings provide a protective barrier that prevents corrosion from occurring, which helps to extend the life of the equipment and reduce maintenance costs.

Another benefit of epoxy coatings in hydropower operations is their ability to provide a smooth surface for water to flow over. This is particularly important in turbines, where a smooth surface is essential for optimal operation. The use of epoxy coatings can help to reduce friction and improve the efficiency of the turbine, which can lead to increased power generation and lower operating costs.

Finally, epoxy coatings are also resistant to high temperatures and can withstand exposure to UV radiation. This makes them an ideal choice for use in the harsh environments found in hydropower operations, where machinery and infrastructure are often exposed to extreme temperatures and intense sunlight.

Hydropower Industry Case Study

Belzona had the opportunity to improve the condition of a 60-year-old Kaplan hydropower unit that was showing signs of wear and was due for a full mechanical overhaul.

Operators at the Hydropower Plant grit blasted and cleansed the unit with solvent. Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) was used to smooth over the wear and cavitation in a full skim coat. Once cured, the Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) was sanded down to the required profile, and frost blasted. Two full coats of Belzona 1341 (Super Metal Glide) were applied. The coating can provide increased efficiency on new and refurbished equipment while also providing full corrosion and erosion protection while immersed.

Surviving 60 years with minimal wear is impressive. However, by using Belzona 1341 (Super Metal Glide), the unit can continue to operate for many more years, providing reliable service and cost savings over the long term. The use of this product can improve the unit's resistance to wear and tear and can also provide an additional layer of protection against environmental factors such as moisture and chemicals.

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Figure 2 Hydropower unit during surface preparation for Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) application

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The Future of Epoxy Coatings in the Hydropower Industry

As the demand for renewable energy sources continues to grow, so too does the necessity for hydropower. This is expected to drive an increase in the use of epoxy coatings in the hydropower industry, as more and more equipment is needed to meet the growing demand for electricity. In addition, advances in epoxy coating technology are likely to make them even more effective at protecting machinery and infrastructure from corrosion and other forms of damage.

One area of particular interest is the development of epoxy coatings that are more environmentally friendly. As the world becomes increasingly concerned about the impact of industrial processes on the environment, there is a growing demand for coatings that are engineered with plant-derived ingredients. The Belzona Research and Development Team are currently in the process of formulating products made from bio-based materials that are produced from sustainable plant-based feedstocks, rather than the traditional fossil-fuel based ingredients.


Epoxy coatings play a critical role in the hydropower industry, providing protection against corrosion, improving efficiency, and withstanding the harsh environments found in hydropower operations. As the demand for renewable energy continues to grow, the use of epoxy coatings in the hydropower industry is expected to increase, and advances in technology are likely to make them even more effective. By working together, the hydropower industry and coating manufacturers can help to develop coatings that are both effective and environmentally conscious, ensuring a sustainable future for the industry and for the planet.

Everything you need to know about lubrication

Lubrication is one of the most important success factors for time and cost-efficient maintenance. It is critical for low-friction and therefore energy-efficient machine operation and can contribute to greater sustainability in production. Incorrect lubrication is one of the most frequent causes of rolling bearing damage and machine failure. 

Schaeffler’s new white paper entitled “Can lubrication be easy and sustainable? focuses on lubrication systems and lubricants, highlighting what is important when it comes to lubrication. The aim is to help you lubricate your machines more sustainably and cost-effectively, simplify your maintenance processes and prevent machine downtime.

The white paper will help you to discover how modern lubrication technology can pay off for your business; how lubrication systems can make your processes easier and more environmentally-friendly; and what you should consider when changing lubricants.It includes basic knowledge, expert tipsand guidance, as well asnumerous practical examples from a range of industrial sectors.

Automatic lubrication systems

In many companies, it is still common practice to lubricate machines manually with a grease gun. Not only is this time-consuming and sometimes involves working in hazardous areasit also entails risks such as over-lubrication or lubricant starvation, as well as the use of inadequate types of lubricant. Automatic lubrication systems can eliminate these risks and offer additional significant benefits.

Looking for the answersThe white paper answers four key questions surrounding modern lubrication:

• How can lubrication systems simplify lubrication processes and avoid unplanned downtime?
• Which lubrication methods reduce unplanned downtime and do so sustainably?
• What should you do if the lubricant recommended by the manufacturer increasingly proves to be the cause of machine or bearing failures?
• When switching from one lubricant to another, what should you consider in order to avoid unplanned downtime?

Lubrication can be a curse or a blessing. Sometimes it’s just small details that make the difference between failure-prone production and smoothly running operations. The latter can often be achieved with fairly manageable investments, so take a look at the new white paper and see where your operations may benefit.

This article can also be found in the issue below.



Hoist & Winch elevates success of large construction project

Hoist & Winch Ltd has recently completed a challenging project for one of the UK’s biggest construction companies involved in large-scale new home development projects. Faced with a demanding and highly technical brief, Hoist & Winch rose to the task, providing a turnkey lifting system solution to ensure complete success for its client.

The requirement was to install a concrete ceiling mounted 7.5t swl (safe working load) lifting beam and manual chain hoist into the basement energy room of a large new tower block. This development is part of a large-scale prestigious regeneration project providing 5500 sustainable new homes in North London. 

At the design stage, following formal tender and contract award, Hoist & Winch set about identifying the optimal solution. Due to restricted access into the basement area, the company decided to utilise a two-piece lifting beam design with an overall length of 7m. To join the two lifting beam sections, Hoist & Winch designed a central splice joint of bolted construction with a reinforced bottom beam flange.

In order to spread the lifting loads over a greater area of the concrete ceiling slab it was decided to mount the lifting beam via four intermediate cross members, each having a four-bolt/anchor fix into the concrete ceiling at both ends. Featuring a robust bolted construction design it was possible to deliver the lifting beam to site in fully dismantled form for ease of transportation and access.

M24 resin anchors with an embedment of 255 mm into the 400 mm deep reinforced concrete slab fixed the intermediate cross members directly to the ceiling for maximum security. 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Continued ……

For approval by engineers at the main contractor, Hoist & Winch submitted design drawings and calculations for the structural design of the lifting beam and loading of the resin-type ceiling anchors. 

With the design approved, Hoist & Winch could progress to manufacturing, followed by delivery to site. Using building column positions as datum points, the installation line of the lifting beam was marked out while working from scissor lifts and an aluminium scaffold tower located on the upper mezzanine floor. A surveyor’s laser line initially identified the correct lifting beam position, prior to overlaying with red chalk to ensure accuracy for the duration of the installation work.

Raising the two lifting beam sections into position required the installation of eight 1t swl hand chain blocks, with each one suspended from M16 swivel eye bolts supported from flush-mounted anchored resin inserts drilled into the concrete ceiling slab. 

Following sample pull load testing, Hoist & Winch raised each lifting beam section into position using four 1t swl hand chain blocks. To raise the lifting beams to the full height and clamp them hard against the concrete ceiling slab ready for drilling, the company used two special lifting rigs per beam section.

The first lifting beam section manoeuvred into position also included the 7.5t swl hand chain block, which was rolled on to the lifting beam at low level using a 1t swl hand chain block temporarily suspended from local steelwork. Once both lifting beams were in position, Hoist & Winch joined the two lifting beam sections using the aforementioned bolted splice plate.

Next, the company undertook ceiling slab drilling operations and resin anchor installation for all 32 ceiling anchorpoints after very carefully cleaning each hole with a special heavy-duty internal brush and suction pump. Following the specified resin curing time, Hoist & Winch could tighten each anchor bolt to the required torque levels.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Continued ……

The final installation and test operation was LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) inspection of the lifting beam and manual chain hoist unit. This activity included dynamic load testing of the entire runway beam length with a 7.5t skid-mounted test load followed by 125% static proof load test in accordance with BS 2853 2011. 

“Working as a subcontractor for the company supplying and installing the plant and services in the basement energy room, we delivered an entire turnkey lifting system solution,” states Andy Allen, Director of Hoist & Winch Ltd. “At completion we provided the client with an overall project records and documentation package, before clearing all site equipment and undertaking customer handover. This project is just one of many exemplifying the meticulous, competent and professional approach that Hoist & Winch customers can expect from our highly knowledgeable team.”

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Daphne finds prime solution for primary problematical lift station



Suck it up, pressurize it and send it to the treatment plant.

In theory, this should be a straightforward job for pumps at a lift station. However, as we all know, the curse of so-called ‘flushable’ products in our sewer systems is also proving that some so-called ‘non-clogging pumps’ are getting clogged.

If you don’t have a problematical lift station in your network, you’re either lucky or have the most environmentally responsible residents in the country. Or perhaps you’ve already solved the beast of a problem with a piece of equipment that has been around for over 70 years.

As more and more maintenance teams are having to contend with, the rise in non-biodegradable products almost inevitably results in problems for wastewater lift stations. This critical piece of infrastructure is further hindered by today’s low-flow household wastewater systems that honourably save water, but allow solids to build up.

Unclogging the supposedly non-clogging pump can be a thoroughly unpleasant job, especially for example, in Daphne, Alabama, where its main lift station at Windscape was besieged with ragging issues to the point of having a vac truck there at least once per week. All part of the job, maybe, but in conscientiously trying to run the process as best as one can, burning up hours of labour can be quite demoralizing; returning to that same problematical lift station again and again and again. The fact that some of those first to complain about back-up and odours might include people who have contributed to the problem is not lost on the engineers who are doing their best to make things right.

At Daphne Utilities, the top priority is always to provide a reliable wastewater collection and treatment system that supports the needs of its community, protects the environment and quality of life for all Eastern Shore residents, and meets or surpasses all federal and state requirements. The Daphne Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) can treat up to 4.17 million gallons of wastewater per day (MGD) but has the hydraulic capacity to process up to 9 MGD. The facility serves approximately 12,000 homes/businesses and treats an average of 3 million gallons of wastewater every day. 

Extensive pipe and collection system cleaning is in place, as well as a comprehensive pre-treatment/grease management program to combat fats, oils, and grease (FOG). This includes the requirement for grease interceptor devices at all food service establishments and for car wash establishments to have sand/oil interceptors.

‘Critical part of our network’

Despite all these pro-active measures, the recurring problem at Daphne’s Windscape lift station was getting some unwanted attention from some areas of the community. Goeff Wilkins, Water Reclamation Facility Manager at Daphne Utilities, said: “We have two 88HP pumps, but were still having ragging issues. Our power source was also unreliable, so our bypass pumps would soon become clogged. Windscape is our primary lift station, which with seven others feeding into it, handles about one million gallons per day; about 1500 gallons per minute, so it’s a very critical part of our network. I know some operators choose to use chemicals to address certain issues, but with wastewater being more aggressive, we wanted to find the best, long-term pumping solution”.

Always on the look-out for technologies that will help improve the Reclamation Facility and its sewage network, Daphne Utilities had established a link with leading process equipment provider, Cahaba Water Solutions Inc., (CWS) based in Birmingham. CWS suggested trialing an EradiGator from Landia, which is based on the very same Chopper Pump design that Landia invented back in 1950. Goeff Wilkins and his key engineers had also attended two national trade shows to weigh up the best options.

‘Continuing heavy presence of non-biodegradable products’

Tim Boyne, Owner/President of Cahaba Water Solutions, Inc, commented: “Daphne Utilities continues to be proactive in addressing and solving issues in their collection systems.  However, like all utilities, there is always a pump station where there will be a continuing heavy presence of non-biodegradable products.  We felt if we could demonstrate the performance of the Landia EradiGator under these tough conditions, we could greatly reduce their operation and maintence costs at the Windscape Station, as well as reduce the potential of overflows from clogged conditions”

Goeff Wilkins continued: “At the trial, we could see the chopping and mixing of the Landia EradiGator (only 20HP), which was priced very competitively. It immediately resolved the issues in the Windscape lift station, so we had no hesitation in investing in it”.

Set up on a timer to operate for 15 minutes per hour, the Landia pump now effectively protects the two existing 88HP pumps by its chopping and mixing action; the EradiGator designed with an external knife system that prevents unpumpable solids from entering the pump’s casing.

“It does a phenomenal job,” continued Goeff. “We can really see the difference at the headworks to our facility where there is now much less debris. We’ve saved huge amounts of time by not having to pull out the clogged duty pumps or send in the vac truck. Through SCADA and from daily inspections, we still check for any signs of matting and ragging, but the Landia EradiGator doesn’t need much maintenance. It works fantastic.

“Cahaba have been very helpful in finding us such a solid yet simple long-term solution to the issue we had with our main lift station. None of our team misses having to go there all the time”.


Landia has solved numerous lift station headaches, eliminating problematic scum layers.  In addition to the EradiGator, Landia also supplies the AeriGator, which is fitted with a venturi nozzle to inject air for applications where odour problems from hydrogen sulphide is an issue. Both solutions drastically reduce maintenance time because there is no longer any clogging.

Case study: Making safety culture visible at T5 with Scafftag

How to ensure shared information on the status of the scaffold is instantly available to all employees from all parties involved in a challenging T5 project? Read the full story!

No question, the scale of the T5 project is impressive and challenging. 16 major projects and 147 sub-projects make it one of the most talked about developments in the industry. But it is not only the size of the project that has attracted so much attention. The innovative approaches to safety employed have hit the headlines too.



BAA, which owns six other major UK airports as well as Heathrow, has focused on creating a proactive safety culture across all operations. This culture is intently participative rather than prescriptive. In 2000, BAA launched its renowned “One in a Million campaign to set a challenging target for the reduction of reportable injuries. As the name suggests, the campaign involves an ongoing benchmark target of only one reportable accident per million hours worked.


As an addition at T5, it has introduced its “Incident and Injury Free (IIF) programme. The idea of IIF is to make everyone on site responsible for safety - not only their own, but their colleagues. safety too.

The ultimate objective is to create an incident free site. Achieving this culture requires a strong degree of partnership amongst suppliers working on the project.


Specified Scafftag Systems

BAA already uses a custom designed Towertag system for managing its mobile towers on all other Heathrow terminals and its other airports. However, due to the scale of the project and number of contractors involved, an even wider range of Scafftag systems is in operation on T5.

Scafftag used by all contractors

The Scafftag scaffold tagging system has been specified by the T5 project team to be used by all contractors operating the vast structures which are in place. This helps to ensure shared information on the status of the scaffold is instantly available to all employees from all parties. It means that individuals are empowered to make informed decisions about the safety of the structure. This reinforces the culture of everybody taking ownership for safety. 056BB423-C03A-4600-B9D3-82C3012C9FFB.jpeg


Safetrak improves efficiency

The Safetrak system has also been adopted at T5 to move all scaffold inspection processes into a paperless, automated format. Inspection information is electronically transferred between the equipment tagging systems and handheld computers using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. The information is then synchronised and centralised by the Safetrak software.

Microtag adds protection

Beyond scaffolding, the Microtag system has also been specified to all T5 contractors to help control HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome). A Microtag® is attached to portable tools subject to HAVS in order to indicate the maximum daily usage time and provide clear, up to date details of inspections.

The Microtag system is waterproof and ensures maximum durability in outdoor industrial environments. D22E73DF-DB73-4F93-A915-472C9D93DCA1.jpeg

Results that speak for themselves

BAA has invested major resources into safety on the T5 project. This has clearly paid off in noticeable results. T5s safety record is four times better than the industry average. Over 70% of the workforce believe that T5 is the safest place theyve ever worked. The statistics go on as Russell Hyam, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager for BAA, points out: Through IIF BAA has focused on shaping a positive force at T5 a safe working culture. The visibility of Scafftags systems plays a vital role in supporting this culture.

This probably goes some way to explaining why Scafftag systems have been adopted on some of the other major airports across the globe. These include Dubai International, George Bush Intercontinental (Houston, Texas), Toronto International, Melbourne International and Adelaide.

Find out more about Scafftag tagging systems >>

Scafftag – A Brady Business

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Tel 0845 089 4060



Raising the bar in challenging, large-capacity hoist installations

Supplying, installing, load testing and LOLER certifying a wide range of manual and powered hoist units, Hoist & Winch Ltd has extensive experience and expertise in all kinds of industrial lifting operations. However, certain projects require special know-how, such as the installation of large-capacity, electric-powered wire-rope hoists in challenging and restricted access applications. And yet even in these situations, Hoist & Winch has a proven methodology to ensure a high-performance, efficient, safety-certified outcome for customers.

Every hoist installation is different, and most generally present some level of challenge to overcome, typically relating to the dimensional clearances of the hoist unit or the logistics of general access conditions.

When the hoist unit’s dimensional clearances are particularly critical, Hoist & Winch Ltd carries out a detailed survey prior to manufacture, ensuring that the complete installation can perform the required tasks with sufficient operating clearance.

On some occasions, a pre-installation survey is required to check site/work area access conditions. Hoist & Winch Ltd will subsequently submit its Risk Assessment and Method Statement (RAMS) for approval by the customer prior to starting work. These documents detail the installation procedure, the equipment intended for use, and the hazards and risks associated with the various tasks. In addition, the documents will set out how it is possible to minimise or negate these risks.

A recent cement plant project involving challenging installation access conditions highlights how the capability and knowledge of Hoist & Winch Ltd proves extremely useful in delivering a successful outcome for customers.

                                                                                                                                                            Continued ……

This complex project involved replacing an obsolete, 10-tonne SWL (safe working load), electric-powered wire-rope hoist unit with 60m lifting height. The task was required ahead of the cement production facility carrying out extensive modification work to its pre-heater tower. The pre-heater tower is 100m high and the existing hoist unit was located at the 60m level on a monorail beam that cantilevers out of the building for approximately 8m. Both the obsolete hoist unit and monorail beam had been dormant for many years, which meant that Hoist & Winch Ltd’s scope of supply included the load testing and thorough examination of not just the new wire-rope hoist unit, but also the monorail beam.

Among the first tasks was to remove the existing wire-rope hoist unit, which weighed 3 tonnes. Hoist & Winch Ltd decided to cut this down in sections using gas-burning equipment as many of the hoist parts were badly seized and not easy to dismantle in the conventional way. Initially, the company removed these sections to a specially constructed scaffold work platform located below the hoist installation area. Each piece of the obsolete hoist was then lowered further to the nearest adjacent floor level 16m below using manual chain blocks for movement to the goods lift access located at that level.

Next, Hoist & Winch Ltd had to install the new hoist (weighing 2.2 tonnes) in part dismantled form. The company eased the difficulty of this task by installing a temporary 3-tonne SWL motor trolley mounted, air-powered chain-hoist unit on the monorail beam and raising the new hoist unit the required 60 m from the outdoor ground-floor work area. Hoist & Winch Ltd took great care with the preparation of the chain-hoist unit to ensure reliability during operation as any breakdown during the critical 60m lifting operation would require special access equipment to help resolve any issues. Hoist & Winch Ltd also carried out meticulous checks on the quality, volume and pressure of the air supply.

The next task was to raise the complete new hoist unit to the 60m installation level. From there, Hoist & Winch Ltd used the 3-tonne SWL motor trolley mounted, air-powered chain-hoist unit to transport the new hoist unit into the building and over the temporary scaffold work platform.

                                                                                                                                                            Continued ……

From this position - after first opening up the hoist unit trolley wheels wider than the monorail beam width – the company lifted the wire-rope hoist unit into position. To facilitate this task, Hoist & Winch Ltd deployed four 1-tonne SWL manual chain blocks suspended from each end of two specially fabricated lifting frames clipped into position on the top flange of the monorail beam.

The final tasks included electrical commissioning, assembling the hoist on to the monorail beam and the removal of all temporary lifting equipment. Hoist & Winch Ltd could then perform dynamic load testing of the new wire-rope hoist unit and monorail beam using a skid-mounted, certified 10-tonne test load prior to issue with a LOLER Thorough Examination report. As part of the dynamic load testing procedure, the outdoor cantilever section of the monorail beam was deflection-tested in accordance with BS2853 using a special long-range, outdoor-operation Leica laser mounted to a stable yet precisely adjustable tripod.

“Manufacturing and process plants tend to evolve over time, often compromising general access to existing hoist installations,” explains Andy Allen, Director of Hoist & Winch Ltd. “In other instances, legacy hoists fall into disuse and become obsolete. We’ve seen this on many occasions over the years, but with our in-house design, engineering and manufacturing skills, there is nothing we cannot overcome. If you are in this situation and could benefit from the input of an expert partner, please call for a no-obligation discussion about the potential solutions.”

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Long-lasting Chopper Pumps continue to go hell for leather

When Pittards, the leading leather goods producer, moved part of its manufacturing process from Leeds to Yeovil, they made very sure that its long-serving wastewater pumps went with them.

Founded back in 1826* as glove makers, Pittards transferred its dependable long-shaft chopper pumps (made by Landia), even though they were already 15 years old.

“Keeping hold of the Landia pumps was a must”, said Pittards’ Engineering Manager, Tim Copland.

“Pumps in this environment take a huge amount of punishment, dealing with grit and what can be a very slimy mass of small leather pieces that I’m sure would clog other pumps; but with Landia, we’ve never had an issue”.

At its facility in Yeovil, where Pittards makes top quality leather goods, the twin-channel 24/7 wastewater flow of 350m3 to 400m3 per day is first sent to circular tanks containing the Landia long-shaft chopper pumps, before screening, pH control, chemical correction and then to a Lamella clarifier for final separation of particles from the effluent.

In addition to fashion items such as gloves and handbags, Pittards (with a team of 120) makes performance leathers for sports and the military, treating leather from its tannery in Ethiopia with a series of lengthy softening/hardening processes to produce a wide variety of finishes, including fire resistance.

“Depending on the required finish”, added Tim Copland, “our ‘laundry-type’ process, which can require up to 24 hours, simply has to have a reliable, robust wastewater stream. Over the years, the odd lump of something like a corner part of a pallet block will somehow find its way into the drain to cause us to lift a pump out, but thankfully that doesn’t happen too often”.

‘Value for money investment’

He added: “We know that we ask an awful lot of the Landia pumps, which one has to say, are used and abused, but still continue to show what an excellent, value for money investment they’ve been. We are always vigilant of course about our discharge consent – and have a good working relationship with Wessex Water. The pumps play an important role in ensuring that we keep well within our discharge consent”.

To further prolong their lifetime, Tim explained that the long-shaft chopper pumps are swapped around every 6-12 months, with a unit always kept on standby to ensure that there is little or no interruption to the process. Pittards’ first purchase from Landia (who invented the Chopper Pump back in 1950) was in 2002. After proving its worth, four more pumps were secured in the next two years, followed by further purchases in 2019.


‘Very Good Gatekeepers’

“The Landia pumps have always been very good gatekeepers”, continued Tim Copland, “even with the slimy, clinging nature of the leather pieces, they just keep on going – and are also very easy to service. And whenever we’ve needed advice, Landia are always available on the ‘phone or in-person to help”.

At Leeds, pumps and mixers from Landia (typically 1500rpm / 7.5kW) kept solids in suspension and improved aeration, greatly enhancing the consistency of the facility’s wastewater discharge. As has been the case at Yeovil, the unique external knife system of the Landia Chopper Pump prevents solids from entering its casing; the long-shaft version of the pump more suited to the application because of the inevitable build-up of solid particles.  Cast iron has proved more than effective at Pittards, but the pumps can also be supplied in various coatings and materials, including acid-proof stainless steel. The operating range is up to 6 bar, which makes the long-shafts ideal for replacing most displacement pumps that may struggle with wastewater containing solids and hard-to handle pieces of debris.

“One of the pumps we have is over 15 years old”, said Tim. “Despite all the wear and tear, it continues to thoroughly chop and pump the particles and larger debris that we have in our wastewater. The recirculation that the pumps provide also helps keep the tanks clean. Back at Leeds there was equipment that was cast-booted in, with no viable option other than to leave it behind, but looking at life expectancy, which we can break down into a weekly cost, keeping hold of the Landia pumps was a decision that continues to prove very wise indeed”.

The Valley Center way - combining energy savings now – with total cost of ownership

At Valley Center Wastewater Treatment Plant, and at an increasing number of facilities across Kansas, the decision to buy the more expensive equipment at the outset is proving to be the most economic. Savings in long-term maintenance are important, but in the shorter term, energy savings are fundamental.

“Total cost of ownership is what we at the plant and our city council are interested in”, said Valley Center’s Utility Manager, Wade Gaylord.

“There’s always a cheap, short-term solution, but it is our duty to act in the best interests of the city and our residents to spend our budget as wisely as we can, which to me it just plain common sense”.

After being laid off from the aerospace industry during the pandemic, Wade sought employment in the wastewater sector, where he could put his university degrees in chemistry and geology to good use.

“I grew up here and later used to drive past the plant on South Sheridan and wonder what was going on in there”, he said. “After aerospace, I was prepared to travel to wherever a good career opportunity became available in the wastewater industry. But as it turned out, there just happened to be a vacancy for an operator, right here in Valley Center”.

Situated about 12 miles north of Wichita, the 0.5 MGD (million gallon per day) wastewater treatment plant (built in 1979) serves 2,700 homes. It includes an extended aeration treatment plant, plus ultraviolet disinfection treatment. Solids removal prior to discharge into the Little Arkansas River typically ranges from an impressive 97.5%-99%.

The recent failure of a mixer at Valley Center demonstrated the firm commitment that now prevails when the true cost of ownership is mapped out, only top quality, long-lasting equipment represents the best value for money.

“To be honest”, said Wade, “I didn’t really understand why the design of the existing mixer’s impeller was the way it was, but what I knew for sure was that it wasn’t very reliable – and that the cost of having it assessed and repaired was prohibitive.  The mixer (7.5HP) had been in use for 10 years, but had a seal-system that was just not user-friendly”.

Wade spoke with multiple equipment representatives, including

Fluid Equipment of Wichita, who has been evaluating and repairing wastewater systems for over half a century. After listening to how Valley Center approached its purchasing, Jeff Ubben at Fluid Equipment recommended a Landia submersible mixer from its portfolio that sat at the top of their price bracket, but one that is set to last for 20-25 years.

‘Look for longevity, as well as best efficiency’

“I immediately liked the Landia design”, added Wade, especially the sealing system, which protects the most important part of the mixer. We have great cohesion in our team here at Valley Center, including our Infrastructure Manager, Ron Ekstrom, who has worked here for over 20 years. When we thoroughly weighed out all the pros and cons, we saw that Landia was the most expensive purchase. However, when I presented the total cost of ownership to the city, they could see that it made by far the most sense. Our administration definitely looks for longevity, as well as best efficiency, and in 10 years’ time or less, I don’t want an operator to have to deal with the same problems that I’ve had”.

‘A better job, even though it uses much less energy’

Jeff Ubben at Fluid Equipment, commented: “For the wastewater industry, it is very encouraging to see a young utility manager and a city push hard for better quality equipment that will stand the test of time. With a Landia mixer, Valley Center can see that they won’t have the annoying maintenance issues that lesser designed mixers will create. And as well as lasting much longer, the mixer we recommended will also do a better job, even though it uses much less energy”.

With its backward sweeping propellers, the design of the Landia mixer ensures that rags can’t cling on and damage the seals. The protective grease hub in the propeller guards the seals, and is hard to wash away. It acts as an important first line of defence against all types of debris. The Landia seal system is well proven and eliminates immediate and expensive seal fail condition.

Jeff Ubben at Fluid Equipment pointed out that Landia can very often reuse an existing mixer manufacturer’s guiderail, so that installation can proceed without the tank having to be emptied.

So again, despite Landia appearing to initially be at the high end of the price list, a retrofit doesn’t incur anywhere near the additional costs of other designs.


‘Hadn’t seen the basin ever mixed like that before!’

“Previously”, said Wade, “we knew that the old 7.5 HP mixer was working and mixing – to some extent – but when the Landia mixer was installed, we turned it on and hadn’t seen the basin ever mixed like that before! The volume that the Landia mixer put through, mixing the basin from the bottom up, was pleasantly surprising; changing the dynamics for a much better process all round. All of this, too, with just a 4.9 HP motor! The amp draw of the Landia gear-driven mixer is lower than what we saw with other manufacturers (7 amps compared to the 10 and 12 amps of the others). On just this one mixer, running two hours on, two hours off, we are making an energy saving of $58 per week, which is over $3,000 per year. The return on investment is a no brainer”.

On the website of tomato producer Guy & Wright (established 1928), the company describes itself as: ‘being complete idiots; building our own AD plant’.

Fifteen years ago, when the first 1800m3 digester was built on the 100-acre site in Hertfordshire, England, John Jones (great grandson of Mr Guy) could be forgiven for wondering what on earth he’d taken on. As if producing hundreds of tons of top-quality tomatoes each year wasn’t enough to think about, he was now getting to grips with that very steep biogas learning curve of feedstocks, temperatures and digestates.

A decade and a half on, with a second, 7000m3 digester, no energy bills, and enough excess power to sell for the equivalent of 1500 homes, Guy & Wright are a shining example of how to survive and thrive though diversification into renewable energy.

None of us could have predicted the sudden, massive leap in energy prices that are such a challenge today, but even in the early 2000s, rising fuel costs were already a big concern for John Jones. In the heat-thirsty production of tomatoes, he knew he had to act in order to protect and develop the family business.

At first, five natural-gas-powered 115kW micro-turbines were installed to produce hot water, electricity and CO2. This process enabled Guy & Wright to apply for ROCs (Renewable Obligation Certificates), which at the time, allowed generators of renewable energy to sell on and receive a premium, as well as the wholesale electricity price. But with those gas prices rising steeply, Guy & Wright soon reached the point of no return, investing in a 500kW CHP (combined heat and power) engine from Edina; converting three of the five turbines to run on biogas.

The investment in carefully-sourced equipment also saw the start of what has become a long and productive relationship with Börger; best known for its rotary lobe pumps, but also makers of key farming/biogas kit.

In 2008, a Börger Multi-crusher was put into operation to reduce feedstock particles down to 8mm to enhance the AD process. One might expect there to be no shortage of waste from growing so many tomatoes, but John Jones’ son, Rob, who now runs the biogas operation, soon saw that tomato leaves were not only extremely difficult to break down, but also low in calorific value.

‘Milkshake’ consistency’

So, as the never-ending fine-tuning of the AD plant continues, locally imported waste now includes citrus fruits, potatoes, grain and cocoa powder – plus processed DAF sludge from an ice cream manufacturer. This provides liquid to help create a ‘milkshake’ consistency that the digesters will benefit from far more than a consistent supply of more solid material.

“The Börger Multi-crusher certainly proves itself as a very durable and effective piece of kit for the demands of an AD plant”, said Rob Jones. “We keep one Multi-crusher as a spare so that in any eventuality, we can keep operating – with two always on the go, plus an additional unit now on order. They work very well for us”.

Based on the proven Börger Rotary Lobe Pump, the Multi-crusher chops coarse material to ensure that downstream machines and pumps operate smoothly. The Multi-crusher homogenies mediums at throughput volumes of up to 320 m³/h / 1,400 usgpm/h. In addition to food waste, it can handle fibres, pieces of wood, plastics, membranes and textiles across a wide range of applications.

The team at Guy & Wright added: “Investing in our first CHP was a real turning point, and as we’ve grown the biogas plant, converting (covering) our old lagoon into a secondary, 7000m3 digester*, we’ve not hesitated to invest in more Multi-crushers from Börger”.

The covered lagoon at Guy & Wright produces enough gas to run two of three CHP engines – and also provides retention times of up to six months, compared to most biogas plants where it is just 30 days. Every last bit of gas is extracted”.

Guy & Wright secured another Börger Multi-crusher when it began taking in liquid animal bi-products, for which they also needed a (7.5kW) Börger pump.  Utilising this type of bi-product (via a new pasteuriser) has provided another important string to the Guy & Wright bow, enhancing biogas yields by having a feedstock with a high calorific value and also less digestate to deal with.


Two biomass boilers are also now in the fleet of machinery, providing much-needed additional heat to the nursery during winter. Hot water is stored in a buffer tank so that it can be used on demand. Guy & Wright have also become the first company in the biogas industry to take exhaust gas from a CHP and convert it into CO2 for the glasshouses.  The gas is cleaned by a special system of catalyst bricks that absorb harmful gases; leaving the resulting CO2 (which is piped into the glasshouses) at perfectly safe levels. This also aids the photosynthesis of the tomatoes, resulting in more plentiful flowers/fruits.


‘Success with new Börger Separator’

Always looking for improvements, Guy & Wright turned to Börger again to address the dwindling capacity of the plant’s open lagoon. Working together with four nearby farms, there had been problems with blockages during spreading with an umbilical system, but that’s all changed for the better now, thanks to the purchase of a Börger Bioselect Separator.

Using a purely mechanical process, liquid is separated from solids in the medium, so that nutrient-rich (PAS 110-approved at a maximum of 2mm) organic matter can go back to the land as a top-quality fertiliser.  A combination of separation machine and two Börger Rotary Lobe Pumps, the Separator is load-triggered. The feed pump only conveys the volume that the Bioselect is able to process. The high-density solids discharge pump determines the degree of thickness.

“We no longer lose capacity in our lagoon”, concluded the team at Guy & Wright.  “This is due totally to the Börger Separator, which protects it. Works an absolute treat”.



*Outside of Malaysia, the covered lagoon digester at Guy & Wright is believed to be the largest in the world.

Modern methods of optimising operations in steam boilers

In this article, Carl Knight – managing director of process steam and heat transfer specialist Fulton – looks at boiler sequencing control systems and how these intelligent controllers can optimise steam boiler installations to ensure energy efficient operation and improve boiler longevity.

Numerous processing facilities operate multiple steam boilers to meet the demands of their on-site processing equipment. However, if the steam boilers in these facilities are not optimised for efficiency, then the potential for any energy savings is not itself being fully optimised.

The use of an intelligent sequencing system for steam boiler installations provides redundancy, builds reliability and offers significant energy savings by automating start-up and shut-down procedures; controlling and optimising main steam header pressure or temperature; ensuring steam supply is controlled precisely for the required process; and balancing the load distribution across the boilers, all of which reduces extensive losses from repeated start/stop cycling of burners as much as is feasibly possible.


Steam boiler sequencing should be about more than simple on/off or start-up control. An intelligent sequencing system should also consider steam system load conditions and match this to the most efficient combination of boiler output according to process requirements.

Response to system loads and start-up times are also factors. For example, a boiler sequencing control system should be capable of monitoring when running too many or too few boilers is having a negative effect on efficiency and productivity. It should be able to monitor and pre-emptively predict a sudden surge in demand and hence boiler use by monitoring existing boiler demands, system pressures and flow rates; therefore starting/stopping boilers appropriately depending on process demand.

Additional factors include what happens in the case of boiler failure, sudden high steam loads and even lack of boiler availability due to servicing. A good sequencing system should take all these factors into consideration and manage the boiler operation automatically. With the result being that, despite the machine they are working on having just started a high-steam demand stage during its production process, the end user doesn’t notice that additional boilers had to be started.

Furthermore, benefits that can be achieved through the installation of an intelligent boiler sequencing system can include automation for start-up and shutdown of the boilers; better control of the main steam header pressure leading to more consistent pressure and therefore better steam quality (vitally important factors for sterilisation processes and accurate heat transfer rates); precisely-controlled process steam or hot water supplies; boilers operating at main header pressure or temperature and not maximum pressure or temperature; improved boiler longevity from complete load sharing; and improved fuel savings through eliminating idle time at low fire.

Suitable for up to four steam boilers, SCOPE from Fulton is a PLC-based intelligent boiler sequencing control system that optimises installations. It can be retrofitted to existing vertical and horizontal fuel-fired boiler installations, including Fulton’s own range of existing and planned products and those manufactured by other boiler OEMs.

But what about the future of boiler sequencing and the development of intelligent control systems using Cloud-based services?

Many processing facilities operate 24/7 so, to keep these facilities running consistently and efficiently, immediate action is often required and/or expected from the boiler manufacturer. By accessing its SCOPE intelligent sequencing system via Cloud-based systems, Fulton is already looking to incorporate remote accessibility for diagnostic- and service-related issues; and providing remote data for system improvements, which can be accessed by specialist engineers for diagnostics and clients for data review.

Fulton is also looking at the ability to perform certain maintenance procedures or service steam boilers remotely, no matter where in the world they are installed. This would help to reduce the environmental impact and costs associated with travel to/from site, savings that can be passed onto the client.

The future will therefore offer simple sequencing control of multiple boiler installations or a full boiler-house energy management system, accessible remotely by the manufacturer and client alike, to provide an efficient solution for everyone.

For further information on SCOPE email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call +44 (0)117 972 3322 or click

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