In the Tikkurila plant, some of the LPP pumps are installed on the wall in order to save floor space and to empty the pipeline from the medium.
In the Tikkurila plant, some of the LPP pumps are installed on the wall in order to save floor space and to empty the pipeline from the medium.
The production plant of Tikkurila, located in Vantaa, near Helsinki.
The production plant of Tikkurila, located in Vantaa, near Helsinki.

The Tikkurila paint production plant is located in Vantaa, near Helsinki in Finland, Established in 1862, Tikkurila Oy has almost 150 years of experience in the paint business. It is the largest paint producer in Finland, manufacturing paints and coatings for private consumers, professional painters and industrial users. The company has production units in seven European countries in addition to sales units in ten others.

At the beginning, the plant used screw, diaphragm and rotary lobe pumps. However, in operation these pump types were found to have several problems. Seal leakages, insufficient capacity, drying of the solids, corrosion and jamming of the pumps were major headaches. This was in addition to the start-up disturbances that occurred with pneumatic pumps. Also the maintenance and energy costs were extremely high.

Hose pumps have been used in the Tikkurila plant since 2000, having been selected for due to their capability to handle a sensitive medium. In 2006, Tikkurila replaced its current hose pumps with Larox Flowsys Oy LPP pumps. The major deal breaker was the compact design of LPP pumps along with their competitive price and easily adjustable installation when positioning them. Another important factor in securing the deal was the availability of domestic know-how in spare parts and maintenance.

The cooperation between Tikkurila and Larox Flowsys Oy was very successful. The sizing of the pumps was done jointly with Larox Flowsys and Tikkurila engineers. Before the pumps were installed, the piping geometry had been given to Flowsys engineers, which then carried out the pump sizing according to specifications.

Close cooperation also meant that initial teething problems were quickly addressed. When first installed, the LPP-T65 pumps ran into difficulties when driven against a closed valve. Working together, Larox Flowsys and Tikkurila engineers found a solution using overflow valves and a re-design of the pump interior; Larox Flowsys met the costs halfway. “The cooperation with Larox Flowsys has worked out well as engineers were available and take measures when needed” says Ere Toivonen, the maintenance manager of Tikkurila Oy.

The introduction of LPP pumps in Tikkurila was successful and Mr. Toivonen, was very satisfied with their operation: “Larox pumps increased our pumping capacity considerably and the operational reliability took a leap forward. Since the installation of LPP pumps the maintenance and energy costs have also significantly decreased.”

The LPP pumps are known for their low environmental load and reduced total cost of ownership. Because of the rolling hose contact of the LPP pumps, no excess friction is generated, resulting in lower heat loss and lower energy consumption. In Tikkurila, the energy costs of LPP pumps are ten times lower than with previously used pumps – the concrete savings being almost €5000 in one year. Due to their high output, LPP pumps are used in Tikkurila only 83 hours per year, which means that the savings would be even higher in applications where the pumps operated 24/7.

The first LPP pumps were delivered to Tikkurila in 2006 at the moment approximately 30 Larox valves and eight LPP pumps are successfully operating in the production plant. By March, Tikkurila was due to have four LPP-T40 pumps transferring raw materials from the storage tanks to the process and six LPP-T65 pumps moving the color paste forward in the process.

Thanks to the increased capacity of LPP pumps the lead time of the product has reduced from 1.5 hours to only 15 minutes, making the process much more efficient. Life-cycle costs are also affected by the reduced maintenance need and long hose life of LPP pumps. “The maintenance need with LPP pumps has been low and till now we have not had to change any hoses due to wearing” says Mr. Toivonen. The first hose changes will take place this year as the first pumps have operated three years in the paint factory. According to Mr. Toivonen “Larox Flowsys promised three years' life-time for their hoses and that promise has now been claimed”.