Application: Custom JSK Separator At Steel Mill
Solids: Sand, Silt, Zebra Mussels
Liquid: Lake Michigan Water
Problem: A very large steel manufacturer in northwestern Indiana already had several successful LAKOS
solutions throughout their facility, but two problems still plagued the mill.
The first issue was sand and silt in the water from Lake Michigan. The dirty lake water was drawn
downstream to very costly pumps, which are used to feed high pressure water to de-scaling nozzles.
Keeping the pumps at peak performance is critical to making sure that the high pressure spray nozzles
fully perform as designed, allowing the steel to meet the high standards of the automobile and appliance
industries for whom the steel is manufactured.
The second issue was zebra mussels attaching themselves to
the piping that feeds the pumps and the self-cleaning screens
that were being used to protect the pumps. These harmful
mussels form a consistency equal to concrete, causing the
self-cleaning screens to experience a drop in pressure, forcing
them into premature back-washing cycles. The problem was
so bad, it forced the facility to by-pass the screens all together, which in turn caused problems with the pumps and spray nozzles.
Because of their previous success with LAKOS products,
the steel plant knew who to turn to solve these problems.
Solution: LAKOS and the local distributor worked with the on site mechanical engineer and came up with
a solution for protecting the pump and preventing zebra mussel buildup. A custom model JSK-2650-L/
FLG was designed using a special, all natural and environmentally safe interior coating that did not allow
the zebra mussels to attach themselves to the separator. Within the first month of the installation, the mill
was convinced of the efficiency of the separator.
The mechanical engineer in charge of the project was extremely happy with the amount of sand and silt
that the JSK was removing, as well as the fact that the zebra mussels were not affecting the filtration performance. The mussels and sand from the lake were no longer negatively affecting the separator, unlike on the screen fi lters that had previously failed because of their blockage. He was not surprised by the outstanding performance, however, because of his previous experiences with LAKOS products.
“I do not have to worry about who is going to service the
LAKOS Separator, or having to by-pass the unit, causing
me other issues downstream,” said the engineer.
The LAKOS JSK shows a huge return on investment
factor for this application. The cost of repairing a high
pressure pump in a de-scaling operation can be upwards
of $150,000. Removing the sand and silt to protect the
pump can extend a repair schedule on the pump from
every year to every three to four years. If the separator is
conservatively calculated to double the pump life before
repair, the unit pays for itself in just six months time!
“When we install a LAKOS Separator, we know that we
will not have to address issues with maintenance and we
do not have to keep costly parts on hand as we do with
self-cleaning screens,” said the mill’s mechanical engineer,
“This makes a HUGE difference.”