One of Spain’s largest producers of cement mortars is Grupo Puma, which has 20 plants located throughout the Iberian Peninsula. The group specializes in one-coat mortars ranging from decorative, cladding and grouting mortars to restoration, repair and insulation mortars, and its products are used in projects ranging from Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences and Madrid’s Barajas Airport to skate parks and houses. Relatively new developments to Grupo Puma’s product range are adhesive and hydraulic mortars that can be used to render and fix insulating materials.
The working environment for cement production and transportation is inevitably dusty, causing atmospheric pollution that in turn affects industrial components such as electrical motors and fans used in screw and air slide systems – the commonly used traditional methods of transporting powders. In 2007, in response to tougher environmental regulations, Grupo Puma asked Trelleborg to install Scirocco ll hoses at its Seville plant. The Scirocco ll system is radically different from the bulky, rigid screw conveyors and rigid air slides. Both of these need electric motors, one to operate the screw, the other to power an internal air fan. With Scirocco ll this is not necessary as it uses a fluidization process based on gravity flow.
This significantly reduces the energy consumed, making the process environmentally friendly. The entire cross section of the hose is used to transport powdered material. In the fluidization process, material in a granular solid state is converted into a fluid-like state by passing pressurized air through at an average pressure of 0.15-0.30 bars. The total system is completely sealed, eliminating dust pollution, and is virtually maintenance free.
“Our system needs only a small amount of air pressure to fluidize the product, as the design of the Scirocco ll hose ensures that air flow is consistent through the entire length of the hose,” says Ludovic Dumoulin, Product Manager for Trelleborg’s industrial hoses. “Gravity does the rest.” The initial installation was so successful that Grupo Puma now uses the Scirocco ll system in its major manufacturing facilities in Seville, Valencia and Madrid. One of the unique properties of the Scirocco ll hose system is that it is flexible, something Oscar Sanchez, Grupo Puma’s Director of Technical and Quality Services, sees as a particular advantage. “It allows us to upgrade older plants really easily,” he says. “The hoses can simply be threaded by hand through the forest of other pipes and supports in an older plant.”
There are other benefits of the system too, Sanchez says. “Above all, the Scirocco ll hose system is virtually maintenance-free. It uses a minimum of energy, is easy to install, allows for efficient transportation of cement and mortars and creates less atmospheric pollution. It’s an ideal product for us, and we’re very satisfied. There is no doubt that the system will be used in our new plants too.”
Grupo Puma, one of Spain’s largest producers of cement mortars, uses the Scirocco ll system in its major manufacturing facilities in Seville, Valencia and Madrid. The total system is completely sealed, eliminating dust pollution, and is virtually maintenance-free.