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When Iveco decided to renew its paint circulation line pumps in Madrid, Graco stepped forward with a more efficient and quieter solution

PIC 2 Iveco_Madrid_3Automotive companies are increasingly migrating from old pneumatic paint circulation pumps to electric pumps, on account of the cost savings possible and a range of other benefits. Take Iveco, for example. At its industrial plant in Madrid, Iveco manufactures Tracker, Stralis and Hi-Way trucks, as well as some military vehicles. Total production is approximately 30,000 units per annum – every one of which is painted with BASF solvent-borne paint.

However, when it was time to renew the paint circulation line pumps, local Graco distributor Acatec stepped in to propose exchanging the original pneumatic pump motors with electric ones. The proposal was accepted by Iveco, because it would avoid investing in the replacement of complete pumps.

Seven of the original pneumatic pump motors were replaced by Graco E-Flo DC 2 HP electric motors. This cost-effective investment fitted perfectly into Iveco’s budget. In addition, the new motors provide significant energy savings, increase the efficiency of the installation, and reduce sound levels and hence operator comfort. Iveco also values being able to continue using its own Programmable Logic Controller, which smoothly connects to the new Graco E-Flo DC pumps.

E-Flo DC: Twice the technology, twice the benefitsThis evolution from pneumatic to electric is set to increase in pace with the launch of Graco’s new E-Flo DC 2000, 3000, and 4000 high flow rate electric paint circulation pumps. These innovative devices double the original 4-Ball circulation pump technology to provide higher flow rates and less pulsation.

The DC stands for Dual Control, which means the pump can run in pressure or flow mode and stall under pressure. By maintaining either a constant pressure or a constant flow rate, DC technology leads to less pulsation and smooth, rapid changeovers – for better, more consistent finishes. Smoother finishing is also achieved thanks to the pump’s ability to adjust the pressure and flow rate thousands of times per second.The E-Flo DC can handle increased pressures and flow rates compared with previous models. This is good news for larger paint circulation applications, which can now use pressures up to 28 bar and flow rates up to 45 litres per minute.

Significant energy savings and less downtimeWith the automotive industry continually seeking to reduce manufacturing costs, a paint circulation pump that saves energy is obviously going to be an attractive proposition. The E-Flo DC electric circulating pump has been found to be up to five times more efficient than similarly sized pneumatic pumps – lowering energy bills and saving money. Further energy savings are possible by connecting a pneumatic BPR controller to automate an 'off-production' profile.

Another pain point for the automotive industry is downtime, and here too the E-Flo DC proves beneficial. With two complete motors and fluid sections, the pumps can run separately to keep production moving during maintenance, thus minimising downtime.


The new, sealed 4-Ball Lower is compatible with most Graco motors, making it a great option for new or existing installations

Quieter tooEvery year, thousands of workers in the automotive industry suffer from hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. This is not only preventable, but expensive when the costs of hearing protection, worker compensation claims and regular hearing testing are taken into account.

The E-Flo DC electric circulating pump reduces this cost and exposure to dangerous noise levels as it is so quiet; it exceeds OSHA’s sound regulation by over 15 dbA. Operators will hear better, the working environment will be more comfortable, and manufacturers will save time and money.

As for the installation of the E-Flo DC, it’s easy. No VFDs are required, and the Advanced Control Module allows smooth integration of the pump into a PLC network for even greater control and visibility. Finally, operation of the E-Flo DC is straightforward and intuitive, with minimal training required.

A new, sealed 4-Ball LowerTotally compatible with the E-Flo DC is Graco’s new, sealed 4-Ball Lower, which has been redesigned to eliminate regular maintenance and improve durability. It not only has longer maintenance cycles, but is also easier, faster, and cheaper to replace because it is compatible with all Graco circulation pumps.

The 4-Ball Lower’s Ultralife ceramic coating on rods and cylinders can handle the harshest materials, including waterborne paints, thus improving durability. The fluid section is completely sealed and leak-free, so can be used almost anywhere, including catalyst and moisture sensitive materials. Moreover, it contains a back-up seal in case of bellows leakage for additional security. Its positive displacement piston pumps displace fluid in both directions of the stroke, making the 4-Ball Lower ideal for shear-sensitive materials. Finally, no regular maintenance is necessary as no TSL is required.

The new, sealed 4-Ball Lower is compatible with existing Bulldog, NXT, President, Viscount, E-Flo, and E-Flo DC motors, so an upgrade is easy and problem-free. Different types of 4-Ball Lowers are available, including enclosed wet cup and open wet cup.