Watson-Marlow 530 pump provides accurate and consistent sunscreen transfer


The Acorn Group is benefiting from dosing accuracy and consistency provided by a Watson-Marlow 530 peristaltic process pump at its Johannesburg production plant, where it is being used to transfer bulk sunscreen lotion.

The Acorn Group is a dynamic, family-owned business that is home to a wide range of domestic products, extending from detergents to insect repellents. Acorn owns, manufactures and markets brands such as Tabard, Vapona, Teepol and Carbro. The Group also offers a broad-spectrum sunscreen range, providing world-class protection against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Accurate and reliable

Sunscreen is not viscous or shear sensitive, and there are no extreme temperatures involved in its production. With these facts in mind, the job of pumping this product, appears straightforward. However, there is a key requirement for precision, which meant the search for a suitable pump as part of this brand new product and application had to focus on accuracy and quality.Using the Watson-Marlow 530 process pump with a 520R2 pumphead and silicone continuous tubing, the pump is capable of dosing with +/-1% accuracy.

Robert Verseput is a representative from Acorn who is helping to enhance its business model and expand its distribution network globally. He says: “To provide a summary of the process, bulk sunscreen is drawn from a 100-litre stainless steel holding tank with constant head height, and transferred via the Watson-Marlow 530 pump into aerosol tins. The accuracy and consistency of dosing via the pump is thus critical. Thereafter, a valve is added and crimped, and propellant introduced via the gassing plant.”

Stand-out performance

A Watson-Marlow 530 pump was the obvious choice for many reasons. For instance, this pump type maintains process integrity and offers flow rates up to 3.5 l/min at 2 bar pressure. In addition, there are four drive and five pumphead options, along with a wide range of tube sizes and materials.

At Acorn, the 530 pump runs for approximately 7 hours a day, during which it transfers around 400 litres of sunscreen.

Enhancing GMP

“I’ve used peristaltic pumps extensively in a variety of applications,” states Mr Verseput. “They are the only pumps I will use for a number of reasons. Firstly, they enhance GMP by having minimal product-machine contact points and allowing for product dedicated tubing. They are also accurate, easy to clean and versatile over a variety of applications and product viscosities. In addition, this pump type allows for a reverse cycle at the end of the fill cycle, minimising post-fill drip.”

The Watson-Marlow 530 pump at Acorn is located in a pharmaceutical GMP production area as a stand-alone foot-operated filler.

 “The fact that 530 pump is robust was a big factor in the purchase decision. Add this to its durability, largely maintenance-free operation and compact dimensions, and it’s clear to see the appeal” says Mr Verseput.

Find out more about the 530 pump here

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