Product Enhancement: SPXFlow’s New Hydraulic Vertical Votator II Lift

In today’s post, we’re very excited to share with you SPXFlow’s latest product enhancement, the new hydraulic lift for vertical Votator II scrape surface heat exchangers. In this post, we’ll take a look not only at the new lift, but also why you would want your Votator II in the vertical in the first place and why you need a lift. So let’s get started!

So first things first- why would you put a Votator in the vertical and why do you need a hydraulic lift? To address the first part of that question, most Votators are at least 72” in overall length (some are even as long as 84”). And when we need even more heat transfer area, we add tubes. So it’s not uncommon in some facilities to see banks of Votators, piped in series. This can consume a lot of premium floor space. To solve this, there is only one way to go-up! It’s really that simple- Votator II’s are mounted in the vertical to save floor space.

But just because the Votator is still in the vertical doesn’t mean we don’t still have to service the units. And service usually means removing the center mutator shaft. In order to pull that shaft, we have to let it drop a little over 6’ to clear the ground. That means our cylinder needs to be mounted on a pole a least 6’ above the ground. And as mutator shafts are 6’ of mostly solid stainless steel and blades, we’ll need a safe, ergonomic way to remove them. Enter the hydraulic lift.

The hydraulic lift is mounting pole equipped with a hydraulic cylinder and pump, and foot assembly designed to raise and lower the mutator shaft from a scrape surface heat exchanger in a safe and consistent manner.

Manufacturers, including SPXFlow quickly realized this an opportunity to solve a problem and began introducing their own version of a vertical lift system. While these legacy systems address the customer need, they also stayed relatively constant as customer’s and inspector’s needs evolved. Early systems can only drop one shaft at a time and could struggle with shaft re-alignment and load distribution.

The New Votator Lift in Action

With SPXFlow’s upgraded Vertical Lifting system, we have the most versatile, ergonomic lifting system that has ever come to market. The new lift features a modified lifting foot that not only better distributes the load, but also gives us efficient access to either single or twin cylinder arrangements for maintenance, cleaning, and inspection. Yes- that means we can drop two shafts at once, which greatly increases turnaround time.

Old vs. New Foot Assemblies

To accommodate the twin cylinder lift, the revamped lift system features a new hydraulic pump designed to handle the heavier loads, controlled alignment with guide rod and rollers for lifting and lowering through the full range of motion, as well as conical alignment tools to promote quick, safe, and effective re-assembly. The new lift also has a number of safety features including the 2-point locked guidance system for the shafts (vs. the free floating guide bar system used on the original lift).

And while all vertical Votators purchased after December of 2022 will come standard with the new lift system, aftermarket retrofit kits for existing installs are available. Retrofit kits include hydraulic hoses, upgraded pumps, guide rods, and lifting foot. Estimated conversion time is 1-2 days to complete and both SPXFlow and Triplex have technicians available to assist with the conversion.

If you have any questions about your Votator or the new vertical lift, please contact a Triplex Sales Engineer today!

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