This year marks the centenary of the Fuller-Kinyon® screw pump. This indispensable equipment, which the Portland Cement Association called the greatest contribution to cement manufacture since the invention of the rotary kiln, was first designed in 1918 as a safe way to handle pulverized fuels. Today, it is a major component in material handling systems throughout the world.
Discovering new ways to handle dry bulk
The Fuller-Kinyon® screw pump was born from the discovery by Alonzo Kinyon of the Fuller-Lehigh company that dry pulverized materials assume a flowing, liquid-like consistency when properly mixed with air. In this fluidized condition, pulverized materials can move through a pipeline as a relatively dense column and at low velocity. Kinyon was honoured by several technical societies for his invention and he was even awarded the Edward Longstreth Medal by the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for his contribution to improving the art of conveying pulverized materials.
Fuller recognizes cement industry potential
A patent for the technology was granted to Alonzo Kinyon in 1925, and the majority of the rights for its sale were retained by the savvy Colonel James Fuller when the Fuller-Lehigh Company was sold to Babcock Wilcox Company that same year. James Fuller recognized the potential of the pump technology and began to market the Fuller-Kinyon® screw pump to the cement industry in the Lehigh Valley when he formed the Fuller Company.
With the pump as one of his core products, James Fuller grew his company into a leading equipment supplier to the cement industry. In 1990, FLSmidth acquired the Fuller Company and established the F.L.Smidth-Fuller Engineering Group.
For many years, the FK Pump was the standard conveyor of the cement industry, where it is used to handle Portland cement, dry cement raw material or raw meal, and precipitator dust. It profoundly changed the layout of cement plants constructed from about 1930 through to the 1980s.
Continually updated to meet modern requirements
The original technology has been improved over time to offer enhanced operating life and reduced maintenance requirements. Today, the pump includes:
- Pressurized bearings for the Type ‘M’ Pump
- Split Screw design for both the Type ‘H’ and Type ‘M’ pumps
- The Pneu-Flap™ pneumatic flapper torque controller
- The Ful-Coat™ series Silver Carbide™ Pump Screw
- The FK pump Auto-Lube lubrication system
One hundred years since its original development, FLSmidth still sells about 80 new FK Pumps every year to cement and minerals production plants worldwide, which just goes to show the longevity of a great idea.