Game changing coupling

Published on 21 March 2024

SPIE is constantly on the lookout for solutions that will help its customers become more sustainable and shrink their carbon footprint. One of these innovations, developed by the start-up Zytec, is the revolutionary contact-free magnetic coupling, which has been successfully implemented in a broad spectrum of sectors, including the refinery sector, the drinking water distribution sector, the steel production sector, and the process industry sector, significantly reducing energy consumption and extending the life of equipment.

Providing its customers with innovative ways to optimise their systems and reduce their environmental impact is a priority for SPIE

In a strategic partnership with Zytec, SPIE can offer completely contactless coupling between an electric motor and a pump, fan, generator, compressor or conveyor.

« “At most industrial sites, the rotating equipment is too big for the needs of the installation. To address this, a choke valve is installed, which wastes energy,” explains Erwin Petersen, business development manager. “The alternative of magnetic coupling makes it possible to reduce the rotating speed for the exact conditions, decreasing energy use by an average of 15% or more depending on the installation. The lack of direct physical contact also signifi cantly reduces vibrations, protecting bearings and seals against damage. »

GETEC Park Emmen, which provides a range of services and utilities to the multinationals based in this plastics industry business cluster in Emmen in the northeast of the Netherlands, recently adopted this pioneering technology for its system that supplies steam and other utilities to customers. In 2020, SPIE installed Zytec couplings in two of the four pumps that bring water to GETEC’s steam boilers. The resulting savings in both maintenance costs and energy consumption led to an order to upgrade the other two pumps.

Users of this technology, including SPIE customer GETEC Park Emmen, have been unanimously enthusiastic, with the promised benefits in business cases consistently outperformed in practical use.

« Since the technology is new, this type of step-by-step approach is best, says Eric Korten, the project’s maintenance engineer. Open, constructive collaboration with the customer and our knowledge of their systems builds trust and allows us to demonstrate the coupling’s full potential. »

Currently, 25 customers are targeted for prospective Zytec retrofit projects. “Our close, long-term relationships with our customers mean we are well placed to recommend solutions that offer environmental added value,” concludes Erwin Petersen.

Customer-centric approach : Supporting customers to achieve sustainability 

« We approach customers to show them how the Zytec innovation can benefit them. We start by presenting it to a group that might include maintenance or energy savings managers and process engineers, using a demo with a real coupling to illustrate how it works. Then we work closely with them to select an initial pilot case, combining our knowledge of the technology with our expertise of the customer’s overall installation. Once the coupling is implemented and proves its value, we can roll it out for other equipment at the site, or at the customers’ other sites abroad." explain ERWIN PETERSEN, senior business development manager.

Getec Park Emmen

GETEC Park Emmen is a business park that specialises in the production and recycling of polymers. The industrial estate is one of the biggest of its kind in the Netherlands, providing a full range of infrastructural services including energy and utilities (electricity, gas, steam, water) to the large number of multinational corporations based there.

« After discussions with SPIE about the Zytec technology, we were convinced of its potential benefi ts. Our wager has paid off – since it has been installed, we have lowered electricity consumption and reduced the need for maintenance of the pump and control valves. We are currently considering the possibility of using it in other contexts. SPIE has overseen the project very professionally, and we cooperate well together »
Richard de Haan, asset manager, Getec Park Emmen

Over the years the contact-free coupling has strongly proven itself in the realms of reliability and energy savings. A number of new cases are currently in development at SPIE-customers. Technologically the continuous R&D of the coupling has resulted in a promising new variant of the coupling in combination with an actuator-driven motor slide base (MSB). This set-up enables control of the rpm of the pump or ventilator. This mechanical Variable Speed Drive is a good alternative for a electronical Variable Speed Drive, thus avoiding the many disadvantages that Variable Frequency Drives have. SPIE continues the strategic partnership with ZYTEC.



Four 135 kw pumps retrofitted with magnetic coupling in getec park at emmen

- 19,3 %

of energie consumption

- 142

Tonnes of co2 per year which is equivalent to the co2 emissions of 101 homes