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Guide to the choice of centrifuge: what should you pay attention to?

12 February 2019

For many Industries, a centrifuge is the best option to separate a suspension from a fluid, in the shortest time, and with the best efficiency the maximum possible quality.

From food to pharmaceutical, from water purification to waste treatment, to even reach the nuclear industry, there are really many industries where a centrifuge is one of the options, or even "THE" best solution.

Right, but which centrifuge is the correct one?

Choosing the "right" centrifuge is an activity of strategic importance for companies in the pre-industrial phase: certain errors, which can often be due to a hasty and inaccurate analysis of the processed, can be really expensive!

Which are, therefore, the aspects to take carefully into consideration? Without the presumption of completely exhausting the argument, given that in general to each particular need corresponds only a specific machine with a certain configuration and specific accessories, let’s the main ones. 

1. The Liquid flow rate and solids percentage

Centrifuges work separating the different phases of a solution according to their specific weight.

For this reason, to choose the right machine for your company, it is important to know the solids percentage and the flow rate in the liquid to be worked: on this basis it is possible to calculate the correct machine size, always based on real needs.

2. The intended use

The centrifuges for the food applications are conceptually different from all the others: they must guarantee strict quality standards, but above all very specific, in fact obliges the producers to follow particular construction logics, which have no equal in other areas. 

This is the most striking example, but even in the same industry, in most cases, different uses correspond to very different machines.

3. The electric motors

Choosing the centrifuge motors does not have implications only on RPM it has to work to effectively separate the different phasers: it is also a choice with important impact on the company's energy consumption, and therefore on the costs to carry out the production.

We normally advise to IE3 class engines, the most energy efficient; but the choice of the most suitable decanter centrifuge according to the particular industrial requirement of the customer also depends on the consumption in Kw, bearing in mind that the "minimum" energy efficiency basis required by law today is IE2.

Another aspect to keep in mind is the daily working time of the machine: the longer it is, in fact, the greater the savings that can be obtained by choosing a more efficient engine.

4. The materials

The choice of materials is another fundamental aspect, and depends to a large extent on the industrial application in which the centrifuge will have to work: the most common coating for our machines is in duplex steel, but for special applications we have created ceramic coatings (a must have requirement for working bentonite without damaging the centrifuge), or in tungsten carbide and other special materials for very complex applications.

5. Dimensions

It’s reasonably straightforward to choose the right dimensions of the centrifuge: it all depends on the material to process and the quantity of liquid to be clarified. One must also take into account aspects such as accessibility for maintenance and, if necessary, integration with other machines within the same flow rate.

Depending on all these characteristics, the centrifuge will have special measures and it will be necessary to prepare the room that will host it.

6. Maintenance

To keep up with efficiency, like all machines, the centrifuges also needs periodic maintenance.

Giving up maintenance or not respecting the intervals provided can lead to side effects, which can range from a simple decrease in the efficiency of the machine, to the deterioration of the quality of the product up to, in the most extreme cases, the breakdown and consequent shutdown of production for the whole time required to repair it (which, even in the case of timely intervention, can take several few days).

We often advise our customers not to look at immediate savings, and to focus on models that ensure very long maintenance intervals, from 3,000 hours up: the slightly higher initial investment pays off over time with a reduction in costs for services and spare parts.

7. Certifications

We always suggest the best quality solutions: for this reason, every single component of our machines is CE certified. For more demanding situations, we use ATEX certified components.

8. Remote control

Once installed, centrifuges are completely automatic machines, without the supervision of an operator.

For particular installations with no personnel, we are able to offer our customers electrical panels equipped with remote control: through a smartphone or a tablet, it is possible to remotely monitor the situation, and adjust the flow rate to keep the production under control, or promptly react to requiring a human intervention.


We have seen that in choosing the right centrifuge for the production needs of a company, there are many aspects to consider, and the ones we have mentioned, certainly, are not the only ones. The activity must therefore be entrusted to the best professionals in the sector so as not to take risks, and experience in this phase plays a primary role because it helps reduce errors.

To help our customers make the best choice, we can provide consultation leveraging our long experience in the field, and test machines which can be used to run small scale test to accurately estimate flows and select the right size.