Case Study: Specialists Demand A Perfect Match

Air-Operated Double-Diaphragm (AODD) Pumps From Wilden® Make Chemical Handling A Safe, Efficient And Environmentally Friendly Process At Sichem

By Anthony Monnet, Wilden | Download this article

If you are going to consider yourself a specialist in the demanding sector of oil and gas — and you happen to reside in the Middle East, the region considered the world's epicenter for production of those resources — there is little chance you can be successful unless you possess a reputation for being reliable in every aspect of your business.


Recognized as a specialist in the manufacture of specialty chemicals in the Middle East, Sichem has earned its lofty status by identifying and implementing the best pumping equipment in its operations, including Advanced™ Series Metal PX800 AODD Pumps from Wilden®.

For Sichem, located in the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Mussafah Industrial Area, 30 minutes from the capital city of Abu Dhabi, and just one hour from Dubai, the critical nature of around-the-clock production schedules, and the challenging daily timelines commonplace for any oil and gas project, have become routine. Recognized as the region's specialist in the manufacturing of specialty chemicals, Sichem understands that special attention must be paid to every aspect of the business to ensure the efficiency of production, quality of the products produced and the safety of the operation for both on-site personnel and the environment.

"We are a pioneer company in UAE, specialized in the manufacturing of speciality chemicals like drilling fluids and other chemicals like corrosion inhibitors, surfactants and detergents," said Ashiq Mohamed Salleh, Manager of Production and Maintenance for Sichem, which was originally established in 1989 as a chemical manufacturer for the oil industry.

Sichem has seen the increasing demand for its products and services in the oil and gas industry drive growth within its product line to include Corrosion Inhibitors, Scale Inhibitors, Surfactants, Scavengers, Solvents, Detergents, Antifoams, Thinners and Biocides. Given the diverse chemicals present in the products Sichem produces and the potential volatility of those raw materials, safety during the production process has been a primary consideration for every aspect of the operation.

The current Sichem facility was built to house a range of chemical reactors, blenders and powder-processing facilities, along with an extensive warehousing operation and a large purpose-built laboratory. Within the walls of this unique facility resides a diversity of specialized chemical operations requiring an extensive array of equipment and pumps that safely deliver products throughout the process while efficiently meeting strict daily deadlines.

Wilden PX800

Wilden® PX800 pumps provide the safe, leak-free performance that is required for Sichem's manufacture of a wide array of specialty-chemical products.

Finding the Perfect Pump
"(Sichem) used to manufacture powder chemicals," explained Ashiq. "Later, we proposed to manufacture liquid chemicals and learned about air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pump technology. Thereafter, we came to know about Wilden® pumps, which were globally recognized as leaders in air-operated double-diaphragm pumps."

The Sichem facility's core processes, which utilize 10 Wilden AODD pumps in transferring chemicals from drums, barrels and intermediate bulk containers (IBC) to the chemical reactors, maintain a solid commitment to operating at the highest international quality, health, safety and environmental standards.

The pumps needed for the distinct chemical processes Sichem specializes in cannot leak, as that not only results in potential lost revenue from product waste and increased maintenance and cleanup expenses, but it is also a safety hazard for plant personnel. The Wilden AODD pumps, which are utilized throughout the facility, are perfect for Sichem's needs.

According to Ashiq, the beauty of the Wilden AODD pumps is their simplicity and reliability. "Wilden pumps are durable and efficient pumps," said Ashiq. "We have never had major operational failures with these pumps. They also provide optimum air consumption which delivers an annual energy-cost savings."

The pump model of choice for Sichem is the Wilden Advanced™ Series Metal PX800 with bolted configuration. Ashiq also added that the best part of utilizing Wilden pumps is the positive effects they have on the bottom line. Wilden pumps have minimum down time, maximum operability and higher mean time between failures (MTBF).

"The Pro-Flo X technology is one of the major reasons we like Wilden pumps. We are able to easily control the flow rate in the plant," Ashiq said. "Also, the reliability and availability of quick spares makes Wilden a better choice."

The Pro-Flo X™ Air Distribution System (ADS) incorporates only three moving parts: an unbalanced air-valve spool, a pilot spool and the main shaft/diaphragm assembly. This design gives the pumps an enviable operating cycle where pressure in the pump is directed in a way that allows the liquid to be pumped in the most efficient manner possible.

"The Wilden Pro-Flo X is a reliable technology," said Hussein J. Rasheed, Technical Director for Standard Group, a Wilden distributor located in Al Qusais, Dubai. "It is intrinsically safe (ATEX-compliant), with portable operation, minimum parts to replace and strong build quality. Wilden has also taken another large step forward in ADS innovation with the new Pro-Flo® SHIFT ADS, which we are proud to recommend and deliver to our customer base."

Standard Group, also known as Standard Ship Spares, provides essential pump support and availability that Sichem requires, and is one of the most trusted pump houses in UAE. Standard Group, which possesses a distinct familiarity with the prospect of filling a niche business need, was founded in 1986 as an equipment and spares supplier for the marine and shipping industries in the Middle East, a rare commodity in the region at that time.

Known throughout the region as specialists in pumps and pumping systems for marine and oilfield equipment, the Standard Group is recognized for providing immediate and well-engineered pumping solutions to its clients. A family-owned and managed business for 27 years, Standard Group has been the sole provider for Sichem's fluid-handling requirements and Wilden pumps for 10 years.

According to Ashiq, the Standard Group's service has been as reliable as the Wilden pumps scattered throughout the Sichem facility. "Since the time we began manufacturing liquid chemicals in Abu Dhabi, nearly 10 years ago, we have had a relationship with Standard Group for purchasing pumps, spares and other fluid-transfer solutions for our facility and our customers," he said.

"The Wilden PX800 pumps are proven, successful pumps," added Rasheed. "The performance and durability of these pumps have helped Sichem with its chemical-transfer needs, enhancing the manufacturing processes."

Wilden's PX800 Series pumps were specifically designed for maximum performance and efficiency. The bolted configuration of these pumps ensures total product containment while the redesigned liquid path reduces internal friction to maximize output and efficiency.

The security of containment features, as well as a variety of elastomer options, including PTFE (Teflon®), make the Wilden PX800 especially attractive to Sichem's unique business application in liquid chemicals. The PX800 is also able to meet abrasion, temperature and chemical-compatibility concerns. The Advanced™ Series metal pumps are offered in die-cast aluminum, stainless steel and alloy C.

The Wilden PX800 has a variety of options such as ANSI and DIN flanges. Add the power of the Pro-Flo X specialized ADS, which helps the pumps meet specific application requirements at Sichem, and you have an AODD pump with the construction and design versatility necessary for the safe handling of a wide range of liquids. All of these features mean increases in yields and pump performance, lower operational costs and downtime, and longer MTBR, all key considerations in Sichem's daily operation of its core production processes.

Whether you are recognized as the region’s premier manufacturer of specialty chemicals or the company they trust to provide peace of mind by providing the essential pumping solutions required to maintain that reputation, keen attention to detail is required. Besides their success as specialists in their respective industries, one detail that ties both Sichem and Standard Group together is their trust in Wilden pumps.

“For many years we’ve been supplying pumps and related services to Sichem. They are a good company to do business with, and are specialists in what they do,” said Rasheed. “They are always quick to give valuable, positive feedback to vendors like ourselves. They boast a good reputation in the market and we will continue to recommend Wilden as a reliable pump.”

For Ashiq, Wilden would play an important role in future pumping solutions at Sichem. “Wilden pumps are comparatively competitive and we have had past flawless experiences considering the service and support from Standard group,” he said.

For Sichem, which understands that special attention must be paid to every aspect of its business to ensure the efficiency of production, quality of the products and the safety of the operation, their 10-year relationship with Standard Group and Wilden appears to be as solid as the performance of the pumps that bring them together.

About The Author
Anthony Monnet is the Regional Manager - Middle East for Wilden® and Pump Solutions Group (PSG®). He can be reached at Based in Grand Terrace, CA, USA, Wilden Pump & Engineering, LLC, is the global leader in air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps. For more information on Wilden AODD pumps, please go to Wilden is a member of Dover Corporation’s Pump Solutions Group (PSG®), Oakbrook Terrace, IL, USA. PSG is comprised of several leading pump brands, including Abaque®, Almatec®, Blackmer®, Ebsray, Finder, Griswold™, Maag, Mouvex®, Neptune™, Quattroflow™ and Wilden®. You can find more information on PSG at