Industry News

Basic Pump Facts You Should Know

Every now and then, it’s important to go back to the basics. We often get so caught up in the advances technology has offered to us, that we forget the foundations of our systems and operations. As a refresher, we’ve pulled this collection of basic pump facts you should know, from editorial writer Jim Elsey of Pumps & Systems. Below are basic pump facts for single-stage overhung centrifugal pumps moving ambient clear water

Pump

Pumps are really designed to operate at only one point. That hydraulic condition of one point of head and flow is the best efficiency point (BEP), also known as the best operating point. Anywhere else on the published set of curves is simply a commercial compromise. It would be too expensive for most end users to have a pump designed and built for their unique set of hydraulic conditions.

Pay attention to the published pump curves. Manufacturers’ pump performance curves are based on clear water at approximately 65 F, unless stated otherwise. They will not be corrected for fluid viscosity. The horsepower stated may or may not be corrected for specific gravity or viscosity.

When the manufacturers’ published pump curve stops at some point of flow and head, it is for a good reason. Do not operate the pump at the end of the curve; if there was more performance to be generated from the curve beyond that point, the manufacturer would have extended the curve. Operating at or near the end of the curve will be fraught with performance issues.

Pumps are stupid. A centrifugal pump is simply a machine, where for a given set of fluid properties, impeller geometry and operating speed it will react to the system in which it is installed. The pump will operate (flow and head) where its performance curve intersects the system curve. The system curve dictates where the pump will operate.

Pumps do not suck fluids. This is a common misunderstanding, but realize that some energy source other than the pump must supply the energy required for the fluid to get to the pump. Normally these are gravity and/or atmospheric pressure. Lastly, fluids do not have tensile strength. Consequently, the pump cannot reach out and pull fluid into the suction.

 

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The Basics of Bearing Remanufacturing

Rotating equipment and bearings for pump applications require the use of rolling bearings, no question. As a result, it’s smart business practice to efficiently maintain rolling bearings so they don’t wear out prematurely from rust, solid metal contaminants, and metal-to-metal contact. In the event that a bearing fails, applying a controlled remanufacturing process for the bearing and reusing it is a low-cost compared to just replacing the damaged rolling bearing.

Bearing Remanufacturing

Best Practices for Bearing Remanufacturing

Rolling bearings are candidates for remanufacturing (although it may be economically unwise for small sizes), and the nature and extent of restoration will depend on a particular bearing’s condition and application requirements. In general, during remanufacturing, relevant functional surfaces of the bearing will be repaired, including the replacement of bearing components when necessary.

As a best practice, expert bearing analysts should be consulted. They will be sufficiently equipped to evaluate the bearing and identify which remanufacturing approach will be the most efficient in restoring the bearing. Standard industry procedures and established criteria then will guide recommendations and restoration work. Some bearings may need more work than others. As a result, categories of rework leading to remanufacturing have been devised.

Inspection. This is the first step—whether for a used bearing or for bearings stored over a long period—and involves comparing them with drawing and/or specification requirements. This process typically includes cleaning, degreasing and disassembling the bearing; nondestructive testing; visual or microscopic inspection and dimensional inspection; followed by a detailed bearing analysis report offering recommendations for appropriate treatment and suitable rework attention.

Reclassification. This procedure encompasses all the operations of inspection in addition to minor repair (buffing and minor polishing of inactive and active surfaces and grinding of scratches and grooves), demagnetization, reassembly, dynamic testing, lubrication and preservation, and packaging for return to service.

Refurbishment. This category of service builds on inspection and the selected reclassification activities and will include one or more of the following: replacing rolling elements, remanufacturing the bearing’s cage for the rolling elements or replacing it with an identical cage, interchanging used components (such as seals, snap rings and others), grinding or polishing and/or plating of mounting surfaces to return to original drawing dimensions of the bearing outside surface and bore, and polishing raceways.

During refurbishment, appreciable material removal takes place, which removes superficial damage and modifies the stressed material volume. The surface is finished to its original blueprint specification. Then, the bearing is refitted with new rolling elements with a diameter equal to the diameter of the elements previously contained in the bearing, plus twice the depth of material removal. Cages are inspected for cracks and replated or replaced with a new one. Usually, new rolling elements are placed in the cage, and the bearing is then reassembled.

Remanufacturing. This set of activities will include the previous operations of inspection, reclassification and, where appropriate, refurbishment. It will also extend to one or more of the following activities: grinding, installing a new ring, and changing or substituting components to create a different assembly identity (in effect, modifying in order to improve performance or properties).

During remanufacturing, deeper grinding of inner and outer ring raceways of larger bearings is acceptable. Moreover, further machining methods, such as hard turning, can be applied. Superficial damage is removed, and the stressed material volume is modified. The surface is finished to its original blueprint specification. In some cases, new rolling elements exceeding the original rolling element diameter may be engineered. This size increase of the rolling elements may require reworking of the cage pockets or cage replacement.

After work is completed, final inspection and measurements, cleaning and preservation, service reporting and archiving of documentation should be performed.

 

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Progressing Cavity Pump Repair, Service & Maintenance 

Also referred to as progressive cavity pumps, progg cavity pumps, PC pumps, and cavity pumps, these positive displacement pumps are designed to move fluids at the same velocity irrespective of the inlet pressure. Progressing cavity pumps draw fluid via a suction inlet and direct it into an elongated casing holding a helical rotor and stator assembly that discharges the fluid at steady velocity via the discharge outlet.

Most progressive cavity pumps come with accessory options to prevent the pump from running dry. Otherwise, the rotor and stator can generate too much heat, causing the pump to fail. Other advantages of PC pumps include their high suction lift, self-priming capability, and higher discharge pressures compared to many other positive displacement pumps.

Progressing cavity pumps

Progressing Cavity Pump: Repair, Service & Maintenance

With their high pressure and high suction lift capabilities, PCPs can be used in a wide range of applications, including:

Dosing and Metering

PC pumps are designed to prevent flow pulsation, which helps ensure smooth fluid flow for metering applications, like when you need to dose viscous fluids such as chemicals and additives. The faster the speed of the pump, the higher the flow rate, and vice versa.

Pumping shear-sensitive fluids

The fact that the flow rate of PCP discharge is proportional to the speed of the pump means that very little shear is applied to the material being pumped. This aspect, combined with the low internal velocity of PC pumps, makes them suitable for pumping materials containing fragile solids and other shear-sensitive fluids.

Pumping Abrasive Fluids

The design for most pumps allows the material being pumped to travel within the walls of the casing at high velocity. If the fluid contains abrasive solids, this can scour the walls and cause the pump to wear faster. However, PC pumps take the material through a long casing at low velocity, such that the abrasive particles are not thrust against the internal walls violently enough to cause significant wear. This abrasion-resistance is one of the properties that makes PC pumps last longer than other pumps when used for the same applications.

Need help buying a progressive cavity pump?

If you’re looking for a highly adaptable positive displacement pump that can handle some of the toughest pumping applications and difficult fluids, then a progressive cavity pump may be the right choice for you. A PCP professional can help you make the right selection for your specific application.

 

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Pump Maintenance Useful Tips on Industrial Pump Repair & Service

What schedule should be followed for your pump maintenance system?

Pumping systems can be complex, with many moving parts and subsystems that need to be regularly inspected and constantly maintained. The wrong pump maintenance schedule and failure to frequently inspect pumping systems can lead to premature failure, losses in efficiency and increased operating costs.

Pump Maintenance, Service & Repair

Checklist Items need to be included and Schedule in regular pump maintenance

Therefore, it is recommended that a monitoring, maintenance and schedule be adopted, and it should include, at a minimum:

  1. When applicable, gland packings must be adjusted to maintain concentric alignment of the gland follower, and maintain specified leakage so the packing and follower do not overheat.
  2. Check for any leaks from gaskets and seals. The correct functioning of the shaft seal must be checked regularly.
  3. Check bearing lubricant level, and verify if the hours run show a lubricant change is required.
  4. Check and verify that the duty condition is in the allowable operating region for the pump.
  5. Check vibration, noise level and surface temperature at the bearings to confirm satisfactory operation.
  6. Check that dirt and dust are removed from areas around close clearances, bearing housings and motors.
  7. Check coupling alignment and realign if necessary.
    Note: Additionally, installed auxiliary systems should be included in the maintenance plan so they are monitored and maintained to ensure that they function properly.

An inspection and maintenance log should be kept and problems that are identified should be reported immediately. Unusual applications with abnormal heat, moisture, dust, etc., may require more frequent inspection and service.
A maintenance plan should include required spare parts to keep on hand. A list of recommended spare parts will depend on normal supplier lead time when ordering parts, whether pumping equipment is used for normal duty or severe duty and whether or not there is backup pumping while a unit is down for maintenance. See Table 2 for a suggested list of spare parts for pumping units. Note that the items listed for severe duty are in addition to the items listed for normal duty.

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Magnetically Driven Pumps

As the name implies, magnetic drive pumps use a magnetic field type of coupling to transfer torque from the motor to initiate motion in the pump, rather than the mechanical connection found in conventional pump designs.

Magnetically Driven Pump

Mag drive pumps have a larger axis error between the motor and drive shaft that makes them ideal for precision systems. They are also used in propeller and liquid pump systems because the design drive creates a physical barrier between the driver and driven shafts, preventing the fluid from penetrating the motor.

Some of the characteristics that make mag driven pumps ideal for these applications include:

  • Corrosion resistance
  • Seal-less design – no mechanical seal means no leakage
  • 100% emissions free – safe operations when pumping toxic materials
  • Ruggedness for use in extreme conditions
  • Low maintenance

Some of the common applications of magnetically driven pumps include:

Refineries

Because of their zero-leakage property, mag driven pumps are recommended for pumping highly corrosive petroleum products.

Water refinement

Mag driven pumps can be used in water treatments plants because they can be completely submerged in the water without any problems or risk of corrosion from the chemicals added to the water.

Reverse osmosis

This is a kind of water treatment process that filters chemicals and impurities from dirty water to improve its taste. The treatment process uses mag driven pumps to pressurize the system and facilitate effective elimination of impurities from the water.

Magnetically driven pumps can be used in a wide variety of applications that require the pump to be submerged in the respective fluid.

It is important that you get the right mag driven pump for your exact application requirements to ensure optimal performance and long life. These pumps generally require minimal service and maintenance, but they should be properly installed and serviced for consistent results and reliability.

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High Pressure Pumps

Your high pressure pumps are at the center of your industrial operations, yet they are usually the most neglected equipment in the system until they break down. This is partly because any pump repair or maintenance work should only be carried out by personnel with proper training, who are not always available as permanent staff.

High Pressure Pump

As a result, high pressure pumps encounter two common types of failures:

  • First is the lack of basic maintenance, such as running with low oil level or water in the oil, no or delayed oil changes, low pressure due to damaged valve seat o-ring, or running with broken plungers or worn packings. All of these problems can damage your pump.
  • Second is the poor inlet conditions that may result in improper filtration, dry running, or cavitation, and subsequently premature packing and plunger and valve damage.

Proper maintenance of your high pressure pumps involves not only changing the oil, but also checking the discharge equipment and quality of fluid material. Indeed, maintenance of your HP pump requires regular inspection and service of the pump and other components in the system.

Here are some tips to help you maintain optimal performance of your pump and the entire system:

  • Assemble a daily checklist for the entire system. Your system manufacturer and professional installer and service team can help you create a daily checklist that includes a thorough visual inspection of all the vital components of the system, namely the pump, motor or engine, fluid system, filters, pipe work, and so on. Each section should be subdivided to include the smaller components.
  • Create a preventative maintenance schedule with the help of your professional service team. It may include oil changes, valve and packing changes, belt inspection, and so on.
  • Ensure prompt pump maintenance as directed by the manufacturer, usually depending on the hours of operation. For instance, pump manufacturers recommend that the first oil change should be after 50 hours of operation, with subsequent oil changes occurring every 500 hours or 3 months, or even sooner if the equipment operates in extreme conditions.

Lastly, at all times, the operators should be on the lookout for any sudden problems. Manufacturers usually provide a troubleshooting list to help operators identify early warning signs before a major breakdown. With proper maintenance, however, random problems and breakdowns should be infrequent and easily manageable.

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Maximizing ROI on Rotary Gear Pump Service

Pumping equipment in any large processing facility represents a massive investment, since you require dozens of pumps to move water and other process fluids from one point to the next. Moreover, the annual maintenance and service costs for these pump systems typically ranges from 2% to 5% of the initial value of those systems.

Although the range seems acceptable, the costs can amount to millions of dollars or more over the life of the machinery or facility. But the cost of service and maintenance involves a lot more than getting replacement parts and paying for labor and equipment. You also need to take into account that any down time of a refinery, plant, or wastewater facility has a direct impact on the bottom line – profits.

Maximizing ROI on Rotary Gear Pump Service

ROI on Pump Service & Repair

The maintenance costs for one-time repair, even on the higher end (5%), tend to be negligible compared to the lost earnings from the down time and process restart. So the true value of maintenance operations should be determined based on the facility’s uptime. The easier it is to maintain the equipment, the faster it gets done.

Simple maintenance processes give plant operators/technicians greater flexibility to schedule preventative maintenance between shifts or any other time when it is least disruptive.

Considering that rotary gear pumps are typically used to pump corrosive or harsh liquids, most applications prefer the sealless designs. Their solid construction implies that there are no areas of weakness for the harsh chemicals to leak and destroy the pump or surrounding equipment. This also translates to easier maintenance.

Technology vs. Experience

As the demographics for operators and engineering personnel continues to change, there is a gradual loss of experience at the worksite that can be offset by the use of new, smart technologies that use sensors to alert operators of potential problems before any breakdowns occur.

The combination of simple pump designs and fewer parts to maintain with sensing technology and intuitive access are the key to successful preventative maintenance programs and equipment longevity.

Pump Engineering Co. for Rotary Gear Pumps Repair

Whether you have an emergency situation or if you have any further questions regarding our Rotary Gear Pump repair and services, please contact us @ 800.560.7867 or fill out our online contact form.

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Horizontal Split Case Pumps and Their Applications

A horizontal split case pump is a unique type of centrifugal pump whose casing is divided into two distinct chambers, which is different from inline or end suction pumps that are assembled with the suction nozzle, discharge nozzle, and casing in one chamber.

Horizontal Split Case Pump

The casing can be split vertically or horizontally, relative to the impeller, which gives you either a vertical split case or a horizontal split case pump, respectively. Some manufacturers also offer custom configurations to optimize the pump for specific applications.

Horizontal split case centrifugal pumps are designed with the suction and discharge nozzles in the bottom half of the casing, side by side, while the impeller shaft is positioned between two bearings, one on each side.

This rugged but simple design is particularly suitable for higher flow applications as it reduces thrust loads and allows for operation over a broad range of capacities. With proper application, HSC pumps offer minimal power consumption, low maintenance costs, and extended service life.

Other design features of HSC pumps include:

  • A double suction impeller that offers lower axial thrust and superior Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH)
  • Double volute casing to minimize radial bearing loads
  • Dual pump seals to seal suction pressure

Common applications of horizontal split case (HSC) pumps

These pumps are typically used to carry low-viscosity liquids such as clear water and unsaturated wastewater from industrial processes at average heads.

HSC pumps can be used for higher flow rate applications that are not suitable for end suction pumps, such as fire pumps, portable water distribution, plant make-up water, pipelines, cooling water, and other industrial process flows with fairly thin fluids.

Depending on your specific application, you can opt for either the single stage HSC pump with a head of up to 550 feet at 140,000 gpm, or the multi-stage HSC pump with a maximum head of 2.200 ft, max. operating pressure of 740 psi, and flow range of up to 2,000 gpm, which is suitable for heavy duty, high pressure applications.

Keep in mind that HSC pumps are not suitable for transporting thick or viscous liquids, as well as those containing solids.

Pump Engineering Co. for Horizontal Split Case Pumps Repair

Whether you have an emergency situation or if you have any further questions regarding our Horizontal Split Case Pump repair and services, please contact us @ 800.560.7867 or fill out our online contact form.

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Sanitary Pump Repair vs Remanufactured vs Replacement

When you have a worn sanitary pump, your options include repair, remanufacture, or replacement. But which option is right for you?

Sanitary Pump Repair vs Remanufactured vs Replacement

Authorized Pump Repair

Worn sanitary pumps can be repaired and re-installed. But repair is not always a valid option. Upon receiving your pump, the sanitary end and gearcase are inspected to determine the cost of restoring the pump within acceptable tolerances or specifications. The cost of repair is typically lower than that of a factory remanufacture, though this depends on the condition of the pump.

Some reasons to repair your pump include:

  • Quick turnaround and minimal down time
  • Can be done more than 3 times (unlike remanufacturing) to extend the life of your pump
  • Reducing your expenditure by postponing the need for a new pump

The repair work is usually quite extensive, and may involve complete service of the equipment for it to function like new.

Factory Remanufactured

This option is recommended a maximum of two times. When you ship your pump to the factory, you will receive a different one that has been remanufactured.

The process of remanufacturing may involve:

  • Inspecting and replacing all parts in the gearcase with genuine replacement parts as needed
  • Checking the clearances in the sanitary end and milling the body .030 or .060 to form new-like surfaces
  • Installing oversized rotors that fit in the re-machined body

Due to the oversizing process, all the parts of a remanufactured sanitary pump are a matched set, and should not be assembled with parts from other new or remanufactured pumps. The remanufactured pump is backed by a new pump warranty.

So When Should You Get a New Replacement Sanitary Pump?

If pump wear can be fixed without milling the cover or body, then the pump can be successfully repaired. But if wear to the pump cover or body prevents it from performing as required, then it should be remanufactured.

Purchasing a new pump is not an economical option, especially if the pump can be repaired or remanufactured. But after the pump has been factory remanufactured twice, and the extent of wear to the cover and body won’t allow the pump to operate at an acceptable level of performance, then it’s time to get a new one.

Keep in mind that the extent of wear or clearance within your sanitary pump depends on the specific application. Always consult a professional to determine the best cause of action with regard to repairing, remanufacturing, and replacing the pump.

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Applications of ANSI Centrifugal Pumps

There are different types and brands of centrifugal pumps on the US market, but only ANSI centrifugal pumps follow the standard dimensions as regulated by the ANSI B73.1 or ASME B73.1 standards.

ANSI Centrifugal Pump

These minimum standards are imposed by two different bodies: the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and apply to all horizontal, single-stage, and end suction pumps that are similar in size, regardless of the brand, provided that the dimensions for the envelope and interface match.

What are the ANSI B73.1 Standards?

The ASME B73.1 standards are essentially guidelines that apply to specific designs of process pumps, including single stage, end suction, centerline discharge, and horizontal.

For convenient installation and service, these pumps are designed to offer dimensional interchangeability across the range. In fact, the standard is more or less a guarantee that all ANSI-designated centrifugal pumps of a similar size have interchangeable input shafts, discharge nozzles, size and position of suction, mounting dimensions, baseplates, and foundation bolt slots.

The ASME B73.1-2012 standard is similar in that it is intended to facilitate the installation, service, and repair of horizontal end suction centrifugal pumps. However, this standard is also meant to improve the durability and safety of ANSI B73.1 centrifugal pumps.

The Allure of ANSI Centrifugal Pumps

The fact that ANSI centrifugal pumps are designed according to the same minimum standards allows users to use designated and matching pumps and brands interchangeably without being required to redesign or change the piping location, coupling, motor attachment, or even the bedplate dimensions. You should, however, keep in mind that the pumps are fabricated using different materials, including non-metals and alloys for use in corrosive applications.

There are a couple of challenges of ANSI centrifugal pumps, like the fact that they can only be used to move low viscosity liquids, meaning they’re not recommended for conveying oils and other thicker liquids. Also, ANSI pumps are required to meet one standard, which can make it hard to find matching replacement parts for other types of centrifugal pumps.

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