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Statistics do not bode well for the occasional industrial pump purchaser. The large water utilities, with tens of thousands of pumps handling municipal wastes, are able to select the right pump via ready access to performance records and fluid technology expertise. Derek Jackson, Hidrostal, offers a few pointers for the industrial user.

The operators of industrial plants throughout the world have to cope with a wide variety of fluid transfer and waste treatment processes, of which the most common, and troublesome, component is often the pumps. The simple fact is that there are a very large number of pump manufacturers, each offering a bewildering array of types and sizes, which almost always ensures that the best pump for the job will not make it to the site. The replacement of an unsuitable pump is also likely to be less than ideal for the same reasons.

As the range of liquids is vast, the materials from which the parts in contact with the pumped liquid must be equally varied. Experienced pump suppliers must be able to supply casings, impellers, bearings and other parts in materials suitable for dealing with the most abrasive and aggressive liquids.

From a core business viewpoint, the most ignored feature of pump selection is the
damage to the pumped liquid. The high turbulence within pumps, and in the downstream tail effect within the pipe, can impart significant damage to molecular structures. Fluids as diverse as paints, yoghurts and bio-cultures such as activated sludge, all require the gentlest handling.

Absolve the supplier
Physical damage is equally important. The undamaged transfer of fruit and vegetables is a frequent duty, as is the transfer of live fish. High speed, centrifugal pumps are not well suited for such damage-free situations, even when using the famous non-clog variants which pass a 75mm sphere.

So how much do you need to pump, now and next year? With damage issues sorted, the actual sizing of the pump usually occupies little time as the end user is expected to supply the figure. No matter whether it is litres/second, gallons/ minute, or even tons (or tonnes) per day, all absolve the pump supplier, and that is that.

Not too sure of the flow, now or in the future? Then what is needed is an expensive variable speed unit. Or - a pump output which matches inflow, whilst using a fixed-speed motor. Hidrostal's Prerostal technology provides a variable output without the need for a variable speed drive. The flow to each pump enters a compact sump and the basin geometry produces a rotational speed which is proportional to inflow. The output of the fixed speed pump is directly related to rotational speed and, consequently, output matches inflow. No pump downtime means uninterrupted production. The breakdown of a manufacturing process pump, or pumps within the plant treating production waste, is not just a pain for the maintenance department; production can cease. This is every manager's nightmare, particularly where continuous processes are involved. Real costs pile up and the situation is often compounded when it is found that no spares are available for that immobile pump.

Pleasure it most definitely is not. Production pleasure is influencing the initial selection and never experiencing problems thereafter. This is possible, as major multi-national companies are well aware.


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