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Maximizing Industrial Pump Lifespan: 6 Key Practices

rotary lobe pumps
by Erin Hipolito
June 18, 2024

Maximizing Industrial Pump Lifespan: 6 Key Practices

Pumps, compressors, blowers, and vacuums are the lifeblood of many industrial operations, ensuring smooth processes and efficient production. At Pye-Barker Engineered Solutions, we understand the importance of maximizing the lifespan of these critical components to minimize downtime and maintenance costs for our valued clients in the industrial sector.

Understanding Industrial Pump Longevity

As the saying goes, "nothing lasts forever," but with proper care and maintenance, industrial pumps can endure for decades. An ANSI pump, for instance, boasts a typical operational lifespan of 15-20 years, with many exceeding 25 years. At Pye-Barker, we've witnessed Viking Internal Gear pumps in service for over 40 years. However, neglecting best practices can significantly shorten the lifespan of these essential machines, impacting both productivity and profitability.

Common Causes of Reduced Pump Life

  1. Pipe Geometry. The design of suction side piping plays a pivotal role in pump longevity. Optimal pipe design, maintaining flow below 10 feet per second, can significantly enhance pump lifespan. Proper fluid loading into the pump also influences performance and durability.
  2. Pipe Strain. Misalignment between suction/discharge pipes and pump flanges can lead to flow issues, causing vibration, casing distortion, and damage to critical components such as bearings, seals, and gears.
  3. Driver Misalignment. Failure to align the pump and motor precisely can overload radial bearings, leading to premature failure. Even a minor misalignment of 0.060 inches can result in bearing or coupling issues within a few months of operation.
  4. Fluid Properties. Factors such as pH, viscosity, specific gravity, and the presence of abrasive solids in the pumped fluid significantly impact pump life. Understanding and managing these properties are crucial for prolonged pump operation.
  5. Service. Frequent starting and stopping of pumps can accelerate wear and tear, shortening their lifespan. Redesigning the system may be more effective than searching for a pump tolerant of such operational stress.
  6. Operating Temperature. Ensuring that pumps are rated for ambient operating temperatures and managing temperature changes can prevent premature wear and damage caused by thermal expansion and contraction.

If you're experiencing frequent breakdowns or shorter-than-expected pump lifespans, the expert team at Pye-Barker Engineered Solutions is here to assist. Contact us at 404-531-1954 or for comprehensive support and solutions tailored to your industrial machinery needs.

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