Historically our clients have been very diligent about installing monitoring solutions for their mission critical pumps. Due to the cost of installing the system and the cost of ongoing maintenance of the system, condition monitoring solutions for all pumps on site has been typically unrealistic.
Manual monitoring of the remaining pumps or a policy of ‘run until breakdown’ is normal which in light of today’s technology can prove to be MORE expensive and unnecessary.
Older monitoring systems meant wiring the sensors into the control center; it was expensive, time consuming and created a lot of infrastructure to maintain.
It meant a limited roll out of electronic condition monitoring to pumps with either a high risk of maintenance issues or a high impact when a maintenance issue does occur. For example – pumps that have repeat failures, pumps without spares or pumps where failure could cause an environmental incident.
With the advances of wireless technology the same monitoring systems can be installed without the time or expense of maintaining a complicated infrastructure. It has now become affordable to install a higher quality monitoring system across more of your pumping process system.
These three monitoring applications can help a plant implement predictive maintenance systems which can reduce maintenance costs, unexpected failures, repair and overhaul time – and at the same time increase uptime by up to 30% and increase MTBF.
Affordable Monitoring Application #1: Cavitation
While many cases of cavitation occur when a pump is operated outside of their design specifications, there are still times when a pump operating within its specifications can still experience cavitation.
A simple discharge pressure monitoring system (consisting of vibration monitoring and discharge pressure) can give your central monitoring system an alert when a pump is likely ‘pre-cavitation.’ Depending on the frequency of manual rounds this might mean the prevention of damage and downtime compared to discovering cavitation in progress.
For high-head multi-stage pumps – the risk of damage with even brief periods of cavitation means that pressure differential across the pump should be continuously monitored.
Affordable Monitoring Application #2: Vibration
Vibration monitoring systems can give you indicators on running condition as well as faults and failures. Vibration transmitters can give you a series of vibration frequencies which can in turn be used to diagnose the cause of the vibrations in a given pump.
Affordable Monitoring Application #3: Pump Seal Monitoring
For pumps that have auxiliary seal flush system, API 682 recommends moving from switches to continuous level management.
With recent advances in technology, rather than having to wire the monitoring system into the network it can be installed wirelessly and then connected to the central monitoring system.
I’ll admit it may take some retrofitting of technology to get the seal flush reservoirs installed so they can be remotely monitored. But continuous monitoring will give far more lead time to address maintenance issues compared to intermittent manual maintenance inspections of pump seals.
If it is time to increase the reliability of your pumping systems then the team here at Pye-Barker can help you select and install pump monitoring systems for your plant. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-363-6000 for help with all your pumping system needs.
A while ago now, we were approached by an engineering firm (who will remain nameless for obvious reasons) to quote on a pumping system for their customer on peanut butter.
The engineering firm had been engaged to design the system and manage the construction project.
Like any good pump supplier we double checked their plans and made sure the specifications were going to deliver the desired outcome. We won the contract to supply the pumps they’d specified for the system.
So far, so good.
This was a fairly complex system. What you might not know about peanut butter and may not want to know, is that it has different viscosity's at different stages in the production life-cycle. There were multiple models of pumps, multiple configurations of some of the same models of pump depending on where it was going to be used in the system.
The pumps were purchased, the packages assembled and delivered. Everything was then installed.
The day the system goes live we get a phone call.
“These pumps you sold us aren’t up to the task.”
There is some back and forth… something about, they meet all the specs we were sent. We double checked everything… They should have worked.
“Let’s get our maintenance team out there and take a look – let’s get this fixed.”
We get there and we know something has gone horribly wrong…
I don’t know how it happened but many of the pumps ended up in the wrong spots in the system… a quick consult of the plans verses serial numbers confirms it.
We get the pumps cleaned up and repaired for the client and then spend the next few days working to get all the pumps correctly installed as per the original plans for the system.
We got the problem solved for the client with a minimum of fuss and downtime. The system works great now.
But I will say there are a couple of important lessons in this for you, the plant manager. First – double check that the right equipment is installed in the right place. Don't leave this all in the hands of on outside engineering firm. And second, respect the recommendations of the pump manufacturer’s representative. They know their product and regardless of the specifications you give them, they will give you the advice on the best way to achieve your goals.
Final Thought: If you are looking to build a new pumping/process system or want to increase the efficiency of an existing one, bring your specs to us. At no cost or obligation, we can make recommendations for you on how to reduce operating cost, increase run time and decrease ‘total cost of ownership’. Call 404-363-6000 or drop us a line at email@example.com
Viking has just stepped up promotion of their new XPD 676 range, so we thought it would be a good time to review their offerings for chemical, petro-chemical oil and gas process applications – the XPD 676 pump series – the first internal gear positive displacement pump to be fully API 676 compliant.
Talking to the team over at Viking they said that designing the XPD 676 pump actually made them re-evaluate their design process and the R&D needed to design a pump to meet the API 676 standard. This has actually had a trickle down effect for how they design the rest of their pump range going forward.
The name of the game in here is risk mitigation. While you can use pumps based on exceptions to the API 676 standard it does mean that you are open to risks and that you must have risk mitigation strategies in place – many of which can be more expensive to enforce than just using a compliant pump in the first place (think air quality litigation, increased cost of insurance, clean up of chemicals or hydro-carbon spills or environmental reporting costs).
Here’s how using Viking Pump XPD 676 pumps will help you minimize risk:
Reduced Risk of Over Unplanned Downtime: API 682 seals will operate for 25,000 hours. The XPD 676’s thrust bearing are designed to three times the L10 lifespan. These pumps are meant to be operated at relatively low speeds to extend the seal/bearing life while providing higher energy efficiency.
These pumps also have options for hard parts for abrasive liquids or contaminates. So these pumps can be customized for most chemical, petro-chemical oil and gas process applications.
Reduced Risk of Leakage: The costs for even a ‘small’ petro-chemical spill can be outrageous; so Viking has used static O-ring seals to provide improved sealing compared to flat gaskets. As part of their quality control process each pump undergoes Non-Destructive Evaluation of welds and castings to ensure compliance. Pumps also feature cast-in drains so that the pumps can be drained prior to service.
Reduced Risk of VOC Emissions: You can use your plant’s standard API 682 seals in order to remain compliant with your environmental permit. Double seals can be used if you have more restrictive permits than the standard 1,000ppm. The pump’s class 300 flanges exceed the specified forces and moments for vapor-tight sealing at the inlet discharge and drain.
Reduced Risk of Corrosion Failure: The XPD 676 pumps have an additional 3mm corrosion allowance over the MACP on pressure containing components – they just have more steel in them than other pumps so that they last longer. Viking can cast custom alloys in-house to meet your needs – so everything remains above API 676 standard.
Viking can also comply with any customer paint specifications that you need.
Reduced Risk of Over Pressure Failure: XPD 676 use 80% more steel than the equivalent pumps in Viking’s standard range. The Viking XPD uses Grade WCC steel with a 40,000 psi minimum yield.
If you are looking to drive down the total cost of ownership of your pumps in an API 676 compliant environment, then get in touch with us here at Pye-Barker, we’ll review your existing operation or plans for your new process and recommend a pumping solution for you. Call our team on 404-363-6000 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pumps are a lot like the human body. Keep them healthy and they will provide you with a lifetime of good health and worry free living.
In all the Krav Maga classes that I teach see this as well, the students who take the best care of their bodies, get the best performance out of them.
In my work with the maintenance team here at Pye-Barker I can see exactly the same ‘thing’ going on with our clients’ pumps.
The clients who take the best care of their pumps are the ones who get the best performance and least downtime. Thankfully, unlike the human body there aren’t thousands of competing theories on how to take good care of your pumps.
For example - the best lubrication for your pump this year, will be the best lubrication for your pump next year. but there are some tricks to keeping your pump running at peak efficiency for as long as possible.
If you want a long life for your pump be sure to avoid these 3 all too common ‘pump ruining’ mistakes.
Operating The Pump At Shut-Off
When the discharge valve is partially or completely closed, 100% of the energy is destructive. This leads to increased pressure, vibration and increased heat generation – all drastically shortening the life of the pump at best and at worst causing a critical failure.
All because someone decided to manually control the flow – don’t let them. Keep the discharge valve open 100%, if that is generating too much flow then then adjust your reducer or slow down your motor. There are many other ways to reduce your flow other than closing a discharge side valve.
Using the Wrong Pump
Pumps have an efficiency curve for a reason – so that you can select the pump that will have the lowest running costs over the life a pump. They are intimidating to read. But we can read them for you and then based on your requirements recommend the best one.
Too many pumps that have been ruined are actually running too far back on their efficiency curve. An easy problem to solve at selection.
It’s up to you. A little bit of extra effort up front could mean years of trouble free pumping.
Poor Piping Design and Installation.
It sounds all too obvious, but it is one of the most common ways to ruin a pump pre-maturely. 90° bends immediately before the intake can cause turbulence inside the pump resulting in cavitation and loss of suction. Inverted U’s on the intake side can see air sucked into the pump causing cavitation.
Piping installation faults can cause misalignment between the pipe and the pump. This can lead to nozzle breakages, casing wear and damage and even base plate damage.
Got a pump that is consistently down for maintenance or not lasting like you expected it to? Give one of the team here at Pye-Barker a call at 404-363-6000 or drop us a line email@example.com. We can arrange to come and conduct an inspection of your system and identify what could be causing the wear and tear on your pump.
I’ve just gotten my hands on some of the new Viking Motor Speed Pumps. And frankly I’m fairly impressed. For Pye-Barker’s clients these look like they are the perfect product for applications where you are pumping low viscosity liquids at high speed and capacity.
What these pumps are ideally suited to would include: -
What we really like here about the Viking Motor Speed Pump Line is:
They are designed to do what they do well and do it reliably.
These cast iron workhorses are designed for peak efficiency running at motor speed so you can use a smaller pump running at higher speed and still get a long life out the pump.
The engineering team at Viking have made significant improvements on the existing pump design so that the new range offers higher speed and flow from a smaller footprint – so that you can reclaim space that would otherwise be occupied.
Everything in the pumps design is to maximize the flow rates and minimize the wear and tear on the pump so that it lasts, with a minimum of maintenance or downtime.
Reduced Downtime Risks.
Viking has also standardized the parts across the range. This makes ordering spare and replacement parts easier so that you can have the parts you need on hand or have parts shipped direct to your dock with a minimum of fuss. And with fewer options, factory delivery becomes a non-issue.
(There is the added bonus of Viking parts costing less than in some other pump manufacturers more convoluted product lines).
These pumps are FAST.
Because there is no need to use a reducer (except at the higher flow rates), everything about the engineering of these pumps is aimed at making them pump faster, economically.
The smallest pump in the range (G-GG) can move 10GPM all the way up to 580 GPM with the largest pump (Q-QS) (at 2500SSU).
For this reason we here at Pye-Barker feel they are priced very competitively compared to other pump options for the same application. And as we all need to be getting more and more return on our investment to remain competitive – this is certainly one opportunity to explore.
To discover more about your options with the Viking Motor Speed Pump, you can get each pump in the range’s specifications by requesting a copy of Viking’s product brochure.
To get your questions answered quickly with a minimum of fuss, speak to one our Pumping Solutions Specialists right now – just call 404-363-6000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Viking Pump is proud to announce the availability of the XPD 676 Series and the Universal 682 Series.
Engineered to API 676 Design Standards, the XPD 676 is the Industry’s first fully API 676 Compliant Internal Gear Pump.
Compliance to API 676 specification reduces the risk of emissions, leakage, corrosion and unplanned down time. Viking has 3 levels of API compliance through the following Pump Options:
The XPD 676 solution includes both mandatory and optional operational quality & functional testing. We also have full engineering documentation, testing and project management support available.
Pumping abrasive liquids are always a difficult application. The hardness and percentage of solids increase the wear in the pump and piping. Pump speed and pressure directly affect pump wear. Pump speed can be addressed by oversizing the pump to reduce the RPM of the pumping elements. This lessens the abrasion effect and the NPSH required to prevent cavitation. The suction side of the pump should be oversized to ensure a positive flow to the pump. Oversized strainers also reduce suction side pressure drop and protect the pump from foreign objects.
Reducing the discharge pressure is most effective way to increase pump life. Reducing the discharge pressure is entirely in the design of the piping system downstream of the pump. Enlarged piping, flow meters, heat exchangers, etc. all help to reduce liquid velocities and lower the friction losses that the pump has to overcome to get the fluid to the discharge point.
Most pumps that have been in abrasive service for any length of time are worn to the point that the rebuild cost exceeds that of a replacement pump. The pump is required to be a sacrificial component in these services by necessity. After all the piping system improvements have been made, there are several ways to maximize the pump life. We start with the Abrasive Liquid pump with hardened steel gears and the standard Tungsten Carbide Idler Pin and Bushing.
One of the more common applications is metering a filled viscous liquid to maintain a precise flow rate. It is essential that the pump be operated on variable speed drive. The motor must be oversized to allow cooling at low RPMs and sufficient torque at higher speeds. A gear ratio is selected to provide the desired flow rate at a low motor speed, for this example; 33% of rated RPM or 20Hz (the lower the better). As the pump wears, the VFD will increase the pump speed to maintain its flow meter set point. As the motor speed approaches a predetermined speed for the system, for example; 85% of rated RPM or 51Hz; during a shutdown the thrust bearing is adjusted in place, reducing the rotor end clearance to compensate for wear. When the system is re-started, the VFD will operate at a lower speed, perhaps 30-35 Hz, to maintain the flow meter set point. The next time the pump speed may get to 60Hz before the next end clearance adjustment is made. Most modern motors can operate at 88-90Hz without any problems, inverter-duty can go higher. Most VFDs can go to 120Hz with some even higher. Operating above 60Hz varies from a personal preference to plant management establishing limits. So check what is standard or allowed in your facility or inherent in the system design and programming. Precautions are to be considered in motor selection as horsepower drops off proportionately with motor RPM below 60Hz and torque drops off proportionately above 60Hz. The pump manufacturer publishes a maximum pump RPM for a given viscosity to prevent cavitation, not to be exceeded, this can be translated into a maximum operating hertz for a given pump size, to be compensated for based on system design and customer experience. A half worn out pump cost the same to replace as a fully worn out pump.
Some systems require constant recirculation to prevent the solids from settling out. To extend pump life, the recirculation loop should be designed with minimal back pressure and operate at the lowest RPM required to keep the solids in suspension.
In critical applications, or highly abrasive filler applications, or to have the minimal downtime, the interior surfaces of the pump can be hard coated with an abrasion resistant material to increase pump life to its maximum.
Pump leakage has become more critical in recent years because of environmental concerns, fugitive emissions, handling of carcinogen materials and loss of valuable products. Acid based fluids typically have viscosities similar to water, and may have no or limited lubricity properties. Internal gear pumps or external gear pumps work best with Newtonian type fluids. Shear sensitive fluids are not a good application for gear pumps. The complete list of shear sensitive fluids is endless. Fluids that provide good fluid film between bushings and idler pin have best results with gear pumps. Acid based fluids also may not be compatible due to materials of construction and seals supplied with gear pumps. VIKING Pumps has a stainless liquid vane pump (LVP) for light weight fluids and a non-metallic mag drive external gear pump (CMD) for hazardous fluids that have Newtonian properties and require (leak free) seal-less operation.
As advised above, water based fluids with no lubricity will cause short pump life due to the fluid not providing an adequate film between the bushings and idler pin. Fluids with heavy and large solids will also cause short life for wear to gear pump internals. If fluid suction strainers can be used and if fluid has some lubricity gear pumps will provide positive flow and long life.
Centrifugal pumps with non-clog impellers are typically best pump for high trash fluids.
NPSH (Net Positive Suction Head) is critical for proper operation of any positive displacement pump. Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) can be defined as two parts:
NPSH Available (NPSHA): The absolute pressure at the suction port of the pump.
NPSH Required (NPSHR): The minimum pressure required at the suction port of the pump to keep the pump from cavitating.
NPSHA is a function of your system and must be calculated, whereas NPSHR is a function of the pump and must be provided by the pump manufacturer. NPSHA MUST be greater than NPSHR for the pump system to operate without cavitating. Put another way, you must have more suction side pressure available than the pump requires.
Please see VIKING Pump website reference document UNDERSTANDING NET POSITIVE SUCTION HEAD for more detailed explanation.
Our inside engineering staff or myself or our other area representatives can assist with proper pump selection and application design.
One of our several asphalt customers sent in the parts from a few of his pumps that he had disassembled.
His request was that we use the viable parts from each pump and send him back a working unit.
Our shop set to work cleaning and checking clearances and after ordering just a few replacement parts we were able to send the customer back this pump:
Find out more about Viking Internal Gear, External Gear, Hygienic and Mag Drive Pumps here.