Pumping slurry is one of the most demanding applications for any pump. Parts wear out, maintenance and repair costs are high. In many cases, frequent pump failures lead to costly production downtime. Also, excess sediment build-up in a sump cost time and money to remove.
Like any other machine, slurry pumps require regular maintenance to function optimally and reliably. Without proper care, pumps can suffer catastrophic failures, which can result in unscheduled repairs, potential injury, and facility downtime. Maintenance and Operation of Centrifugal Slurry Pumps offers a unique opportunity to gain insight into slurry pump maintenance and operation. Routine servicing of your submersible slurry pumps is essential, and a key factor to avoid unnecessary expense.
Poor pumps maintenance can lose up to 15% of pumps efficiency; costing pump owners reduced output and hurting their bottom lines. However, while pump owners and operators can perform some of this maintenance on their own, some situations require calls to the professionals. Don’t wait until your pump becomes problematic.
According to Kunming Kunshui Industrial Pump Co.,Ltd, China’s professional manufacturer of slurry pumps with more than10 years’ experience, the pump is durable, with reasonable assembly and installation, it will show the superiority of reliable, long working life and low maintenance. The following should be checked monthly:
(a), Shaft Seal Repair
Packing seal pumps should regularly check the seal water flow and pressure, and always maintain a small amount of clean water flow through the shaft. To make this, you have to adjust the packing gland on a regular basis, if the filler cannot be re-used, should be to replace all. Expeller sealed pumps use oil cup, more economical, but need to regularly lubricate sealed chamber, rubber expeller ring need not lubrication (some pumps exceptions).
(b), Impeller Adjust
The pump performance becomes deterioration as the open impeller and the suction side of the plate gap increasing. This impact for closed impeller pump is not obvious, but there are exceptions.Due to wear and tear, the gap increases and pump efficiency is reduced. In order to maintain the high efficiency of the pump, impeller must be timely moved forward, this adjustment just a few minutes and without disassembly any parts.After adjusted, it needs tocheck the impeller rotation before start the pump, and also check the bearing housing fastening bolts are tightened.
(c), Bearing Lubrication
Bearing components properly assembled and pre-grease lubrication, after shaft-mounted to the bearing housing, if there is no water or other sundries intrusion and timely maintenance, the bearing components are not only reliable but also long life.
Maintenance technician must check the bearing box to observe the bearing and grease regularly(interval not more than 12 months).
The number of regular lubrication and the injection of grease depends on many factors and the interaction of them. They are include speed, bearing specifications, continuous working hours, the pump stop and work time ratio, the working environment – for example, cycle and operation temperature , splash, contamination or the presence of impurities.
Most of the pump bearings run low speed, but there is the risk of damage, mainly due to excessive lubrication of bearings, but preventive measures of avoiding excessive lubrication cannot completely guarantee the maintenance of bearings, the ultimate deciding factors are lubrication experience and judgment to determine the lubrication program, the better approach is to persistent observation the early stages of bearings operation, carefully recorded the unusual circumstances, for example, temperature and purity.For continuous operation, the bearing operating temperature shall not exceed the grease to lose its sealing ability.
(d), Replacement of Wearing Parts
The slurry pump bearing wear wear rate is a function of abrasive characteristics and materials of pump and working conditions. The life of wearing parts such as impeller and liner are different of pumps and pumping stations.
The life of wearing parts such as impeller and liner are different of pumps and pumping stations.
When the pump is first to be used for specific conditions, accident may happened especially during this operation cause of wearing parts losing effectiveness, you should regularly check the pump and bearing wear, to estimate the degree of wear in order to estimate its useful life.
(e), Standby Pump Maintenance
The standby pump should be turned 1/4 rotation a week, in this way, all bearing rotation under static and external vibration.
Bill Naokes of Atlanting pumps advices that, slurry pumps are designed and specified to last as long as possible in the applications in which they work. However, there are some parts that are wear parts by the very nature of the pump and applications to which it is applied, such as the impeller, the volute liners, and components of the sealing system and the bearing assembly. Mr. Naokes recommend that the pump user carries a stock of the main wearing parts to minimize downtime. The frequency with which the pump needs servicing depends largely on the application, but its recommended that the pumps performance (head and flow) is verified monthly against the original or start-up duty point, as this will indicate the condition of the wearing parts.
Slurry pump technology
According to Bill Naokes, Centrifugal pump technology is decades old, however new materials such as polyurethane are now being used instead of the traditional rubber or high-chrome wearing parts in some applications. Big advances are being made in remote sensor technology, which allows pump users to remotely monitor the condition of their pumps, and intervene before the pump fails when a problem is detected.
Africa slurry pump challenges
“The African market presents both challenges and opportunities for the slurry pump market. Significant mineral deposits are spread over large areas with challenges from a hostile climate, areas of unrest politically, and infrastructure that is in need of improvement. This leads to difficulties in getting pumps and spares to site. Pumps also require a large amount of electricity to run, and this power is required in remote areas and also in remote parts of a mine,” says Bill Naokes
He adds that, with years of development and deployment, slurry pumps can be built to cope with the most demanding of conditions and transport the most abrasive and corrosive liquids. In cases where electricity is unavailable or unreliable diesel pump sets can be used or diesel generators.
Nonetheless, according to Kunshui Pumps, despite the various challenges and lack of experienced pump engineers, Africa slurry pump demand is tremendous. According to bill, as confidence returns to the mining industry, investments will be made in expanding the industry and the infrastructure to support it, given that umps are getting more efficient and easier to monitor and control from a remote location. This can only be good for slurry pumping in Africa.