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PRovidiNg SolUtioNS foR the WoRldWide PUmP iNdUStRY JANUARY 2013





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14 New Pumps Are Proven fish friendly

Bedford Pumps (UK) receive Excellent rating for their new SAF Range of Fish Friendly pumps

industry News trade Show Profile Case Studies

18 Casting No doubts

Comparing cost and quality of a complex investment cast pump impeller made from molded wax and QuickCast patterns

22 Simple technology Worth its Weight in Ref ined Precious metals

Air-operated diaphragm pumps hold their own against abrasive and corrosive fluids


26 more than Whats on the Surface

Water & Wastewater Solutions

Thermoplastic pumps handle caustic and acidic water treatment chemicals in spill containment system

28 Breaking the Cycle of Pump Repairs

Part 1: The cost of failures and the importance of operational margins

maintenance Solutions Pump Solutions

32 the historical evolution of Centrifuge technology for thickening of Waste Activated Sludge 36 intelligent Pumps offer energy efficiency Potential
New pumps maximize mature oil field performance


40 the New math*

dewatering Solutions
Adjusted turbulent K factor model resolves operational problems in pumping non-settling slurries


*Originally published and is reproduced by the permission of the Turbomachinery Laboratory, Texas A&M University.

46 vertical motor Solution takes on Stray Shaft Currents

Local motor shop helps Kansas water authority solve bearing-damage problem

motor Solutions

P.O. Box 660197 | Birmingham, Alabama 35266


52 Switch to Rubber-Based Bearings Saves money and maintenance time

Graphallast bearings from Graphite Metallizing Corporation result in six-figure savings

TIM GARMON Publisher JEFF FLETCHER Associate Publisher RANDY ARMISTEAD Associate Publisher J. CAMPBELL Editor DONNA CAMPBELL Editorial Director SCOTT GORDON Art Director LISA AVERY Assistant Art Director RUSSELL HADDOCk Sr. V.P. of Sales/Marketing CHRIS GARMON General Manager JAMIE WILLETT Circulation Director INGRID BERkY Administrative Assistant RANDY MOON Account Executive NANCY MALONE Account Executive DAVID MARLOW Account Executive DON MORGAN Account Executive CHELSEA PETREY Account Executive

56 these Are the droids Youre looking for!

Power generation Solutions

Robotic inspection and cleaning solutions for nuclear power and other power generation industries

60 Rotary Pump Performs hot and heavy Job

Black liquor pumped from paper mills storage tank to ship

Processing Solutions
Two examples prove how small miscalculations can spell big problems

62 double trouble

64 Smart Controllers Are here

When selecting pump starters, consider protection and I/O options

valves & Controls Solutions Sealing Solutions

Diagnosing vertical can pumps operating in series systems

68 mechanical Seals Can tell the tale 70

312 Lorna Square | Birmingham, Alabama 35216 T: 866.251.1777 | F: 205.824.9796


72 once You have the Knowledge...

Singer Valves Mark Gimson explains his three-point plan for operator training

modern Pumping Products Pumping trends

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage-and-retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher. The views expressed by those not on the staff of Modern Pumping Today, or who are not specifically employed by Highlands Publications, Inc., are purely their own. All Industry News material has either been submitted by the subject company or pulled directly from their corporate website, which is assumed to be cleared for release. Comments and submissions are welcome, and can be submitted to For address changes, please contact Jamie Willett: BPA Worldwide Membership Applied for May 2012.

Greyline Instruments Inc. announces its new PTFM 1.0 Portable Transit Time Flow Meter, which is designed to accurately measure clean liquids like water, oils, and chemicals. Used for calibrations, troubleshooting, spot checks, and balancing flow, the handheld meter is equipped with a user-friendly, five-key menu system and a large backlit display. The clamp-on transducers mount on plastic or metal pipes and ultrasonic signals are injected through the pipe between the two sensors. Its range extends on full pipes with diameters from inch to 48 inches (12 to 1200 millimeters) and operates for twenty-four hours on internal rechargeable batteries, and push-button sleep mode extends battery life for longer periods of operation. The Greyline PTFM 1.0 is available now and its creators state their goal is to reduce inspection times without impacting efficiency or accuracy. More information can be found by calling 888.473.9546 or visiting project to Illinois Constructors. The $1.8 million LaSalle wastewater project is being funded through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Ike Program. The projects expected completion is February 2013. About four years ago, LaSalles wastewater treatment plant was underwater as a rising Illinois River left LaSalles waste water facility flooded and non-operational. More problems occurred during the 2008-2009 floods and again in recent years. When completed, the improvements will protect against 500-year flood levels, if needed. The scope of work includes improvements to the steel dike; extending the height of the earthen berm by five feet along the northern side of the plant; reshaping a holding pool; clearing a pump building; and moving the pumps to another location near the entrance to the plant. The roadway through the plant also will be repaired. Since 1975, Illinois Constructors (ICC), a heavy construction general contracting firm, constructs, modernizes, and restores the integrity of vital structures such as bridges, railways, roadways, marinas, and other facilities for government, municipal and private clients. With operational leadership and sound methodology, ICC delivers solutions and manages projects especially in acute, critical circumstances. For more information, visit



The city of LaSalles problem with flooding is about to be remedied. The LaSalle city council awarded its wastewater

The Drives and Motion Division of Yaskawa America, Inc. announces that Yaskawa Electric Corporation has signed an agreement between its European subsidiary, YASKAWA

6 | JANUARY 2013

Europe GmbH (YEU) based in Eschborn, Germany, and VIPA Gesellschaft fr Visualisierung und Prozessautomatisierung mbH (VIPA), based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, whereby YEU will acquire a majority of the shares of VIPA. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary merger control clearance by the relevant competition authorities. With the integration of VIPA into the YEU organization, YASKAWA is implementing its plan to complete its product portfolio to become a Total Solution Provider. A combination of VIPAs product portfolio of PLCs, I/O modules and HMI, with YASKAWAs inverter, AC servo and robot product lines, will enable YASKAWA to offer a comprehensive automation solution portfolio for a diverse set of markets. VIPA is a perfect fit for Yaskawa. There are no overlaps in our product portfolios, but they are very complementary, states Koichi Takamiya, CEO and regional head for Europe, YASKAWA Europe GmbH. The tight cooperation with the global YASKAWA organization provides great growth opportunities for VIPA, particularly in Asia and the Americas, adds Wolfgang Seel, CEO of VIPA. Beside the synergies resulting from the combined and integrated product portfolio, there are more benefits for existing and new YASKAWA customers, states Manfred Stern, president of YASKAWA Europe GmbH. By adding the engineering resources of the Drives and Motion Division and the Robotics Division to VIPA, YASKAWA Europe now has a strong development team here in Europe, close to our customers and the markets. The VIPA acquisition proves YASKAWAs commitment to the EMEA region as well as the growth expectations for Europe.


Pumps designed and built by Landia have completed a decade of uninterrupted service at one of the most elite egg producers in Europe. Despite the non-stop arduous application of handling chicken manure and washings, Landias eleven DG pumps have not once broken down at Oaklands Farm Eggs, who help sustain the UKs egg supply by producing and delivering half a billion eggs a year. The Shropshirebased company lead the way in UK bird well-being, winning the Poultry Farmer of the Year Award in the UK, as well as continuing to win many Health and Welfare Awards for their poultry keeping and quality egg production. A family run farming business for over sixty years, Oaklands are a shining light within the egg industry. The business was created by John Aled OBE, together with his wife Olwen Griffiths and is now run by sons Gareth and Elwyn, employing over 150 people. Oaklands Elwyn Griffiths commented, Landia have never let us down with their equipment, and they have been equally dependable with their back up service. In offering Oaklands their latest award, the judges recognized Oaklands ongoing commitment to exemplary standards of livestock production and prevention of livestock disease

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through effective health, welfare, and bio security regimes. Development of enhanced accommodation that provides comfort and security for large numbers of laying hens was also highly praised. materials, watch helpful service and repair training videos, and more. Today, we are pleased to deliver our channel partners with an innovative solution to support AODD pumps, says John Carter, president. For our global audience, the ability to use the mobile app any time of the day or night is a definite advantage to doing business with SANDPIPER. For more information, visit


SANDPIPER, a leading global air operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pump brand, launches its mobile application specifically designed to support AODD pumps. The new SANDPIPER mobile app empowers users to quickly locate information related to a specific pump using My Pump Details. Smartphone users simply scan the QR code on the pump tag, check a box, and hit send to immediately get access to spare parts and request quotations for a specific pump. Users can also view the spare parts installation video and service manual for a specific pump without searching through lists of information. Everything that pump users need to service a particular pump is right at their fingertips. This ease-of-use functionality, which is applicable across all industrial products, reduces the inefficiency of searching for reference data during routine and emergency maintenance situations. Additional features of the new SANDPIPER app include the ability to instantly review chemical compatibility using the interactive guide, conveniently browse the latest marketing


Plastics Technology China awarded Automatik Plastics Machinery a prize for an innovative, energy saving processing machine for the Chinese Plastics Industry. This award recognizes the efforts of Automatiks engineers who, during development work, went to great lengths to turn the companys SPHERO underwater pelletizer into a highly energy-efficient cutting system. By modifying both the cutting chamber and the knife hub geometries Automatik Plastics Machinery substantially reduced the energy consumption of the pelletizer. The company also developed a new, thermally insulating SuperFlow die plate that decreases melt pressure more than 20 percent compared to standard die plates. This positively impacts the energy consumption of previously installed machines such as an extruder. Further, Automatik Plastics Machinery provided other special devices that maximize energy efficiencies while enabling the recapture of consequent waste heat, which can then be used downstream for subsequent crystallization processes or to heat up office space and common areas.

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TRADE SHOW profile

verything, the saying goes, is bigger in Texas, and the AHR Expo for 2013 in Dallas in no exception. Already incorporating the entire second level of the Dallas Convention Center, this years version of the worlds largest HVACR show needed to reserve an additional 40,000 square feet of exhibit space on the centers first floor. Co-sponsored by ASHRAE and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), this years show will comprise 350,000 square feet of exhibitors and is on track to be the largest Southwest show in the programs history. Event organizers, as well as long-time attendees, are not surprised. We are thrilled by the response from so many companies so far in advance of the show, says Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company, which produces and manages the AHR Expo. Many of our long-time exhibitors are expanding the size of their current booths. Additionally, nearly three dozen first-time exhibitors reserved several thousand square feet of floor space as early as spring 2012. For over eight decades, the AHR Expo has been an important resource for tens of thousands of attendees from all facets of the industry, including contractors, engineers, dealers, distributors, wholesalers, OEMs, architects, builders, industrial plant operators, facility owners and managers, agents and reps. The 2013 exposition promises to be a highpoint for the shows already sterling reputation, including Thousands of new products and technologies premiering at the event, unseen anywhere else from 1800 global exhibitors, including the major pump companies. Over 100 educational sessionsmany of them freeto help HVACR professionals stay atop trends and technology. The AHR Expo Innovation Awards honoring the most innovative products in the HAVCR industry. Building Automation and Control Showcase featuring nearly 150 companies displaying all the latest automation controls. Software Center where more than fifty companies showcase their latest technology. New Product and Technology Theater where dozens of companies have fifteen minutes to showcase their latest products.

CASE Studies

Fish completely unscathed after the Bedford Pumps Axial Flow Fish Friendly pump test

About the Author

Lucy Ogden is the marketing manager for Bedford Pumps Ltd. For further information, email her at, call 01234.852071, or visit the Bedford Pumps website at

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New Pumps
Are Proven
By lucy ogden, Bedford Pumps
ump manufacturers are known to test and re-test their product lines in order to meet specific criteria for their clients. Will the pump meet the design engineers limits and expectations? Can the pump easily conform to our operations personnels training? How does the costbenefit ratio affect a municipalitys bottom line? But how does one meet the needs of the customer when the target audience is a fish? Bedford Pumps Ltd. (UK) took on the challenge of creating a Fish Friendly pump for use in environmentally responsible applications and were rewarded with an Excellent rating. The credential was granted by independent research consultants VisAdvies BVspecialists in the field of water management, focusing on the environment of fish in all types of inland waterways following extensive and stringent trials. The results prove conclusively that Bedford Pumps new SAF Range of pumps are fish and eel friendly with no direct mortality observed from exposure to the pump.

F ish Friendly
Bedford Pumps (UK) receive Excellent rating for their new SAF Range of Fish Friendly pumps


Creation and certification of a pump safe for aquatic creatures has been an ongoing concern. European Union legislation was brought into effect in 2007 to tackle the rapid decline in global populations of the European eel. Eels are a migratory species and in order to breed must return to their spawning grounds of the Sargasso Seaa distance of over 4000 miles (approximately 6500 kilometers). Obstructions that impede their journey, such as pumping stations, may be a contributing factor in their fall in numbers. The EU legislation EU Eel Regulations proclaims that each member state shall implement appropriate measures to reduce eel mortality. In 2009 United Kingdom legislation empowered the Environment Agency to undertake activity to satisfy EU regulations. To this effect, the Environment Agency can serve notice where the safe passage of eels is impeded

Bedford Pumps Fish Friendly pump undergoing trial



CASE Studies
and enforce a resolution to preserve the life of eels. This legislation is specific to the eel population, but it is generally accepted by all concerned that protecting fish stocks is an added bonus of utilizing this type of pump.


As alternatives are sought to meet these new safety standards, engineers at Bedford Pumps took up the challenge. This is not just good for fish, but good for a range of affected businesses as well. Eel and fish friendly pumping solutions are steadily becoming a requirement at the majority of pumping station and water abstraction points

Fish Friendly pump on site at Kempsey

where eel populations have been identified. The sooner an environmentally

responsible answer can be implemented, the easier it will be to adapt to the changes ahead.

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Bedford Pumps Axial Flow Fish Friendly pump underwent rigorous tests in a dry dock in Hellevoetsluis, Holland. VisAdvies BV performed the evaluation by means of forced exposure of the fish to the pump. Three representative groups of fish were used, in two size classes, 0 to 6 inches (0 to 15 centimeters) and over 6 inches (16 centimeters plus). The pump was tested at a duty of 343 gallons (1300 liters) per second at 5 feet (1.5 meters) head, running at speeds of 330, 425, and 518 revolutions per minute consecutively.


The new face of environmentally responsible pumping is already here. Bedford Pumps have just installed their first Fish Friendly pump at a new pumping station in Kempsey, Worcestershire, for the Environment Agency. The pumps will discharge water from Hatfield Brook, a waterway


that has caused flooding to the village twentythree times in the past thirty years. Hatfield Brook is home to an eel population, so the new pumping station will be the first station in the United Kingdom to comply fully with the new EU regulations.


The pump achieved 100 percent survival of eels passing through the pump. The most severe damage that occurred was some scale loss on the coarse fish. This was not caused by the pump impeller, but rather by the impact of the fish hitting the water after passing through the pump. In an actual land drainage application, the discharge point would be below the water level. Bedford Pumps SAF Range of Fish Friendly pumps cover from 100 to 1800 gallons (400 to 7000 liters) per second at 6.5 to 19.5 feet (2 to 6 meters) head and are ideally suited for land drainage, flood defense, and fish farm applications. Larger capacity pumps can also be designed to meet specific requirements. In addition to protecting the fish, the new design demonstrates a significant improvement in hydraulic efficiency resulting in an 8 percent reduction in power absorbed. Consequently, the new range will satisfy objectives of eel protection and carbon reduction.


CASE Studies

Casting No Doubts
By tom mueller, 3d Systems, inc.; Andy miller and Andy Bomberger, tech Cast llC

figure 1: QuickCast Pattern esigning a pump QuickCast patterns, introduced impeller that performs over the past several years, well is challenging. provide increased design The fluids being pumped are versatility without physical often multi-component, and the constraints of conventional flow velocities and volumes are tooling. QuickCast patterns are high, which make predicting hollow stereolithography parts, performance analytically very as seen in figure 1, which can difficult. Performance is best be used as investment casting optimized experimentally using patterns. Because QuickCast an iterative process: design an patterns are created using impeller, cast the design, test an additive manufacturing the performance, make a design technology, the process requires change, cast the new design, no tooling enabling prototype and retest, and so on until an pattern creation at a fraction of the optimum design is reached. cost and time required for tooling. In practice, however, Tech Cast Direct patterns enable optimizing performance in this Tech Casts customers to evaluate manner has been prohibitively expensive. Tooling costs for several design alternatives inexpensively and reach a better impellers are significant because they often require cores, performing impeller. In addition, QuickCast patterns allow either soluble or ceramic, to create the internal flow-paths. for several design alternatives to be evaluated simultaneously, Consequently, multiple tools must be built encompassing shortening the time needed to reach the final design. cores, gating and the main pattern. It simply is not practical to modify or rebuild tooling to WORK WITH 3D SYSTEMS evaluate design changes. As In 2012, Tech Cast worked a result, pump manufacturers with 3D Systems to compare figure 2: test geometry accept suboptimal performance the quality, cost, and time rather than spend the time and requirements of castings created money to optimize performance. with QuickCast patterns to those created by conventional wax QUICKCAST PATTERNS patterns. The study had several Tech Cast, LLC, a leading supplier objectives: of high quality investment castings, has pioneered the use Determine the quality of QuickCast patterns in the of castings created with development of pump impellers. QuickCast patterns relative One of their specialties is large to those created with wax complex pump impeller castings patterns. Included in the up to 350 pounds (158 kilograms) quality evaluation will be and 36 inches (91 centmeters) in dimensional accuracy, surface diameter. roughness, and surface quality

About the Authors

Tom Mueller is the director of business development for 3DpropartsTM for 3D Systems, Inc., a leading provider of 3D contentto-print solutions with offices around the globe. To learn more, visit Andy Miller is a process engineer and Andy Bomberger is the engineering manager forTech Cast LLC. For more information, visit

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and their respective Dimension ID Target Actual Deviation % Deviation castings. Table 1 15.955 15.959 0.004 0.03% 1 shows measurements 2 7.782 7.779 -0.003 -0.04% of the patterns 3 3.03 3.032 0.002 0.07% which are scaled to 4 9.745 9.747 0.002 0.02% compensate Average Absolute Percent Deviation 0.04% for shrinkage. The accuracy of the QuickCast pattern was comparable to the wax pattern. Test Geometry The largest deviation from an individual measurement for Tech Cast chose a double suction impeller roughly 16 inches the QuickCast pattern was 0.004 inches (0.1 millimeters). All (40 centimeters) in diameter, pictured in figure 2 as the test deviations were less than one tenth of a percent compared geometry. The conventional wax injection tooling for this to the nominal value and insignificant when compared to the design cost $40,000 and had a lead time of eight to ten weeks. tolerances of the casting requirements. 3D Systems supplied the QuickCast pattern for the study. Dimensional inspection of the castings is shown in table 2. Both castings showed similar deviations to the intended Test Procedure casting target with an average dimensional error less than Tech Cast processed the QuickCast pattern, using the best 1 percent. From a dimensional accuracy viewpoint, the practices according to their experience and recommendations QuickCast pattern demonstrated the capability of producing a from 3D Systems. Tech Cast documented labor hours at each predictable, precise casting. step of the process and compared the casting results between QuickCast patterns and conventional wax patterns. Surface Roughness Surface roughness was measured on each of the castings as shown in the table below. The casting from the QuickCast ASSESSING THE RESULTS pattern had a rougher surface but remained within limits for Dimensional Accuracy the casting application. Tech Cast measured critical dimensions on both the patterns

Determine the relative total cost to create the first casting. Determine the time required to create the first casting with each method.

table 1: QuickCast Pattern Comparison



CASE Studies
table 2: Casting Comparison
Casting from Wax Pattern Dimension ID Casting Target Actual 15.880 7.560 2.933 9.648 Deviation 0.130 -0.070 0.003 0.028 0.53% Percent Deviation 0.83% -0.92% 0.10% 0.29% Casting from QuickCast Pattern Actual 15.728 7.615 2.949 9.581 Deviation -0.022 -0.015 0.019 -0.039 0.35% Percent Deviation -0.14% -0.20% 0.65% -0.41%

1 2 3 4 Average Absolute Percent Deviation

15.75 7.63 2.93 9.62

table 3: Surface finish Comparison Surface Quality QuickCast pattern exhibited an increase in negative Surface quality refers to Pattern Type Surface Roughness (in Ra) areas on the casting, the absence of surface imperfections that detract however, the severity 122 Wax Pattern from the appearance and of the surface defects 159 QuickCast Pattern functional performance did not impact casting performance. of the component and may require repair. Such imperfections can include negatives to the surface such CASTING PROCESS as pitting or cracks, or positives to the surface that could Once the pattern is obtained, the casting process generally result from shell imperfections. The casting made from the takes one to two weeks depending on casting size and

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table 4: Process Comparison

Step CAD Modeling Pattern Foundry Processing Description Incorporate pattern shrink, solidification modeling and gating into the casting design. Obtain soluble core and pattern tooling or QuickCast pattern Process the pattern through the foundry and clean the casting. Time from receipt of order to shipment of first casting. (Casting complexity and value added services may affect this time) Purchases required to obtain first pattern. (This pricing excludes casting cost) 7-9 weeks Wax Pattern QuickCast Pattern

0-1 week 1-2 weeks

1 -2 weeks

Time to First Casting

9-12 weeks

2-5 weeks

Cash Expenditure



complexity. The processing time consists of such things as drying time in the shell building process, time in the oven to preheat the mold before pouring and time for the casting to solidify and cool. The process requires about the same amount of time whether QuickCast or wax patterns are used. There is extra time for molding the wax pattern but it is balanced against the time required to process the QuickCast patterns due to an additional burnout oven cycle necessary to completely remove the pattern material. Table 4 compares the processes between wax and QuickCast patterns.

figure 3: Casting from QuickCast Pattern

Time to First Casting QuickCast patterns allow the foundry to deliver the first casting 6-8 weeks faster than wax patterns.


Casting Quality While not quite as good as a casting made from a wax pattern, the quality of a casting made from a QuickCast pattern is good enough for all but the most demanding applications. Cost of the First Pattern The foundry must invest $40,000 into tooling before obtaining the first casting when using wax patterns. If they choose to use QuickCast patterns, they need only invest $3150, less than 10 percent of that required for molded wax patterns. In this example, casting costs have been excluded from both cases. Labor Content of Castings Casting a QuickCast pattern requires similar labor compared to a wax pattern.

Applications Direct manufacturing QuickCast patterns reduce the total costs of finished casting for limited runs or low volumes without significant sacrifice to casting quality. Repair Parts No investment of injection tooling for one-off repair or legacy items. Concurrent Designs A QuickCast pattern ordered simultaneous with wax tooling allows the foundry to prove out processing during tool construction. Research and Development Multiple variations may be tested at the same time without incurring tool alteration costs. A number of pump manufacturer applications can be fulfilled using precision castings created from QuickCast patterns. In fact, using QuickCast patterns may allow for evaluation of two iterations of a design in less time than it would take to build wax pattern tooling. The time and cost required to evaluate an iteration of the design using a QuickCast pattern is roughly equivalent to the average time and cost of making a design change to a tool. QuickCast patterns provide the perfect solution for delivering low volume, dimensionally accurate castings in a condensed time frame without significant capital investment in tooling.



CASE Studies

Simple Technology Worth Its Weight in Refined Precious Metals

Air-operated diaphragm pumps hold their own against abrasive and corrosive fluids
By Paul mcgarry, All-flo Pump Co.

or more than a decade, All-Flo Pump Co. of Mentor, CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY Ohio, has produced air-operated diaphragm pumps Catalyst Refiners serves major ethylene oxide catalyst that improve the flow of productivity in the Institute, producers. In addition to processing standard ethylene West Virginia, facility oxide catalysts, of Catalyst Refiners, Catalyst Refiners Inc. The company, recovers silver from a wholly-owned both distressed subsidiary of Ames and wet catalyst, Goldsmith Corp., is with a high a a leading recycler of level of efficiency. silver-based catalyst The company has used to produce developed innovative ethylene glycol, a product outlets for key raw material in the final stripped industrial chemical substrates, keeping all production. residual carrier from Air-operated landfills. diaphragm pumps Scott Schmidt, provide cost-effective president of Catalyst and reliable service to Refiners catalyst industries for a wide operations, has been range of fluid handling overseeing the West applicationseven Virginia facility since those involving July 1999, just a abrasive slurries and few months after it Scott Schmidt, president of Catalyst Refiners catalyst operations, next to All-Flos newest air-operated diaphragm pump. Catalyst Refiners silver-based catalyst recycling operations are powered throughout harsh chemicals. Allbegan operation. He the facility by diaphragm pumps. Flos diaphragm pumps moved there from have proven especially the companys home effective in precious metal refining operations, which office in Glens Falls, New York. The company also has involve chemicals such as nitric acid. operations in Taiwan.

About the Author

Paul McGarry is the All-Flo sales and marketing manager for North America. All-Flo is a leading manufacturer of rugged, lube-free, non-stall/freeze air diaphragm pumps. To learn more, visit .

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It didnt take long for Schmidt to discover that Catalysts existing pumpsused to move chemicals and slurries in the refining process were difficult to maintain and repair. They caused frequent interruptions in production. In 2000, he began searching for recommendations for replacement pumps that would provide more reliable service and would be easier and less expensive to repair. Catalyst tested five recommended brands of air-operated diaphragm pumps before choosing All-Flo. Schmidt says All-Flo won for superior performance, ease of use, and cost of maintenance and repair.


Simplicity is the hallmark of air-operated diaphragm pumps. They operate on the principle of positive displacement, using two diaphragms and two chambers with a common fluid inlet and outlet. The diaphragms, connected by a common rod, move back and forth in unison.


Schmidt has since come to appreciate not only the design, quality, and technical features of the diaphragm pumps but also the pump manufacturers commitment to solving customers problems. For example, the stainless steel ball seats of Catalysts stainless steel air-operated diaphragm pumps wore faster than anticipated, decreasing the pumps effectiveness. They were being worn by the abrasive silver particles in the solutions and slurries pumped through the plant. Schmidt inquired whether the worn stainless steel ball seats could be replaced with seats made of Kynar PVDF (polyvinylidene difluoride)a highly resistant thermoplastic used in some All-Flo pumps. The representative took the suggestion to All-Flo engineers and they quickly came through with PVDF replacements. Their customer service is top-notch, Schmidt says. Except for one electric pump, Catalyst Refiners West Virginia plant uses only All-Flo air-operated diaphragm pumpsabout fifty. The Glens Falls plant uses seventy-five to eighty All-Flo pumps. Catalyst uses 1-, 1-, and 2-inch stainless steel pumps and -, 1-, and 2-inch plastic pumps to handle a variety of jobs and chemical compatibility issues.


Simple Design Means Reliable Operation The air section, or engine, of the air-operated diaphragm pumps consists of very few moving parts the fewest of any pump on the market. With fewer moving parts, the pumps are less at risk of break down and more likely to provide uninterrupted service. Ease of Maintenance and Operation Because they have fewer parts, the pumps are easier to maintain and repair. The process of tearing down, cleaning and reassembling the pumps takes just 45 minutes, a significant time savings from the previous pumps. Thats important for the facility, which has been operating 24/7 for the past two years and which completed a $1.6 million expansion in 2011 to meet the increased

Powering the pump action, compressed air is directed through the air inlet. An air spool, one of the few moving parts in the mechanism, alternately directs the air flow behind each diaphragm, moving them back and forth. On the suction stroke of one diaphragm, the lower ball valve of its chamber opens, while the top valve of the chamber closes. This action allows fluid to enter and fill the chamber through the open valve. Then the air spool directs the flow of compressed air behind the other diaphragm, opening the top ball valve and closing the bottom ball valve, forcing the fluid out of the chamber through the outlet and on to the fluids destination. This same process occurs in the opposite chamber of the pumpand the cycle repeats until the air flow is stopped.



CASE Studies
demand of a long-term catalyst refining contract. As the pumps are powered by air pressure, they can be deadheaded without pump damage, unlike an electric centrifugal pumpa convenience that operators appreciate. Cost-Effective Materials The Santoprene diaphragms and balls of the All-Flo pumps Schmidt selected cost 75 percent less than those of the previous pumps that Catalyst used. Santoprene performs well in a wide temperature range and offers excellent chemical resistance. Greater Efficiency According to Schmidt, Catalysts new fleet of pumps outperform the average air-operated diaphragm pump, using substantially less air. Schmidt estimates that a 2-inch All-Flo air-operated diaphragm pump moves 20 to 30 percent more liquid per amount of energy used. This reduces electricity costs, while allowing Catalyst to recycle more silver in less time. Leak-Reducing Design The pumps flange mountings minimize leakagea critical feature when it comes to handling fluids that contain expensive precious metals like silver. Performance Catalysts pumps move a variety of slurries. In one case, a pump moves slurry containing 50 percent suspended solids through a 1.5-inch (3.8-centimeter) hose and up 11 feet (3.4 meter) into a 5000-gallon (roughly 19,000-liter) sludge accumulation tank. Thats a lot to ask from a pump, Schmidt says. He added that Catalyst also uses pumps to move a thick 50 percent solution of sodium hydroxide that is used in the recycling process. The pumps move can also move a silver nitrate solution with a specific gravity of 1.4, 125 feet (38 meters) across the plant floor into a holding tank. Thats far and above the specifications of the product, he said. Catalyst uses pumps to handle other chemicals in its processes, including 20 to 25 percent concentrations of nitric acid.


Catalyst is now beginning to move All-Flos newest 2-inch pump design

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into its operations. The new model operates with about 7 pounds per square inch less air pressure, helping Catalyst take some of the strain off its compressors while pumping more gallons per minute. The new pump also delivers greater suction lift. Other advantages include Dimensions equivalent to other common diaphragm pump designs, allowing easy installation and interchange from other pumps. This reduces installation cost and eliminates the need for re-plumbing. Lower power consumption due to a high-efficiency, straight-line exhaust system Wide temperature operating range, from -40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 to 100 degrees Celsius) Design that accommodates large suspended solids All-bolted construction that increases the ease of maintenance


Other precious metal refiners have come to rely on AllFlo pumps, says Matt Kolb, sales engineer for Chesapeake Systems, LLC of Hanover, Maryland, a pump equipment distributor. When one of Kolbs customers, a precious metal refiner located in Maryland, started experiencing problems with

their current set of air-operated diaphragm pumps, they introduced All-Flo pumps into their operation. One of the companys greatest challenges was that its existing pumps frequently stalled, interrupting refining processes. In addition to losing valuable production time, the refiner faced an even greater economic threat potential loss of the precious metals it reclaims and refines for its industrial customers. Due to their rarity and demand in the marketplace, these metals command a high price. The loss of small quantities due to a malfunctioning pump or other processing problem is costly. The All-Flo pumps have nearly eliminated the companys problem with air stalls. Due to their simplicity of design, the pumps have enabled the refiner to cut maintenance time and disruptions in service in half. Over the past two years, the precious metal refiner has gradually replaced all of its existing pumpsabout one hundred in all. In addition, as the company has expanded, it has purchased only All-Flo pumps for its new processing systems. Serving global markets, the refiner supplies precious metal-based chemicals and refines rhenium, ruthenium, silver, palladium, gold and other precious metals. Over the past three to four years, the company has experienced substantial growth, developing an infrastructure to handle small and large jobs for a diverse customer base that includes high technology electronics, semiconductor and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) sectors. In precious metal refining operations, and other industries, time is money and reliable pumps are worth their weight in silver, gold, even rhenium.




More Than What's on the Surface

Thermoplastic pumps handle caustic and acidic water treatment chemicals in spill containment system
By lawrence lewis, vanton Pump and equipment Corp.
issouri American Water Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water, is the states largest water utility, serving approximately 1.5 million people in more than one hundred communities. The companys St. Louis County Central Plant, a surface water treatment facility located on the Missouri River in Chesterfield, is capable of producing 217 million gallons (821.4 million liters) per day of treated water and distributing it to St. Louis County and the surrounding area through a network of over 4200 miles (6400 kilometers) of water mains. In 1993, the treatment facility was expanded to meet the needs of the growing community it serves. Part of the expansion involved construction of a specially designed building to contain the bulk chemical tanks that store water treatment chemicals, and serve as an emergency spill control area. Because the chemicals used in the treatment process are corrosive in their concentrated form, we needed a system of reliable pumps that could quickly and easily transfer them to tankers or totes for disposal or recovery in the event of a catastrophic spill, explains Dennis P. Eagan, production supervisor. Two non-corrosive Vanton Sump-Gard thermoplastic vertical centrifugal pumps were installed and have performed reliably for the past seventeen years.


In addition to fluoride, the pumps can handle ferric sulfate, liquid ammonia and synthetic organic

About the Author

Lawrence Lewis is the president of Vanton Pump and Equipment Corp. Vanton pumps operate in over seventy-five countries across all industries in which corrosive or ultra pure fluids are handled including water and waste treatment, pollution control, metal finishing, chemical processing, pulp and paper, mining, and semiconductor manufacturing. For more information, call 908.688.4216 or visit .

26 | JANUARY 2013

polymer and other caustic and acidic water treatment chemicals, which are stored in bulk tanks for transfer to the water treatment process. Ferric sulfate serves as a coagulant to remove fine particles suspended in the untreated water. Ammonia is used for pH control and to enhance the ability of chlorine to destroy diseaseproducing organisms. Ammonia can also be used to regenerate ion exchange resins. The synthetic organic polymer stabilizes the residual chlorine and serves as a flocculant to remove toxic metals such as copper and lead. One of the primary reasons why thermoplastic pumps were selected was their ability to handle corrosive fluids over a broad pH range, says Eagan. While fluoride is only mildly alkaline, with a pH of approximately 8, liquid ammonia is highly alkaline with a pH of 11 to 12. Ferric chloride, on the other hand, is very acidic with a pH of 2 to 3 depending on its Two Vanton Sump-Gard thermoplastic vertical centrifugal pumps, mounted to a common baseplate, have performed reliably for the past seventeen years pumping corrosive water treatment chemicals from a sump designed to contain accidental spills. concentration. All of these chemicals are metered into the water treatment system in carefully The construction of these heavy-duty sump pumps assures regulated amounts, and the neutralized water is filtered dependable service. Their design automatically compensates for the different expansion rates between the stainless through sand filters to ensure that no trace amounts remain steel shaft and the plastic sleeve, molded of corrosion in the drinking water that is distributed throughout the resistant PVC to prevent impeller binding even under area. Because the chemicals are toxic and corrosive in their wide temperature concentrated form, fluctuations and however, they need extended idle to be quickly and periods. Submerged reliably transferred bearings with ceramic to secure containers inner and Vanite in the event of a (silicon carbide) outer catastrophic spill. sleeves are lubricated The possibility of by the pumped pump failure due fluid. A Fume-Gard to corrosion after vapor seal minimizes repeated exposure to emissions and these fluids could not protects the external be tolerated. bearing and motor SUMP-GARD SG from corrosive fumes. Vanton Sump-Gard SG thermoplastic PUMPS SIZED FOR pumps solved our CATASTROPHIC problem, says SPILL Eagan. They are Two identical engineered for Sump-Gard Model dependable handling of corrosive, abrasive, hazardous SGC-V300 thermoplastic pumps, mounted to a common base and toxic process fluids and plant effluents over broad plate, can transfer up to 50 gallons (189 liters) per minute at temperature and pH ranges. Their construction assures that heads to 19 feet (5.7 meters) and temperatures to 275 degrees no metal ever comes in contact with the fluids. Even the Fahrenheit (135 degrees Celsius). They are 41 inches (1041 alloy steel shafts are isolated from the pumped fluids by millimeters) long and powered by a 1 horsepower (0.75 thick sectioned thermoplastic sleeves. kilowatts), 1750 revolutions per minute electric motor.

For 107 years, St. Louis County residents have relied on quality, reliable water service, and that service continued even during severe storms that swept through the area, says Alan Westfall, owner of Westfall Company, Inc. of Eureka, Missouri, the independent representative who worked with Missouri American Water on the pump specification.



Part 1
i n a p a r t 4 - P s e r i e s

The cosT of failures and The imporTance of operaTional margins

By heinz P. Bloch, Process machinery Consulting

f the numerous process centrifugal pumps undergoing repair right this very minute, an estimated 90 percent have failed randomly before. some have run just fine until the very first time we fixed them, and were never quite the same since. That begs answers to a few interesting questions: could it be that we dont really know why so many of these pumps are failing? could it be that we just dont give pumps the attention they deserve? is it because everybodys priorities are elsewhere?

About the Author

Heinz P. Bloch, P.E., is one of the world's most recognized experts in machine reliability and has served as a founding member of the board of the Texas A&M University's International Pump Users' Symposium. He is a Life Fellow of the ASME, in addition to having maintained his registration as a Professional Engineer in both New Jersey and Texas for several straight decades. As a consultant, Mr. Bloch is world-renowned and value-adding. He can be contacted at

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Rather than presenting a theoretical treatise, consider this tutorial a practical guide, a rule of thumb, and a call for common sense engineering evaluation of certain improvement opportunities that were actually implemented. I have worked in industry for sixty-two years and graduated from a great engineering college in 1962, over fifty years ago. Allow me to draw the right conclusions from over five decades of careful observation, rather than addressing the consequences of business as usual attitudes. Instead of adding to the laments, let me explain proven steps to improve pump life. Improvement is both possible and valuable. Its costeffectiveness can be quantified without much difficulty. The key is to talk management speak, which includes monetizing the repairs, quantifying the process losses, doing B-over-C (benefitto-cost) and life cycle analyses.

whose sense of priorities is honed by a different standard. Diverging statements or findings might feed a bureaucratic machine that will busy itself with issues of that type. However, our story simply means that avoiding forty repairs would be worth 40/1000 x $3,000,000, or $120,000. The three items ($240,000, $80,000, and $120,000) add up to $440,000.

We could examine other ways to calculate as well. It would be reasonable to assume that implementing a component upgrade (generally the elimination of a weak link) extends pump uptime by 10 percent. Implementing five upgrade items yields 1.15 = 1.61a 61 percent mean-time-betweenrepair (MTBR) increase. Or, say,


One way of exploring the value of extending pump mean-time-betweenfailures (MTBF) is to examine the likely savings if we could improve the MTBF from presently 4.5 years to a projected 5.5 years. For example, if a facility has 1000 pumps; thats 1,000/4.5 = 222 repairs before and 1000/5.5 = 182 repairs after understanding and solving the problem. Avoiding forty repairs at $6000 each would mean a saving of $240,000. Manpower would be freedup for other tasks: At twenty man-hours for forty incidents at an average cost of $100 per hour, reassigning these professionals to other repair avoidance tasks would be worth at least $80,000. There is also one approximately $3,000,000 fire per 1000 pump failures. That's a very reasonable number, although one source thought it might more likely be one fire per 1000 pump failures, then out of ten fires he figures seven are less than $50,000, two are $50- to $500,000, and one would be greater than $500,000.


These numbers are far from common knowledge. Virtually all consulting done today by a qualified independent professional engineer is linked to a legal non-disclosure agreement. The client must file reports with governmental and civil entities. These might differ from the findings of consulting engineers who understand the true root causes of failures, or


we gave up 10 percent each by not implementing six reasonable improvement items. In that instance, 0.96= 0.53, meaning that the MTBR is only 53 percent of what it might otherwise be. one operates farther away from the best efficiency point, or BEP. The curve depicted in figure 1 has been widely copied and reflects the expert opinions of Paul Barringer and Ed Nelson. sufficiently accurate to warrant the attention of reliability professionals who wish to work within safe margins. Hundreds of references exist on the subjects of cavitation and internal recirculation; stable operation is

figure 1: APi Pump Curve Practices And effects on Pumps life from variability About BeP
Barringer-Nelson curves show reliability impact of operation away from BEP (Courtesy of Paul Barringer,
Lower Impeller Life

Discharge Recirculation

Pump & Motor ~MTBF

Best Practice
High Rise Low Flow Cavitation Low Bearing & Low Seal Life

=-10% to +5% of BEP

Suction Recirculation



Better Practice
Low Bearing & Low Seal Life Cavitation


Good Practice Life Based On Best Practices For Installation And Use For All Features EXCEPT How Close The Pump Operates To BEP Reliability Curve % FLOW =-30% to +15% of BEP



=-20% to +10% of BEP



Pump Curve

That might explain industrys widely diverging MTBRs. The MTBR-gap is quite conservatively assumed to range from 3.6 years to 9.0 years in U.S. oil refineries and, as of today, no informed pump professional has disagreed with these numbers.


In figure 1, the typical HQ curve is shown with the eight traditional non-BEP problem areas plotted on it. It amplifies the notion that pump reliability can approach zero as

Stay well inside the Defined Operating Range. Safe operating margins are the key to failure avoidance.

Let us spotlight the implications of figure 1 and call it Point 1. Just because pumps can operate at low flow doesnt mean that its smart to do so. Compare it to an automobile able to go 12 miles per hour in fifth gear, or 37 miles per hour in first gear: It can be done, but there will be a big price to pay! The hand sketch, figure 2, was originally published by Irving Taylor in 1977 (see reference note 1). His work is worth mentioning because he explains in a single illustration what others have tried to convey in complex words and mathematical formulas. Taylor deserves much credit because he manages to keep things simple. In fact, to make it easy to make a copy for coworkers, the illustration uses dashes and dots to label Taylors work in figure 2. Although more precise calculations are available, Taylors trend curves of probable NPSHr for minimum recirculation and zero cavitationerosion in water, figure 2, are

always the central aim (see reference note 2). The actual NPSHr needed for zero damage to impellers and other pump components may be many times that published in the manufacturers literature. The manufacturers NPSHr plot (lowermost curve in figure 2) is based on observing a 3 percent drop in discharge head or pressure. Taylors plot places the Q = 100 percent intersect at an NPSHr = 100 percent of the manufacturers stated value. Unfortunately, whenever this 3% fluctuation occurs, a measure of damage may already be in progress. It is prudent to assume a more realistic NPSHr and to provide an NPSHa in excess of this likely NPSHr. This serves to build a certain margin of safety into the pump and reduces the risk of catastrophic failure events.


Stating a bottom line for what the safe margins may be will invite arguments, and understandably so.

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We have seen hydrocarbon services where an NPSHa surplus of just 1 foot over NPSHr was sufficient to avoid cavitation. However, there are also services, such as Carbamate, where a 25-foot surplus is not nearly enough. Remember Taylor: His trend curves are approximations for the prudent user. He indicated that we should enlist help from competent pump manufacturers and above-average design contractors to define the NPSH multipliers or bracket experience-based margins for a particular pumpage or service. Again, while Irving Taylor acknowledged that his curves were not totally accurate and mentioned

the demarcation line between low and high suction specific speeds (Nss) was probably somewhere between 8000 and 12,000. Many surveys taken after 1980 point to 8500 or 9000 as numbers that deserve our attention. If pumps with Nss numbers over approximately 9000 are being operated at flow rates much higher or lower than BEP (Best Efficiency Point), the life expectancy or repair-free operating time of these pumps will be reduced. Whether these reductions will amount to 10 percent off normal or 60 percent off normal is the subject of much debate and will require research on a pump-specific basis.


There is no such thing as a one number fits all Nss value, but there can be a safe margin that might even allow operating hours at off-BEP flows. Cautious professionals observe that safe margin; we choose to set it at 9000. This is important because for certain pumps under certain process conditions a different Nss number or safety margin may be offered. Thats like claiming to have seen a child cross six lanes of an interstate highway and arrive safely on the other side. Yes, we know that such an extreme situation is possible, but let's admit that it is unlikely and leave it at that.

figure 2: trend of Probable NPShR for Zero Cavitation-erosion

Pump manufacturers usually plot only the NPSHr trend associated with the lowermost curve. At that time a head drop or pressure fluctuation of 3 percent exists at BEP flow (see reference note 1). BEP stands for Best Efficiency Point.















High Head High Suct. Specific Speed


High Head Low S.S.S.

Low-Moderate Head High S.S.S.

Low-Moderate Head Low S.S.S.

NPSHR for 3% Head Drop

1. Taylor, Irving; The Most Persistent Pump-Application Problems for Petroleum and Power Engineers, ASME Publication 77-Pet-5 (Energy Technology Conference and Exhibit, Houston, Texas, September 18-22, 1977). 2. Bloch, Heinz P.; Pump Wisdom (2011), John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY (ISBN 9-781118-041239).





PUMP solutions

The Historical Evolution of Centrifuge T echnology for Thickening of

By michael Kopper and Robert g. havrin, Centrisys Corporation

entrifuges continue to gain greater acceptance as the equipment of choice for the dewatering of municipal waste water sludge. Unfortunately, what was once a promising new market has stagnated for decades. However, due to changing economic considerations along with the evolution of wastewater plants toward future green initiatives is again pointing toward a new generation of centrifuge as an enabling thickening technology. In this article, we will examine the path that centrifugal technology has taken in its original designs for the municipal thickening market, exploring its technical capabilities and debunking common misconceptions. In our next installment, we will follow this path into the promising future of current technologies.

The characteristics of waste activated sludge (WAS) have created many challenges for thickening designs of all types. Within the broad spectrum of applications, this material


typically settles in clarifiers to between 0.25 to 1.3 percent total suspended solids depending upon the optimum way of running a particular WAS process. Further, the suspended solids may also vary significantly on an intra- and inter- day basis relative not only to the concentration of the biomass but also to the non-organic matter that can find a way into the process. These characteristics, often overlooked, can lead to unexpected problems for processing equipment. WAS from secondary clarifier underflow has a relatively low viscosity. The thickened biomass has a soft, more viscous consistency. However, varying amounts of amorphous trash and abrasive grit should also to be considered in equipment design. Most selection criteria for thickening equipment includes a comparison of conditioning costs with the ability to controllably maintain a certain range of cake solids as seen in figure 1. Equipment that operates without chemical conditioning includes continuous decanter (CD) centrifuges and on more rare occasions dissolved air flotation (DAF). However, for such operations to be successful, the WAS needs to be maintained in a certain range of suspended

About the Authors

Michael Kopper is the president and Robert G. Havrin is the director of technology for Centrisys Corporation, an award winning, certified, global provider of separation equipment, parts, repair, and service. Learn more by visiting

32 | JANUARY 2013

solids that can settle quickly (SVI or ISSV constraints). insoluble solids capture. If the feed composition varies, some Such settling characteristics requires the activated sludge form of a feedback loop is needed to adjust the polymer be properly maintained so that the natural biopolymer addition. If not, the expected levels of cake consistency produced by the and recovery micro-organisms levels may suffer figure 1: Commercial thickener Comparison agglomerate fine and effect costs particles to enable in other ways. As 1.2 separation. Else, per figure 1, RDTs manufactured and GBTs operate RDT polymer would around the full 1 be required as a (max) floc point of GBT back-up. the polymer being Equipment used while DAF 0.8 dependent units can improve upon chemical performance at 0.6 conditioning dosage levels includes rotary above the polymer drum (RDT) activation level 0.4 and gravity as applied to the DAI belt thickeners whole sludge. (GBT). With Continuous 0.2 such equipment, decanter CD performance goals centrifuges can require that an operate without 0 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 optimum ratio of polymer dosages polymer to biomass over a broad Cake Solids, %w/w be maintained range of cake above a minimum solids. However, dosage level to chemically agglomerate solids releasing if polymer is needed, the better centrifuge designs apply water to produce a thickened sludge range while maintaining polymer internally and selectively to only the fine solids Polymer Dosage, normalized



PUMP solutions
figure 2: Waste Activated Sludge viscosity (u)

LN U, Brookfield Viscosity @ 45 rpm

9.0 8.0 7.0 6.0 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0

Free Solids
0.25 - 1.3 % w/wts 1.5 - 8 cp apparent viscosity

3.5 - 10% w/w ts commercial operation 1100 - 9600 cp Brookfield Viscometer Reading

Cake Solids











Feeds Solids, mg/l

that do not separate under no polymer operation (5 to 30 percent of the feed insolubles). Commercially, thickening objectives for WAS can vary depending upon whether the goal is thickening before anaerobic digestion, for blending with primary solids or thickening prior to being hauled off to land disposal. Common anaerobic digesters run best at about 5 percent cake solids with 4 to 6 percent wastewater total suspended solids the common goal. Digesters with special mixer designs can operate between 6 to 8 percent wastewater WAS. And new processes are under review which are looking for WAS as high as a 10 percent wastewater cake consistency with minimum polymer consumption (as excessive polymer is considered detrimental to optimum digester gas production). These higher solids processes are anticipating the future transition of wastewater to wastewater and energy plants. If these processes are feasible, Centrisys advanced thickening centrifuges are an enabling technology uniquely suited to this service and can either directly integrate shear into the design or as a separate step downstream of the centrifuge to reduce viscosity and promote higher gas production from anaerobic digesters. The rheological properties of WAS (see figure 2) factor in equipment design. At 4 percent wastewater solids, the consistency of most WAS flows like
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water. At such a consistency, this is easy to float in a DAF unit. However, the same lack of stiffness is difficult to maintain on RDTs and GBTs as the material will easily flow off of a belt and through the filter cloth. At 5 percent wastewater solids, there is the beginning of texture to the thickened solids; and at 6 percent wastewater solids, the material pours thickly from a cup. This is where the GBTs and RDTs work best. Finally, at 8 percent a sample cup can be inverted without the solids falling out. This is the practical limit to the RTDs and GBTs as beyond this point additional compression is needed. Depending upon the shear rate, the viscosity of the thickened sludge will range from 1100 centipoise (cp) @ 3.5 percent to about 14,600 cp @ 10 percent Only decanter centrifuges can operate through this range of consistency with the cake dryness a function of the residence time inside the centrifuge. Operation is without polymer or a fraction of the polymer dosage required for optimum capacity considerations.

with broad industrial applications. The continuous decanter (CD) centrifuge had roots in the mining and chemical industries. Finally, the high speed disc (HSD) was mainly used in the food/ pharmaceutical industry. Before 1978, Sharples was the dominant supplier to the United States market place for thickening centrifuges with no competition for VBC and only one other competitor for the HSD and CD. These centrifuges were very different designs with contrasting advantages and disadvantages. Then as now, the installed cost / gallons per minute relative to plant size was an important consideration. However, the ability to operate without polymer and mechanical reliability were the major competing marketing factors and where product differentiation relative to industrial pre-cursers occurred. The VBCs successfully applied accelerator technology to increase the no-polymer throughput. For the HSD centrifuges, development efforts were external to the centrifuge using a system approach but did not meet with universal success. And, enabling technologies such as advanced hard face technology and polymer development helped differentiate centrifuge designs for the municipal market. The limit of centrifuge unit capacity was clarification with Sigma being a useful tool for scale-up and comparison. High speed nozzle disk centrifuges with tightly stacked plates had the highest capacity/square foot of floor space. However, there were serious issues with operational reliability due to the grit and amorphous trash common in typical WAS circuits. Therefore, nozzle discharge disc centrifuges were compared against the batch, imperforate basket centrifuge whenever process reliability was not a factor. Decanter centrifuges had the smallest share of the centrifuge market because of high capital and chemical conditioning costs.



The original centrifuge designs for the municipal thickening market were based on configurations used in other industries (see figure 3). Of these, the continuous batch, imperforate basket centrifuge (VBC vertical basket centrifuge) was the most mature design

The continuous batch, imperforate basket centrifuge is the simplest centrifugal thickener design. Mechanical specifications of a common offering of that time are summarized as follows: Sharples SP6500 SludgePak 48"D x 30"L Solid Bowl Centrifuge.

316 stainless steel construction (product contact areas). Maximum bowl speed 1400 rpm. 16 cubic foot capacity. Pneumatic plow assembly, pneumatic skimmer assembly, 3-way skimmer valve. Accelerator ring. Feed tube. Polymer tube. 60 horsepower oilgear hydraulic drive system. 480 Volt / 3 phase / 60 hertz.

figure 3: Centrifuge evolution thickening WAS

Accelerator Technology



Screening, Muti-Screens, Screens/Cyclones

1978 - 2009 ERA OF THE HYDRAULIC ASSIST The SludgePak was a mechanically reliable, low Settling Enhancers operating cost design as indicated by the equipment still Accelerator Technology being advertised on the used Nozzle Bowl CD equipment market (more than Geometry Optimization thirty-five years old). However, the main drawbacks included a) capacity per unit size and b) control of the cake solids level. During this time period, the use of an accelerator ring improved the nominal capacity MOVING FORWARD Pneumatics CENTRISYS ECO HP by 50 percent (40 to 60 gallons From 1978 until today, the per minute); however, the decanter centrifuge has centrifuge needed to go through become the design of choice a cycle which imposed capacity and for centrifugal thickening due to the approximately 36 inches D x 30 inches performance limits. The complete batch emergence of enabling technologies. L. Process wise the designs worked cycle is summarized as follows: well as the solids could be recycled These technologies include the Centrisys patented hydraulic assist to maintain the necessary cake solids 1. Accelerate the bowl to operating consistency. However, the reliability of method and improved hard facing speed (1400 rpm = 1300 G-level at technology. In our next article, we the design was poor to marginal at best. bowl and 800 at pool surface). will examine these current innovative Such designs discharged the 2. Apply feed continuously or thickened sludge through nozzles designs, their applications, and their intermittently as designed (and implications for a growing share of the that were only 0.05 to 0.1 inches in polymer if necessary) at 60 gallons diameter. This resulted in a plugged municipal market for today and the per minute until the bowl fills up centrifuge and the frequent need for future. and the centrate gets dirty. shut down, to dis-assemble, clean and 3. De-accelerate to the plow speed re-assemble. In an attempt to solve REFERENCES (~ 60 rpm). this problem, one and then two sets 1. Townsend, Joseph R., What the Wastewater 4. Insert skimmer to remove inner of screens were used to remove the Plant Engineer Should Know About liquid. oversized particles extending the time Centrifuges, November and December 1969 5. Insert plow assembly to discharge between shut downs to reasonable issue Water and Waste Engineering. the cake solids. levels. Fine sand became another 2. Moll, Richard T. and Letki, Alan G., The Role 6. Repeat Steps 1 5. limitation. Cyclones were used for of Centrifuges in Minimizing/Eliminating the Use of Chemical Additives in Dewatering de-gritting but with limited success; and Thickening of Industrial Wastes, 34th HIGH SPEED DISK CENTRIFUGE cyclone efficiency is determined by Annual Purdue Industrial Waste Conference, lower G-levels where sand below 100 The nozzle discharge, disk centrifuge May 8 10, 1979. operated at the highest G-level and um becomes difficult to separate with 3. Letki, Alan G., New Developments to Reduce a high degree of efficiency. The nozzles used a compressed stack of thin Operating Costs of Centrifuges for Thickening conical plates to further enhance the were presented with another problem and Dewatering Municipal Sludge, New York Water Pollution Control Meeting, New York City, effects of G-level on clarification. that is, excessive wear. Excessive wear January 20, 1981. was difficult to predict as rain and storm More specifically, these centrifuges 4. Silverman, Stephen H., The Humboldt Type operated at G-levels of 3500 (mean water runoff could greatly accelerate B Centrifuge an Effective Tool for Sludge the event resulting in worn nozzles and clarification radius) and 6500 discharge Thickening, Humboldt distributed marketing at the bowl wall. The dimensions were damage at the periphery of the bowl. paper, February 1984.

Finally, continuous decanter centrifuges were used. Sizes as large as 40 inches D and up to 140 inches L could operate at G-levels between 1000 and 2400. A continuous decanter centrifuge consists of the contoured bowl with a close fitting internal conveyer coupled to a back drive system controlling the rate of speed relative to the bowl such that cake solids transport occurs. While higher capacities could be achieved, the operating costs were substantial for both power and polymer consumption. Further, the cake solids were higher than desired due to the designs appropriate for conveying a thin sludge. The main advantage to using the continuous decanter centrifuge was that thickening and dewatering could be performed on the same unit.

Polymer Technology

Wear Protection


PUMP solutions

Intelligent Pumps Offer Energy Efficiency Potential

New pumps maximize mature oil field performance

By Jack Creamer and freddy Jones, Schneider electric

he cost of doing business in the oil and gas sector has risen exponentially in recent years, impacting the entire supply chain. How can you maintain margins while working with such variable costs?



Intelligent pumping, as simply defined by the ARC Advisory Group, is the combination of a pump and a variable frequency drive (VFD) with digital control capability. Although this definition marks the beginning of the trend in intelligent pumping, we now are seeing specific issues driving and expanding the application of intelligent pumps, including energy management, application-specific algorithms, and specific application programs for pump OEMs. At the same time, the term intelligent pumps is broadening to include sensors that collect data and transmit pumping system performance. Following is a snapshot of key attributes of intelligent pump systems, including factors such as variable speed and multiple pump control.

While the building automation industry has embraced intelligent pumps stronglyaccounting for almost 50 percent of all intelligent pumping revenuesmany other industries are following the lead, including oil and gas, water/wastewater, mining and minerals, and pulp and paper. In fact, as illustrated in figure 2, these industry segments have the most to gain from energy savings initiatives. Although many companies focus on things such as HVAC systems and motor retrofits, we can see from figure 3 that pump system upgrades provide far and away the largest energy savings potential. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, intelligent pumping can add as much as 20 percent to a companys bottom line. In addition to energy savings, another key driver for intelligent pumps includes application and customer specific solutions. For example, manufacturers can customize software to either match pumping systems to application needs and pre-load pump data to greatly simplify start up and commissioning requirements.

About the Authors

Jack Creamer is the market segment manager for pumping equipment and Freddy Jones is the manager of offer development at Schneider Electric. For more information, visit . This article is the first in a series exploring new approaches to common pumping industry problems.

36 | JANUARY 2013

dioxide injection and other enhanced recovery techniques To Status Attribute From to boost recovery rates and extend Pump Fixed Variable Available field life. Speed Many operators Flow Internal In Via deploy conventional Available Control Valve Intelligent Pump Control time-on/time-off pump controls upon Pressure Embedded Pump External Available realizing that a FOCUSING ON Controller Sensors Control THE OIL AND rod pump does not Embedded Asset achieve an optimal GAS INDUSTRY Available None Sensors Management One industry where amount of liquid there is particular per stroke. These Integral In Energy Available No Intelligent Pump Conservation controllers stop excitement about intelligent pumping the rod pump for Multiple Engineered Standard Available a predetermined solutions is oil and Pump Control gas, specifically in period to let the oil Control System Via None gather at the bottom the opportunities to Available Integration Fieldbus of the well before improve the output of mature oil fields. starting it again. Although they are Most mature Intelligent Pump Capabilities simple to operate onshore oil wells are not big producers, and effective to varying degrees, with many producing basic on/off timers are not the most efficient solution. less than ten barrels of oil a day. Rod pump (or pumpjack) Process efficiency is most improved with an intelligent systems, progressive cavity pumps (PCP), and electrical pumping solution that employs a variable frequency drive to submersible pumps (ESP) work hard to bring oil to the provide optimal control by varying the speed of the pump surface, and more and more operators are deploying carbon

To date, ARC reports good growth in intelligent pumping system sales as noted in figure 4, forecasting 4 percent annual growth well into the future.

figure 1



PUMP solutions
figure 2
8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000

figure 3
2000 1500 GWhr/Year
Pump system Compress. air sys. Motor upgrade Motor downsizing Replace vs. rewind Fan system Other processing systems


500 0 1-5 HP 6-20 HP 21-50 HP 51-100 HP 101-200 HP 201-500 HP 501-1000 HP 1000+ HP

Pump savings Motor Upgrades Air Compressor Savings Other Savings Fan Savings Downsize Savings Rewind Savings

and maintaining an effective fill level. Efficiency can further be improved by utilizing information about the condition of the well to optimize the pump speed. The ultimate intelligent pumping solution is one that takes advantage of this information in real-time and constantly optimizes the pump speed. In some more shallow wells this can be done by using the motor load information in the drive as the primary data point. Deeper wells should take advantage of load profile information directly from the rod, and ideally, the calculated or downhole load profile information. Systems that employ such a solution can be said to be fully optimized. A typical productivity improvement for such systems might be 5 percent; however the results vary substantially up or down based on the natural performance of the well in its previous un-optimized state. Intelligent pumping solutions provide scalable options for an operator to optimize rod pump systems: 1. Torque Only: Solutions like these use pump motor load information to understand well conditions and determine optimum speed. It is the least costly solution for wells with depths up to over 1600 feet (500 meters). 2. Downhole Card: These solutions use an advanced algorithm to compute the rod load at the bottom of the well. This represents the ultimate solution with the greatest optimization and return on investment. Figure 5 depicts the elements of a pumping solution, including 1. A variable frequency drive to control the pump motor speed. 2. Instrumentation to detect well conditions. 3. An embedded controller to operate the well, read the instrumentation, calculate an optimized speed command for the drive and provide host communication. A fully optimized rod pump is not only more productive but also has a higher availability and longer equipment life. Most of the wear and maintenance issues associated with rod pump operation are significantly reduced as
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the optimized system automatically mitigates operating conditions that cause undue wear (such as, fluid pound, gas compression). Optimized wells also require much less human intervention because the optimization allows the well to adapt to changing conditions automatically. Schneider Electric has seen cases where the maintenancerelated downtime for a rod pump system has been reduced by as much as 80 percent. Even though that may not be typical, it shows how some of these systems that are running open loop are detrimental to the equipment.

figure 4
$(M) 350 340 330 320 310 290 280 270 260 250 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013


Beyond individual rod pump systems, the oil field as a whole can be further optimized by considering the entire field as an enterprise. A smart oil and gas field is defined as a suite of interactive and complementary technologies that allow operators to gather and analyze information from wells to more strategically manage a lease. Put another way, it is a scalable, modular, and collaborative architecture that leverages intelligent pumping solutions and the capabilities

of modern information technology to deliver actionable information directly from a well to the fields central control station. This real-time data can prompt better and timelier decisions that improve production, and ultimately, shift the paradigm from merely operating a lease to figure 5 managing it to its fullest potential. Implementing the smart oil and gas field starts with extending remote communication Drive & to the oil field assets. This Controller includes the rod pump systems as well as other pump system types (PCP, ESP, injection, etc.) and Sensors ancillary equipment such as tank level and flow monitoring applications. To this end, radio and cellular telemetry options are a must for intelligent pumping applications in oil fields. Telemetry can provide remote monitoring and secure control of oil field assets. This simply can be in the form of remote individual operators or more sophisticated central control station operating rooms connected to intelligent pumping systems. This connectivity along with the intelligence of the

individual pumping solutions means fewer interventions in the field to address pump system issues and optimize well performance.

Many owners and operators of small- to medium-sized oil fields are less than motivated to make large capital expenditures in new oil wells. In such an environment, a mark of success is keeping wells consistently pumping and at an optimum level rather than just Load Cell creating new wells. In addition to injection methods, intelligent pumping solutions can represent a more scalable investment to maintain and improve oil field production. In addition, the network connectivity provided by telemetry equipment can provide data for personnel to conduct operational assessments, including costs and payouts, in order to extend and maximize oil field performance.




DEWATERING solutions

The New Math

Adjusted turbulent K factor model resolves operational problems in pumping non-settling slurries
By daniel W. Wood, duPont, and trey Walters, Applied flow technology

case history is presented pertaining to five pumping systems that operated satisfactorily until a new production requirement was imposed on the pumping systems. A new slurry product initially developed at lab scale was introduced into the production plant for an initial trial run. Problems began to surface immediately on three out of five batch process the plant at contract rate. Additionally, significant "heels" (unwanted fluid levels) were left in some of the suction vessels that were unable to be pumped out, resulting in considerable yield losses. This manufacturing problem had not been anticipated by the team, and without quick resolution, a loss of customer confidence and a significant delay in the new product would have resulted. Investigation and analysis of the system revealed two major problem areas in pumping non-settling slurries in laminar regimes:

Initial prediction of head losses through suction piping fittings was flawed using traditional hydraulic loss methods. The original calculations for NPSHA values for the pumps predicted adequate NPSH margin. The fluid was non-Newtonian and was operating in the laminar regime. Upon further investigation, a weakness was revealed in predictions of fitting losses for laminar flow through the pipe fittings. An improved model for predicting losses through pipe fittings was identified and implemented. The improved model matched operational data much better and provided the critical insight needed to resolve the operational problems and get the facility operating. Piping arrangements that allow for features such as clean-out ports (e.g., branch flow tees) can be

figure 1
Representation of pumping systems #1, #3, #4, and #5

figure 2




Representation of pumping system #2

About the Authors

Daniel W. Wood is a rotating machinery consultant for DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware. Trey Walters, P.E., is the president of Applied Flow Technology. For more information, visit and . Portions of this article were presented at the 2012 Texas A&Ms International Pump User Symposium. Learn about the 2013 event at .

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counterproductive to unrestricted flow of the process liquid in systems with non-settling slurries operating in laminar regimes. Tees, elbows, diameter changes, and other fittings can introduce significant head losses in the pumping system. The authors present an improved method for analyzing fitting losses in pumping systems when dealing with non-settling slurries operating in the laminar regime. In addition, design considerations are presented to minimize the impact that piping has on the pumping system when handling non-settling slurries operating in the laminar regime.

rate) or a function of time. This can be observed on the right of figure 3, where the viscosity has no dependence on shear rate (for the solid line, which is Newtonian). A fluid which exhibits a viscosity dependence on the fluid dynamics (e.g., velocity/shear rate) or time is referred to as non-Newtonian. A fluid

in which the shear stress and shear rate follow a straight-line on a log-log plot is referred to as a power law fluid. In practice, this means the viscosity varies for different velocities. In the case of a power law fluid, as the velocity increases, the viscosity decreases. This is also known as shear thinning behavior.

Five batch pumping systems were in place in an existing process plant. In each pumping system, the process liquid is fed into the pump from a large suction vessel which contains a mixer to keep the liquid in a sheared state. The pressure in the vapor space of the suction vessel is atmospheric. The piping from the suction vessel to the pumps is not a straight path in the systems, with some being more complicated than others. The liquid exits the pumps and goes through discharge piping. There is a minimum flow recirculation line in the discharge of each pump that is regulated by a pinch valve. Pumping systems #1, #3, #4, and #5 are transfer systems moving fluid from one tank to another and a representation is shown in figure 1. Pumping system #2 moves the fluid to a machine which interacts with the fluid and this machine requires a minimum inlet pressure and a representation is shown in figure 2. Newtonian fluids cover conventional fluids such as water, where the fluid shear stress is directly proportional to shear rate. The proportionality constant is the viscosity of the fluid. This relationship is observed in the solid line of figure 3 at the left. Here it is apparent that the shear stress varies directly with shear rate. The solid line is for a Newtonian fluid. The viscosity of a Newtonian fluid is not a function of the fluid dynamics (e.g., velocity, which is directly proportional to shear



DEWATERING solutions
figure 3
Description of Problem Prior to the trial of the new process liquid, all five batch systems had moved liquid in a manner satisfactory to production needs. However, after the new product was introduced, three of the five pumping systems developed multiple problems: Significant heels of liquid from 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters) were left in the suction vessels when the pump would cease pumping. Flow rates were not adequate to meet production demands. Inadequate pressure was being delivered downstream to users requiring a certain minimum pressure. Heel Left in Vessels In three of five of the pumping systems, a significant heel was left in the vessel. For the three problem vessels, the pumps initially moved the slurry out of the vessels consistently, and the vessel levels came down steadily. However, when the vessel levels reached 3 to 5 ft (0.9 to 1.5 m), depending on the vessel, the level stopped dropping as the pump flow rapidly dropped to zero. It was not clear at this point if there was a suction issue, a pump issue, or a discharge issue. Two of the five pumping systems did not exhibit problems, even though they were handling the same process liquid. Pumping system #3 did not have an issue. This vessel was continuously fed and the level never dropped below 5 ft (1.9 m) above the centerline of the pump. Pumping system #5 did not leave a heel in the vessel.

Shear Stress

Shear Rate


Shear Rate

Steady shear rheological behavior, shown with shear stress and viscosity as a function of shear rate. Dotted line is shear thinning fluid; solid line is Newtonian fluid.

In this case, the pumped media is a non-settling slurry. The slurry has the characteristic of being shear thinning and acting like a power law fluid. The fluid in this case is not drilling mud, but it looks and behaves somewhat like many drilling muds. The process followed figure 4 to calculate the pressure drop for a power law fluid (and most other nonNewtonian fluids) is to first perform a rheological test on the fluid. A viscometer is used to measure the shear stress at different shear rates. Often the test is done with increasing shear rate and then decreasing shear rate to check for hysteresis. A true power law fluid will not exhibit any significant hysteresis. Inadequate Flow and Pressure This data is then used to Delivered determine the power law For the five systems, three constants. had issues with meeting The viscometer test was flows or downstream pressure done on the fluid in this requirements. Of the three case study. The process of problematic systems, two had Cross section of pump for each system (Courtesy Flowserve Corporation) determining power law flows that were not adequate constants was pursued to keep up with production and the raw rheological data followed a power law model demands. These two systems were simple transfer systems, so quite well. This confirmed the fluid was non-Newtonian in the only thing noticed was a flow inadequacy issue. The one its behavior and that the slurry was non-settling. If the slurry remaining problematic system required the pump to feed a machine downstream, and inadequate pressure was being was of a settling nature the power law model would not have fit the data. Later in this paper the mathematical details of delivered to the machine for it to function properly. how these constants are used to calculate pressure drop will INVESTIGATION be discussed. System Hydraulic Model Once the power law data was applied to the systems in A commercially available software package (Applied Flow question, it was apparent that the Reynolds number was in Technology, 2008) was used to model the systems to better the laminar regime. understand the hydraulics. All five pumping systems were modeled to see if there were differences that might explain Description of Pump why two systems were working, while the other three were The pumps used in the production facility were ASME B73.1 not. The modeling software was able to put in characteristics pumps using open impellers and dual mechanical seals. for a power law fluid. Thus, changes in shear could be The metallurgy of each pump was adequate to handle the accounted for properly. abrasiveness of the slurry.
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figure 5
150 135 120 105

90 75 60 45 30 15

24 100 80 60 40 20 0 %EFF 20 16 12 8 4 0 hp

6 5

virtually down to a zero level. Table 1 shows the original model calculations and breaks down the P for the pipe and fittings, as well as the predicted NPSHA, NPSHR and NPSH margin values. Of course, a minimal heel would still be left in any vessel due to the vortexing and eventual loss of prime that occurs when the vessel level gets too low. Based on the fact that the NPSH showed no problems in the analysis, the focus was turned towards the pump and the discharge piping. Based on the shear rate of the fluid in the suction, it was anticipated that a bulk viscosity of ~200 cp was entering the pump suction. In addition, the pumps were operating at around 60 percent of B.E.P. (Best Efficiency Point). The pumps were configured ideally for pumping a viscous liquid: Operating at 1750 rpm with a viscous fluid, it is best to operate at a low speed to allow the fluid to more easily flow into the pump and keep up with feeding the pump. Operating to the left of B.E.P. centrifugal pump performance (e.g., flow, head, power) is less impacted with a pump operating to the left of B.E.P. when pumping a viscous liquid. There is less deviation on the flow and head produced by the pump in the viscous fluid as compared to its water performance. Viscosity value of 200 cp a value of 200 cp is within the range where a centrifugal pump does not lose significant performance. There was a mixer in the suction vessel to provide initial shear to the liquid as well so it flowed more easily to the pump

TDH ft

3 2 1 0 40 80 120 160 200 Flow (gpm) NPSH 240 280 0 320




Representative Pump Curve at 1750 rpm (all pumps nearly identical except for changes in impeller diameter)

The initial analysis for each pumping system showed that the pumps had enough NPSH margin to pump the tanks




DEWATERING solutions
in the system where flow might be unexpectedly bypassing back to the suction vessel. Each of the P pumps had a minimum recirculation flow bypass P NPSHA NPSHR NPSH Suction line with a manual pinch valve in the line to Suction Margin Flow regulate the flow. It was found that these valves Pipe Pipe ft ft # gpm were grossly oversized. However, they were Fittings ft (m 3/hr) nearly shut to compensate for this. Ultrasonic flow psid (m) (m) measurements were taken and it was found that psid (m) these recirculation lines were not passing more (kPa) flow than expected. (kPa) So everything seemed to check out that the system should perform as expected when running 1 170 0.7 0.5 11.6 4.1 7.5 the hydraulic model. Three pieces of data that did (38.6) (4.8) (3.4) (3.5) (1.2) (2.3) not agree with the model were the heel that was left in the vessel, the flow rates, and the pressure 2 69 0.2 0.1 12.8 2.3 10.5 well downstream of the pump at the user. (15.7) (1.4) (0.7) (3.9) (0.7) (3.2) More abstract theories began to surface as the troubleshooting team grew more desperate. Some 3 114 0.2 0.2 17.4 3.0 14.4 wondered if the fluid was not being sheared (25.9) (1.4) (1.4) (5.3) (0.9) (4.4) enough in the piping and was reverting back to its non-sheared state, which had a viscosity value in 4 95 1.4 0.2 11.2 2.7 8.5 the thousands. (21.6) (9.7) (1.4) (3.4) (0.8) (2.6) One theory hypothesized that the pipe and fittings losses were not modeled correctly for 5 95 0.1 0.1 13.1 2.7 10.4 handling a non-settling slurry operating in (21.6) (0.7) (0.7) (4.0) (0.8) (3.2) the laminar regime. This theory had a lot of Original Hydraulic Model Predictions Using Non-Newtonian Pipe Friction and Standard K Factors for support, since there were still many signs that an Valves and Fittings inadequate NPSH margin was the issue. First, the pumps were moving fluid satisfactorily and then, within a small reduction in suction tank level, the flow Flow data, pressure data at the pump discharge, and would drop to zero. This sudden performance drop-off fit power data were obtained from the field. Unfortunately, well with that of a typical knee curve for NPSH. Figure there was no pressure gauge on the pump suction. At the time the pumps were pumping well, the values for flow, 6 shows a typical knee curve, where there is a dramatic change in pump head once the pump typically gets past the pressure figure 6 3 percent head drop due to a lack of NPSH margin. Second, differential on the three pumping systems that had an issue, there were across the numerous branch tees, valves, and elbows in the suction pump, Knee and power piping. The two pumping systems that did not have an issue had fewer pipe fittings in the suction piping. Thus, the team matched the began to investigate how the hydraulic losses should be predicted performance handled for pipe fittings. curve well. Thus, it was COMPARISON OF ATKF METHOD TO felt there PUBLISHED METHODS was no The equation seen here will be called the Adjusted Turbulent problem with K Factor (ATKF) method. To apply the method, take the the pump standard (turbulent) K factor and multiply it by the relevant NPSH performance. (upstream) pipe friction factor, f, at actual conditions (and However, Reynolds number) and NPSH breakdown curve when the divide it by the turbulent pumps friction factor, fturb, entered the regime where they stopped pumping, flow went evaluated at a very large to zero, discharge pressure dropped off considerably, and Reynolds number (108) power dropped off considerably. for the upstream pipe. The discharge piping was rather long on each of the A study was systems. Two of the systems had an excessive number of undertaken to evaluate fittings in the discharge, including many sharp branch flow this equations against tees, 45 degree bends, 90 degree bends, abrupt diameter published data. A comparison for a 10 foot (3 meter) long, changes, and pinch style valves. The initial system model steel pipe with fluid with the density of water but various viscosity values (to adjust Reynolds number) was performed. again predicted there should be no problem delivering the Two cases were considered: 2-inch (5-cm) and 24-inch (60required flows and pressures needed. cm) diameter. Inside each pipe were 12 elbows of r/D = 1.5. The troubleshooting focus then shifted to any other points

table 1

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Head, H

figure 7

figure 8

1. No fittings 2. Fittings with K=3.17 (No Corrections)


1. No fittings 2. Fittings with K=3.17 (No Corrections) 3. Fittings with 3K Method (Darby)

Head Gradient (ft/ft or m/m)

3. Fittings with 3K Method (Darby) 4. Equivalent Length L/D=16 5. Adjusted Turbulent K Factor Method (Eq. 12)

Head Gradient (ft/ft or m/m)


4. Equivalent Length L/D=16 5. Adjusted Turbulent K Factor Method (Eq. 12)






0.1 100









0.001 100









Reynolds Number
Example for 2-inch (5-cm) pipe of dimensionless head gradient for various calculation methods shows Adjusted Turbulent K Factor (Case 5) closely follows the 3-K method (Case 3) and Equivalent Length method (Case 4).

Reynolds Number
Example for 24-inch (60-cm) pipe of dimensionless head gradient for various calculation methods shows Adjusted Turbulent K Factor (Case 5) closely follows the 3-K method (Case 3) and Equivalent Length method (Case 4).

Five Cases Compared 1. No fittings in the pipe. 2. Fittings of 12 elbows of 1.5 r/D (with a total K of 3.17 for 2-inch diameter and 2.02 for 24-inch), but no corrections. This assumes the elbow laminar K factor is the same as the turbulent K factor. 3. Darby 3-K method for 12 elbows (see Darby, 2001, pp. 209). 4. Equivalent length of 12 elbows with Leq/D = 16 (see Darby, 2001, pp. 209 and Cameron Hydraulic Data, 1995). 5. Adjusted turbulent K factor method. Figure 7 shows the results for dimensionless head gradient (loss of head per length of pipe) on a log-log plot for the 2-inch (5-cm) case. One would not expect Case 1 to match the others, as no fittings were included. It is a baseline case included for comparison. Hence the head gradient was less than the other cases. However, Case 1 does illustrate how Case 2 works in the laminar regime. It is apparent that Case 2 (with the uncorrected, standard turbulent K factor) grossly underpredicts the head loss at low Reynolds numbers. Case 2 agrees with Cases 3-5 at high Reynolds number, but agrees with Case 1 at low Reynolds number. This is a result of using turbulent, high Reynolds number K factors for low Reynolds number applications. Cases 3, 4, and 5 all agree fairly well throughout the entire range of Reynolds numbers. Figure 8 shows the results on a log-log plot for 24-inch (60cm) pipe. The trends are the same as in figure 7, except there is a larger difference at Reynolds numbers of 10,000- 100,000. The conclusion from figures 7 and 8 is that the ATFK method allows reasonable adjustment of turbulent K factor pressure loss data for valves and fittings to laminar applications. Because figures 7 and 8 are log-log plots, the magnitude of the differences between Cases 3-5 appear to be smaller

than they are in an absolute sense. Obviously Case 5 is closer to Cases 3 and 4, while Case 2 (which ignores laminar adjustments) is different by 1-2 orders of magnitude at low Reynolds numbers. However, at Reynolds numbers equal to 1, there is a difference of 25 to 40 percent between Cases 3, 4 and 5. Arguably, Case 3 (the Three-K method) is the most accurate of all the methods. The ATKF method of Case 5 underpredicts the pressure drop by about 25 percent in figure 8 for 24-inch (60-cm) pipe. Tables 4 and 5 show the actual K factors behind figures 7 and 8 so the various methods can be more precisely compared.


Based on these cases, ATKF method is a reasonable substitute for the Three-K method over a wide range of Reynolds numbers, and is recommended for use should laminar data be unavailable. The Case 5 ATKF method is much more accurate than Case 2 at low Reynolds numbers. Moreover, the ATKF method is suitable for all valve and fitting calculations whether they be laminar, turbulent, Newtonian or non-Newtonian. In cases where turbulent flow exists, the adjustment factor will just converge to 1 so no impact will be observed on the conventional calculation methods. In cases where more precise laminar data is available for valves and fittings then such data would be preferred over the ATKF method. Note that the ATKF method agrees better with the Three-K method than does the Equivalent Length method at low Reynolds numbers. Even so, use of the Equivalent Length method in its normal form (Case 4) rather than the standard, unadjusted K factor method (Case 2) would have yielded more reasonable results in this case study. The entire pumping issue might have been avoided. However, similar to the Two-K and Three-K methods, Equivalent Length data is not as readily available as K factor data and its use in this case study might not have been practical.



an Biby learned it all the hard way. An ordeal concerning several inverter-controlled pump motors with bearing damage made him a believer in the need for shaft grounding.


Although destructive currents can occur in any motor, they are considerably more common in motors controlled by energy-saving inverters, also known as variable frequency drives (VFDs) or simply as drives. VFDs can save 30 percent or more in energy costs, but, whether used to control a motors speed or torque, they often induce motor-shaft voltages that damage bearings. This cumulative degradation of bearings is apparently caused by repetitive and extremely rapid pulses applied to the motor from a modern VFDs non-sinusoidal power-switching circuitry. The many names used to describe this phenomenon include parasitic capacitance, capacitive coupling, and common mode voltage. In fact, the costly repair or replacement of failed motor bearings can wipe out any savings that a VFD yields and severely diminish the reliability of an entire system. General contractors and consulting-specifying engineers (CSEs) end up with unhappy customers, who discover only after bearings fail that most warranties do not cover electrical bearing damage. This leads to a lot of finger pointing, and typically the CSE and the end user get stuck with the repair costs.

through reverse osmosis (forcing through membranes) and aeration. The water is then diluted with water from uncontaminated wells across town before it is pumped to the citys water towers. All of the pump motors are controlled by VFDs that provide adjustability in flow rate and pressure.

Unfortunately, within two months of the plants completion in 2009, one of the high-service, 250-horsepower vertical motors that pump to the water towers was making a lot of noise. It was the telltale whine of fluted bearings, and Biby soon found himself in charge of a remediation project that would last more than two years.


An electrical engineer with Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC) of Wichita, Kansas, Dan Biby helped design a new water treatment plant for the city of Hutchinson, Kansas. The Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Center has the capacity to pump ten million gallons of drinking water per day. The result of more than twenty years of negotiations between government agencies and polluters, the plant is the solution to a groundwater contamination problem. Pumps lift contaminated water from beneath an industrial area and remove most of its volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Left: A vertical hollow-shaft pump motor (such as these at the Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Center in Hutchinson, Kansas) is designed to minimize vibration. Although the pump is below the motor, the top end provides thrust to the shaft and is therefore considered the drive end.


MOTOR solutions
Hutchinson. The engineering firm and the city shared the costs. To keep the water plant up and running, they shut down and shipped only one or two motors at a time. Before IEMCO worked its magic on each ailing motor, the shop sent a technician to Hutchinson to measure the shaft voltage. Later, back in Kansas City, the team replaced the bearings, coated the thrust-bearing carrier, and installed an AEGIS shaft grounding ring next to the guide bearing. An IEMCO representative was also present at the plant for the re-installation and startup of each reconditioned motor, Shaft motor to confirm that voltages were below the level at which they could damage bearings. As far as Im concerned, IEMCO is the best around, says Biby. I dont think there are very many motor shops with their level of experience installing AEGIS rings on these motors. The most important factor is that the rings need to be installed properly. With so many motor A PROVEN SOLUTION types and frame sizes, every Through trial-and-error installation has to be looked and much hard work, at as a separate case. IEMCO does that. And it is one of a Independent Electric has developed the Vertical Motor very few motor repair shops Solution, a virtually foolproof that provides a warranty on the bearings against VFDprocess to prevent electrical induced bearing damage for bearing damage caused by the life of the motor. They stray shaft currents in vertical hollow-shaft motors. obviously know their stuff. For six years, Scott Wilkins, After the first ten the companys manager of damaged motors had been motor shop operations, has reconditioned successfully, overseen the reconditioning Koci sent the water plants of hundreds of these vertical remaining seven pump motors (most of which run motors directly to IEMCO, pumps), none of which has at the citys expense. To The proprietary Vertical Motor Solution developed by Independent Electric had repeat bearing failure. some degree, this was for Machinery Company uses a well-tooled, ceramic-coated carrier and an AEGIS Bearing Protection Ring to block and divert currents that would otherwise damage Notes Wilkins, The green preventive maintenance, motor bearings. movement has dramatically since bearing damage was increased the use of drives less advanced in some of to save energy, especially in new construction. As a result, these motors than in others. Four were horizontal pump we often see the problem in the motors at new water or motors, in which IEMCO installed an AEGIS ring at the wastewater treatment plants, for example. nondrive end and ceramic-coated bearings at the drive end. IEMCO usually works on motors with failed bearings, so I have to say I have been impressed with IEMCOs work, the bearings have to be replaced during the process. After their responsiveness, and their follow-up, says Koci. They replacing the ruined, pitted bearings, his team installs a understood the critical nature of these motors, and they shaft grounding ring next to a vertical motors guide (lower) turned them around quickly. bearing and, using proprietary techniques, applies ceramic By the end of 2011, all seventeen of the plants pump insulation to the carrier that holds the thrust (upper) bearing motors were protected from electrical bearing damage. in place at the motors drive end. For medium-voltage Today, they are all still running without any problems. motors, Wilkins uses the larger AEGIS iPRO grounding ring, which is designed to accommodate generator/motor shafts HINDSIGHT IS 20/20 up to 30 inches in diameter. Needless to say, Biby is glad to have the problems behind him. When he and his colleagues started designing the water CITY SHARED THE COSTS plant, AEGIS grounding rings were not yet on the market. Coordinating the remediation with Biby was Don Koci, But the Hutchinson experience made them rethink the way superintendent of water treatment systems for the city of they dealt with potential bearing damage.
48 | JANUARY 2013

The motor manufacturer replaced the bearings on that first motor, Biby recalls. But when we soon had the same problem with the rest of the motors, the manufacturer concluded, This isnt a bearing problem, its something else. Biby shipped some motors to a repair shop, but soon after they were re-installed the noise began again. All parties agreed the repairs had been inadequate, and Biby was able to recoup some of the cost. Then he tried Independent Electric Machinery Company (IEMCO), a Kansas City motor repair shop. We had never experienced this vertical hollow phenomenon in this magnitude, Biby continues. It was a pretty exhausting process to find out what was causing it, and Scotts team [Scott Wilkins and his colleagues at IEMCO] was a lot of help. Once we finally agreed that drive-induced shaft voltage was the culprit, we started shipping the motors to IEMCO for repair.

The main reasons we are using the rings on all of our jobs are the costs of the downtime, the replacement costs, and the work thats necessary. If youre specifying drives and motors, you should be dealing with this up front. If you install the rings beforehand, you can avoid these problems altogether. And the cost is pretty insignificant when you look at the total cost of a large project. Remarking on the reluctance of suppliers to take responsibility for the Hutchinson motors, Biby observes, Everyone washed their hands of the problem and said it was somebody elses fault. Sure, drives are drives, and everybodys drive does it, but that doesnt mean we dont need to deal with it. Also, drives are changing every day, and with all of the different ways they work, how can a motor manufacturer possibly keep up with them all? Even so-called inverter-duty motors are not really fully designed for use with VFDs. Theyre just not. Thats the consulting engineers jobto stay ahead of that. Wilkins has seen serious electrical bearing damage in vertical motors as small as 30 horsepower, though he says the damage is more rapid and evident in motors above 100 horsepower. The elephant in the room, however, is the growing awareness throughout the industry that these motorsall motors, in factcould be built to withstand shaft currents in the first place. A few forward-looking motor manufacturers have recently added the AEGIS SGR Bearing Protection Ringthe same brand IEMCO usesas a standard feature on certain models, but retrofitting is still the most common way to prevent electrical bearing damage.


An AEGIS Bearing Protection Ring, mounted in the lower bearing retainer of a vertical pump motor.

Key to the AEGIS Bearing Protection Rings effectiveness is its patented Nanogap Technology, which ensures superior contact/noncontact grounding protection for the normal service life of the motors bearings. The AEGIS rings unique design includes proprietary conductive microfibers arranged in a continuous circle around the motor shaft, providing hundreds of thousands or even millions of contact and noncontact voltage discharge points. When the AEGIS ring is installed, its conductive microfibers overlap the motor shaft and, over time, slowly wear to fit the shaft surface perfectly, continuing to maintain excellent electrical contact throughout the life of the bearing. Electron transfer technology includes three distinct current-transfer processes that work simultaneously:
A carrier from a vertical pump motor, coated with ceramic insulation by Independent Electric Machinery Company, using proprietary techniques.


Weve learned a lot, says Biby. We have since adjusted our motor specifications so that all new motors that will be connected to VFDs will be equipped with shaft grounding rings like AEGIS . We insist that the shaft grounding devices be factory installed or installed by a reputable motor shop with expertise in the proper installation of the devices. We also specify that if these devices are not factory installed, a third party shall be engaged to test the installation to ensure no shaft currents are present. And lastly, we require a warranty against VFD-induced bearing damage or failure for the life of the motor.

1. Tunneling of Electrons: This mechanism is based on the ability of electrons to tunnel across an insulating barrier, and works for gaps smaller than 2 nm. 2. Field Emissions of Electrons: Field emission is a form of quantum tunneling whereby electrons move through a barrier in the presence of a high electric field. It provides grounding across gaps of 2 nm to 5 m. 3. Townsend Avalanche of Gaseous Ions: This process results from the cascading effect of secondary electrons released by collisions and the impact ionization of gas ions accelerating across gaps greater than 5 m. These noncontact nanogap processes provide highly effective electron transfereven in the presence of grease, oil,


MOTOR solutions
to ground, because of the Hertzian point contact of the thrust bearing and the load that it is placed under. So we have to eliminate that current path via insulation on the carrier. Many motor manufacturers and repair shops use carriers fabricated from inferior metals, inappropriate coatings, or application protocols that fail to ...AND A SYSTEMATIC provide long-lasting protection. APPROACH For vertical hollow-shaft To apply the coating of ceramic, motors, IEMCOs systematic IEMCO uses a tightly controlled approach requires the AEGIS flame-spray welding procedure. ring to remove the voltage To minimize subsequent wear on the coated surface, proper and a well-tooled carrier to control the voltage until it is bearing fit is of the utmost importance, so Wilkins team removed, so it doesnt transfer to attached equipment. grinds each newly coated carrier Some carriers conduct to very tight tolerances. The finished carrier has a hardness electricity, but Wilkins is The Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Center, Hutchinson, Kansas. convinced that a carrier of Rockwell 50C and provides a resistance of more than 1 should be electrically isolated, gigohm at 1000 volts. The National Electrical Manufacturers disconnecting the motor from the pump shaft electrically though not mechanically. In addition to protecting the motors Association (NEMA) standard for carrier isolation is only 1 megohm at 500 volts. thrust bearing from electrical damage, this keeps shaft currents IEMCO is by no means the first motor repair shop to realize from jumping to the bearings of the pump itself, or to the that coating the bearing carrier with an insulating material is a bearings of a gearbox, tachometer, encoder, and so on. good idea. But it may be the first shop to do it right. Wilkins elaborates, Its the combination that does it. The Frankly, its a technique that we feel we have perfected, grounding ring does a great job, but the ring in a vertical says Wilkins. With a vertical hollow-shaft motor, after weve motor is competing for the current that exists in the possible added the grounding ring and upgraded the carrier, the motor path of the thrust bearing. Weve found that in vertical is truly inverter-ready. applications the thrust bearing can be a lower-impedance path dust, and other contaminantsand are unaffected by motor speed. Because no other grounding product works with both contact and noncontact electron transfer, no other product offers the long-term, maintenance-free performance of the AEGIS ring.

50 | JANUARY 2013

MOTOR solutions

By eric ford, graphite metallizing

About the Author

Eric Ford is the director of sales and marketing at Graphite Metallizing and can be reached at For more information about Graphite Metallizing and its products, visit or call 914.968.8400.

52 | JANUARY 2013

rigen-Kansas City Energy Corporation, a Veolia company, provides centrally produced steam and chilled water to customers in the Kansas City, Missouri, central business district and cogenerates electricity. A Floway VU vertical turbine pump captures up to 24,000 gallons per minute of water from the silt-laden Missouri River to feed chillers and steam generators. In the past, particulate in the water caused the bronze-backed rubber bushings to fail after approximately thirty months, requiring the company to spend $60,000 to replace them along with shafts. JCI Industries, a local trigen-Kansas City provider of pump and energy Corporation, electric motor repair Kansas City services also based in Kansas City, suggested switching to Graphallast, a natural rubber-based self-lubricating bearing material from Graphite Metallizing that is especially suited for continuous operation when submerged in liquids containing abrasives such as sand, sewage, and so on. The new bushings performed without any problems for five years. At that point, they were removed during scheduled maintenance and showed no signs of wear. The decision was made to replace them anyway but JCI calculates that the new bushings have saved $120,000 by twice eliminating the need to replace bushings and shafting.


Trigen-Kansas City serves approximately sixty customers in the central business district with more than four million square feet of commercial space. The companys production capacity for Kansas City includes 1.3 million pounds per hour of steam, 10,200 tons of chilled water, and 5 megawatts of electric generation capacity. The company operates a network of 6.5 miles (10.4 kilometers) of steam and 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) of chilled water distribution pipes. Major customers include the chemicals and agrifoods industry, federal, county and city government facilities, an arena, and hotels. JCI serves a wide range of markets including municipal, food, chemical, petroleum, utilities, and general process industries. JCI maintains over $2.5 million in inventory dedicated to supporting the needs of its customers. This inventory includes pumps, motors, repair kits, and OEM replacement parts. The company is committed to stocking high quality products and delivering them in a timely and cost efficient manner. Over $50 million in manufacturer inventory is available to JCI through factory maintained computer networks.


Boating fans find the Missouri Rivers sandy bottom and multitude of pristine sandbars especially inviting, says Dave Knight, Service Manager for JCI Industries. But that same sand wreaks havoc on pump bushings. People that


MOTOR solutions
it was necessary to first of all pull the arent familiar with the conditions here will typically specify standard metal pump which cost about $10,000 in bearing materials, only find to find that and of itself because this operation they give out quickly. I have never seen required removing the roof from the a metal bushing pump house and River Pump house that could hiring a crane survive for long to lift the pump. while having Then technicians sandy water inspected the continually entire pump sloshing around for wear and in it. damage and When the usually ended pump was up replacing originally the shafting, installed, JCI machining the and Trigenflanges and Kansas City verifying the fits. engineers The cost of the specified rubber entire process bushings with was typically bronze backing around $60,000. for the Floway Replacing the Model VU single bearings also stage vertical took the pump pumps. The 52out of service for foot (15.8-meter) several weeks. long VU pump is Trigen operates a close coupled, a spare pump single turbine and during most pump with a of the year one fabricated head pump is enough discharging above ground. The intake to service the companys customers. end of the pump is submerged 7 feet However, during the peak cooling (2.1 meters) into the river. Its capacity season, July and August, and the peak ranges up to 35,000 gallons per minute heating season, January and February, (7950 cubic meters per hour), and it is rated for pressure up to 200 pounds per square inch (13.8 bars). We have used bushings from Graphite Metallizing in a wide range of applications with excellent results, says Dave Knight, Service Manager for JCI Industries. Our first experience with the company was when we used bushings made from their GRAPHALLOY material in pumps in refineries. The refinery occasionally experienced upsets that destroyed conventional metal bearings due to galling or crusting. GRAPHALLOY provides a constant, low coefficient of friction, is self-lubricating, non-galling, and provides thermal shock resistance to protect against catastrophic failure. GRAPHALLOY bearings eliminated catastrophic failure and provided much longer life in these applications. Later, JCI heard about Graphallast, a natural rubber based self-lubricating bearing material that survives run-dry conditions that destroy conventional plain rubber and many plastic bearings. The material permits tight bearingto-shaft clearances for improved rotor stability and reduced vibration levels. Tough, hard and resilient, the bearing material is especially suited for continuous operation when submerged in liquids containing abrasives. JCI proposed using the Graphallast GM 801 material in the pump application. Dimensions were



This pump was fitted with rubber bearing material in the line shaft and bowl bushings. These bushings are designed for abrasive liquids but still did not provide satisfactory life in this application. JCI uses Rockwell Automation vibration monitoring equipment to help identify early signs of bushing wear so they can be replaced before they cause extensive damage to the pump. This monitoring equipment consistently indicated that the previously used rubber bushings should be replaced at about thirty months from when they were installed. Replacing the bushings was a major operation because of the likelihood of damage to other critical components. In the past, when the bearings failed

The switch to Graphallast bearings saved Trigen-Kansas City approximately $120,000 by eliminating the need for pulling the pump twice and replacing the bushings and shaft. This application continues our excellent experience with Graphite Metallizing wear products, which we have used on many different applications without experiencing a single catastrophic failure.

there are times when demand exceeds the capacity of a single pump. So its important to detect bearing wear problems well in advance so that any necessary work can be done outside of peak seasons.

obtained and JCI engineers worked with Graphite Metallizing engineers to generate detailed designs. The new material made it possible to tighten up clearances in the bushings, which helps reduce vibration and noise. The

54 | JANUARY 2013

material was ordered and installed in the line shaft and bowl section of the pump. The shafts were coated with tungsten carbide. When the new bushings were installed, the reduction in noise and vibration was immediately noticeable. The bushings were checked with vibration monitoring equipment on a regular basis. Each test indicated that the bushings were in good condition and did not need to be replaced. Despite these indications that the bushings were still good, the customer asked that the pump be pulled and the bushings removed for inspection five years after they were originally installed.


The inspection showed only minor wearthe bearings clearly had many more years of life in them, Knight says. However, the customer made the decision to replace the bushings since the pump had already been removed and the cost of replacing the bushings was much smaller than pulling the pump. We also recoated the shafts and journals with tungsten carbide. This job cost about $60,000 and was the only maintenance expended on the pump bushings in the five years since they were installed. We have also found Graphite Metallizing to be very easy to work with, Knight adds. They provide many different grades with varying levels of hardness and chemical resistance that handle a very wide range of applications. We call their engineering department and give them the specifications of a new application and they recommend the best-suited material. They can either provide us with completely machined and ready to install bushings or blocks of material that we machine to final specs in our shop. This makes it possible to keep the semi-finished material on hand so we can quickly finish it in our machine shop to meet our customers requirements. The result is that our inventory is much smaller. The switch to Graphallast bearings saved Trigen-Kansas City approximately $120,000 by eliminating the need for pulling the pump twice and replacing the bushings and shaft, Knight says. This application continues our excellent experience with Graphite Metallizing wear products, which we have used on many different applications without experiencing a single catastrophic failure.



These Are The DroiDs Youre Looking For!

Robotic inspection and cleaning solutions for nuclear power and other power generation industries
By mike Castorina, Nex generation Solutions (WedA Water)

or at least the past three decades, industry has come to rely more and more on robotics to preform important tasks in day-to-day operation. Far from the vision of humanlike robots presented in science fiction movies, the robots of science fact are built around efficient and functional designs that prepare them for their specific jobs. Todays operations personnel, rather than seeing robots as competitors, now view these devices as important tools to help them meet their goals with greater efficiency, effectiveness, and safety.


Nex Generation (WEDA) specializes in utilizing its own robotic technology to provide

About the Author

Mike Castorina is the vice president of business and project development for Nex Generation Solutions. He can be reached at 412.965.0702 or

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inspecting and cleaning services for industrial applications, such as the nuclear power and other power generation industries. The core methodology is to inspect a facility first and then create a baseline of the storage applications (that is, tanks, service water basins, cooling towers, etc.) in question to determine if additional services, such as, sedimentation and sludge cleaning requirements. When a job is deemed too limiting or potentially hazardous for a person to complete, this does not mean people are completely out of the equation. It is important to provide service teams who are trained to operate and deliver high quality services in areas and conditions unsuitable for workers in confined spaces. The following are the primary remote operated vehicles (ROVs) that we use for inspection and cleaning services. Free Swimming ROV Inspection Machines If it is determined that cleaning services are required, we would deploy our robotic cleaning machines into the water storage containers (for example, tanks, residual heat return

service water, or emergency service water basins) to scrub and extract the accumulated sludge, sedimentation, and debris that has settle on the bottom of these containers. The Nex Gen cleaning machines are remote operated vehicles (ROVs) that are designed to clean these storage applications on-line and while they remain in service. VR-600 Robotic Tank Machine Cleans On-line Without Draining Utilizing advancing technology, robotic cleaners take the place of antiquated drain and clean approaches and alleviate the need to place divers into confined space areas. Avoiding having to deal with additional contractors during turnarounds, plants can use these machines to inspect and clean while the systems remain in service. CS-600 Cooling Tower Machine Cleans While the Tower Is in Service We specialize in inspecting and cleaning difficult applications, such as cooling towers, which are normally drained and cleaned during a plant outage. Nex Gen Services




offers a unique solution to clean large outdoor service water ponds that are usually lined or concrete basins. Our large ROV Cleaner provides an alternative to draining and manual cleaning. N-600 ROV Cleaner: Reprocessing and Decommissioning Services The WEDA N-600 robotic machine is designed to clean both radioactive and non-radioactive ponds that are used for cleaning maintenance and in the decommissioning process. Our approach will produce more effective and efficient results, and the days of emptying storage applications will drastically be reduced. Nex Gen Services provides a detailed video (DVD format) from both our ROV inspection cleaning services. It allows operators to know that we delivered thorough underwater services while the systems remained in service and on-line from a production and process standpoint.
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As robotic inspection and cleaning solutions become an industry standard, no longer will tanks and water storage applications have to be taken out of service for an evaluation or to be cleaned. Robotic machines remove the danger of confined space entry or hazardous condition issues with divers. In fact, with an experienced operator at the controls, tasks once believed too costly, time consuming, or risky may one day become routine. For example, from a market attraction stand point, Nex Gen has been getting a good deal of requests for cleaning underneath cooling tower basins at plants. Also, conditions that once would take hours and hours away from production due to cold conditions can now be completed more quickly, as machines do not get cold.

Nex Gen also are a reseller of a machine designed to work and operate in the radiation (RAD) environment. Both units run on 480 volt, 3 phase power and are equipped with a built in pump system (3-inch pump) versus operating under a vacuum system solution that draws from a surface pumpa feature unique to these applications. Nex Gen pumps generate between 180 to 195 gallons per minute and are capable of pumping up to 35 feet of dead head height. The units also have built-in power brush systems designed to break up and extract sedimentation and even stubborn sludge that accumulates on the floors of the tanks. Each of these machines is designed to fit into the most common hatch/manhole size, which is 24 inches. The ROV approach will produce more effective and efficient results, and the days of diving and emptying tanks will drastically be reduced.

PROCESSING solutions

Rotary Pump

Performs Hot & Heavy Job

Black liquor pumped from paper mills storage tank to ship
By Sarah long, lobePro Rotary Pumps

ou wouldnt want black liquor, a byproduct of paper mill production, on the menu of your next cocktail party. And, to be frank, even at a paper mill, you dont want it. The materialwith a viscosity of 10,000 cPs at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) and specific gravity of 1.05looks like a mixture of roofing tar and seaweed. Black liquor requires great expenditures in energy and resources to move and dispose of, so any advantages in efficiency are welcome. After inspecting one paper mills needs, engineers at LobePro selected the SL 266 D rotary pump powered by a Perkins 1104T engine to handle the job.


To pump off black liquor in any process presents a challenge for a pump system, but the circumstances of this application are especially demanding. The application requires transferring the black liquor from a storage tank and pumping it through 700 feet (213 meters) of 8-inch (20-centimeter) pipe through multiple fittings. In addition to those potential obstacles, gravity would be working against the system as the black liquor needs to climb 30 feet (9 meters) in elevation to an awaiting ship. The port terminal managers objective was to transfer 1000 barrels per houra high but essential standard if the application would prove cost-effective. This was an ambitious objective for the plant, as moving black liquor had always presented

About the Author

Sarah Long is the marketing manager for LobePro Rotary Pumps. To learn more about LobePro Rotary Pumps, visit or call 912.466.0304.

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problems in the past. Many types of pumps bog down due to the materials viscosity, whereas the materials heft demands a very strong power source.


After hearing about the application and the fact that the customer had not had much success pumping this material with other types of pumps, LobePro decided to put together a diesel driven unit for the port terminal to try out. LobePros Pensacola sister company branch manager Matt Hall and service man Shane Davis went on-site and assisted in hooking the unit up. The task required using high pressure Coast Guard rated hoses. The initial pump off was excellent for the first few hours with the black liquor at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) then the discharge amount slowly decreased through the rest of the pump offby which time the black liquor was down to 105 (40 degrees Celsius). Samples were taken of the material and sent for testing at LobePros test facility.

100 PSI for twenty-two hours until the ship was loaded. The port terminals managers were very pleased with the production and plan to continue with this material and pump at their terminal. By taking the extra time to analyze the material, the LobePro team was able to collaborate with the port

terminal management and create an effective and long-lasting solution to the port terminals pump needs. LobePros team of engineers prides themselves on providing specialized, positive solutions to their customers pumping problems. Only by working to understand the problem can they find the right solution.


The viscosity of the black liquor was tested with a Brookfield Viscometer. LobePro engineers determined that at 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) the viscosity was 20,000 cPs, and at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) the viscosity was reduced to 10,000 cPs. The 10,000 cPs viscosity at the higher temperature is easier for the pump to move through the pipeline. Engineers shared the viscosity results with the port terminals management and they agreed that they needed to evenly heat up their product to the higher level and maintain this temperature throughout the pumping cycle to meet their pumping objectives. This required repairing a broken heating coil in their heater. LobePros team also discussed changing the size of the pipe from 8 inches (20 centimeters) to 12 inches (30 centimeters) to reduce the friction loss during the pumping process.


This extra testing and investment proved critical to the success of the application. During the next pump off the SL266D pump maintained a 1200 to 1300 barrel per hour pump off rate with a discharge pressure of


PROCESSING solutions

double trouble
Two examples prove how small miscalculations can spell big problems
By Juned Ansari, torishima Service Solutions

here are various reasons associated with The pumps were taking suction from the cooling tower sump. underperformance of a pump or blower. In the The water returned to the cooling tower top after going through following two cases, performance testing yielded the process. Table 1 shows the design and measured parameters positive and cost-effective results in the chemical industry, for this particular pump. directly affecting the operating efficiency of the machine and It was observed that the pump is running exceptionally to the the system as a whole. In both cases, a comparison of the right of the duty point and was prone to high flow cavitation. designed and measured Moreover, the flow was not performances reveals reaching the cooling tower table 1: design and measured parameters for Case #1 improvements that would top when the pump was Design Parameters Values Measured Parameters Values otherwise have been running in solo due to the overlooked in the day-tovery reason that the pump 1035 Flow (m 3/h) 1378 Flow (m 3/h) day operations or the initial was not generating enough 42 Head (m) 20.5 Head (m) system design. head to cope up with the 51.3 87 Efficiency (%) BEP (%) system resistance. OPERATIONAL Moreover, at the operating Water Fluid Water Fluid MALPRACTICE LEADS point, NPSH available (24.6 160 Input Power (kW) 156.2 Rated Power (kW) TO POOR EFFICIENCY feet; 7.5 meters) was less Case #1, from an Indian than the NPSH required Speed (RPM) 1487 Rated Speed (RPM) 1487 (26.9 feet; 8.2 meters), chemical processing NPSH available (m) 7.5 NPSH required (m) 8.2 facility, reveals how which caused the pump operational malpractices to cavitate. This was also the reason for high vibration. These brand new pumps; if run lead the pump to operate off BEP (best efficiency point). under these conditions for long, would definitely have caused Besides poor efficiency, high vibrations were observed in four damage to the impeller. pumps arranged in parallel.

About the Author

Juned Ansari is the senior technical services engineer at Torishima Service Solutions FZCO. He can be reached at

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table 2: design and measured parameters for Case #2

Design Parameters Flow (m 3/h) Values 569 25 83 SG1.3 90 1475 1.65bar Measured Parameters Flow (m3/h) Values 269 27.8 44 SG1.3 61 1475 0.65bar

Head (m) BEP (%) Fluid Rated Power (kW) Rated Speed (RPM) Pressure at Nozzle

Head (m) Efficiency (%) Fluid Input Power (kW) Speed (RPM) Pressure at Nozzle

table 3: Comparison table for Case #2

Pre Replacement Performance Flow Rate (l/s) Pump Head (m) Power (kW) Efficiency (%) Pumping Cost (kWh/Ml) Saving for Same Flow (Rs.) 74.6 27.8 60.6 43.9 225.4 Post Replacement Performance 151.2 34.0 98.6 67.4 181.2 458,571 Relative % Change 102.7 22.3 62.7 53.9 -19.6 -

The plant manager was instructed to check the flange joints and the suction pipe line for any air ingress; as it causes the pumps capacity to deteriorate. It was also recommended to run more pumps in parallel to achieve the desired flow through the system. This change in operation improved the individual pump efficiency to 82 percent, saving on both the power demands and the overall cost of the system. Rather than poor performance draining the efficiency of the other pumps in the system, the domino effect would now extend in a positive direction.


Case #2 highlights how design stage miscalculations can spell big troubles when a processing plant begins actual operation. The pump that was tested was not giving the desired flow through the system. Table 2 shows the design and measured parameters. The significant difference between the two clearly indicates a problem. This pump was taking suction from an open sump with flooded suction. The fluid was then being sent to the cooling tower approximately 53 feet (16 meters) high through eight equally spaced nozzles in the cooling tower. After passing through electrolysis cells, the cooled liquid returns to the same sump. The pressure of the fluid just before the nozzle was only 0.65 bar instead of the

required pressure of 1.65 bar. The pump was selected without considering the presence of nozzles; hence, it failed to provide the desired flow. It was recommended to install a bigger impeller in the existing pump to achieve the desired performance. This measure also reduced the specific power consumption of the pump, as shown in Table 3. Now that this design element has been accounted for, the pump has been running efficiently for the last nine months without any problems. As in Case #1, accurate measurement of the system yielded sufficient data to diagnose and improve the systems efficiency. However, this practice is not as common as it should be. Some plant operators are hesitant to add to the often demanding requirements of their daily operations to include more precise performance monitoring, even though improvements like these can be the result.


Case studies like these are the success stories for any organization, and performance testing can assess efficiencies and identify underperformance of various machines in a facility: pumps, blowers, motors, or filtration. In many cases, even the most basic rescheduling of operations can allow time for precise testing and, as these cases show, it is worth the investment.


S mart C ontrollerS are Here

When selecting pump starters, consider protection and I/O options


By Ben Song, franklin electric Co. inc.

n its most basic form a motor starter is a magnetic contactor and some form of overload protection. Because a contactor is a relatively straightforward component, the difference between basic starters is often characterized by the overload protection provided. The several different kinds of overloads range from those that only detect over-current to those that monitor power, protect against complex problems, and log fault events. More advanced starter panels may offer integrated I/O (to communicate with an automation system), a human machine interface (HMI), and advanced fault logging systems that allow the pump operator to upload detailed event information to his or her laptop via an Ethernet cable.


Two alternatives to simple across the line starters are soft starters (which reduce the stress on the motor during startup by gradually building torque) and variable frequency drives (VFDs). Soft starters are ideal for higher horsepower applications (usually 25

horsepower and above) because of the large initial voltage inrush they require to start a motor. VFDs are rapidly growing in popularity for good reason. On constant pressure applications, a VFD can save a significant amount of energy, which will equate to big savings on the operations power bill. However, a large upfront cost can be a deterrent to VFD use, especially on jobs where varying the motor speed isnt necessary. Applications that would be better served by an across the line starter or soft starter include storm water removal. Often rainwater runoff will be collected in a reservoir and then pumped out into a storm drain or some other removal system. There is no need to vary the speed that the runoff is pumped out of the reservoir; the goal is to drain the tank as quickly as possible. Conversely, filling a reservoir may require the same type of full power pumping that draining one does. Once its been determined that an across the line starter is right for the job, its important to know what type of starter to use.

For simple across the line starters, the most rudimentary form of nonadjustable overload protector uses simple thermal elements, or heaters. Heaters provide motor protection for only the most basic type of hazardous condition: overcurrent. The bi-metallic elements that comprise the heater bend when warmed by current to the motor, and when an overcurrent condition exists, they open the relay contacts to interrupt the current flow. Despite the minimal level of motor protection, these types of starters are still commonly used in the field. When heaters fail, they must be replaced by one of the same amperage range. The correct amperage range is narrow and as a result the ones that are installed are often the wrong size for the job in the first place. The scenario has played out time and time again: The installer gets to a job and the amp range isnt quite what was estimated. The job is then delayed until the correct heaters are acquired.


About the Author

Ben Song is an engineer at Franklin Electric Co. Inc. For more information, visit

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So whats the best solution? The installer could carry an inventory of heaters with him to the job site. Of course, that insurance comes at the cost of excess inventory, and doesnt address the issue of having to replace a heater in case of a failure. A better solution is to eliminate heaters altogether in favor of an adjustable overload.

Despite the flexibility and convenience that an electronic overload offers, it still leaves costly motors largely unprotected from many common pumping pitfalls.

An enhanced overload relay is essentially an electronic Better than the most basic overload with narrow range overload that offers advanced protection from hazardous heaters, but still with its limitations, is the adjustable pumping conditions. Although the list may vary, they thermal overload. The obvious generally protect motors advantage here is that it is against dead head, jammed figure 1 more flexible, with a single impeller, run out and dry unit often being adjustable to run, just to name a few handle currents over a range problem conditions. Many of of about 25 percent. The the parameters on overload amperage can be based on the relays are highly adjustable, demands of the application, so the controls can be although at lower horsepower tailored to the specific the range is still quite limited. application in order to Another advantage is that in provide optimal protection the event of a fault condition, while minimizing nuisance the bi-metallic thermal element trips. Enhanced overload doesnt need to be replaced. It relays typically include some can generally be manually or form of current or voltage automatically reset. monitoring, and will often One disadvantage of an have an HMI where data can adjustable bi-metallic thermal be reviewed and parameters overload is that although it can be adjusted. They also has a wider amperage range generally have large amp than simple heaters, it still has ranges so sizing is rarely an a relatively small operational issue. window. This means more stock This type of motor on the shelf for distributors protection is comparable and less flexibility in the field to that of VFDs and yet when compared to a wide these relay modules often range electronic overload. They cost hundreds or even still offer very basic protection thousands less, depending from overcurrent only. Thermal on the application. overloads are susceptible to Despite this value, they The Intelligent Pump Starter from Franklin Electric Co. Inc. fluctuations in the ambient can be a cumbersome temperature, sometimes false option because they are tripping in warmer conditions. separate components that must be added on to a panel. Furthermore, they have no built-in I/O for control ADJUSTABLE ELECTRONIC OVERLOAD purposes. Incorporating either or both of these components The next step in overload evolution was the advent of the into a panel requires extra labor and can compromise electronic variety. An electronic overload boasts a wider reliability due to the mixing and matching of components. amperage range than a bi-metallic thermal overload and provides the ability to adjust the trip class anywhere from SMART CONTROLLERS: 1-30 (trip class refers to the time in seconds that it will ALLIN-ONE PUMP PANELS take an overload to trip). Besides greater flexibility, it gives The best control option for across the line pumping you superior protection by also causing tripping on phase applications is an all-in-one pump controller that includes reversal, phase loss or phase unbalance. This feature alone a wide range overload, advanced protection, and built has saved countless motors from premature destruction. in I/O: a smart controller. An example of such a smart Also standard on many electronic overloads is a handy controller is the Franklin Electric Intelligent Pump Starter LED light that alerts when the motor is overloaded before it (IPS). This controller (figure 1) utilizes power meters and a actually trips. They can easily be reset locally or remotely microprocessor to provide superior motor protection. The in the case of a trip. integrated power meter monitors the current and voltage in





the system and sends this information to the processing board. The processing board uses the live voltage and current data to calculate the power that the motor is consuming. Thus, kVA, kVAR, kW, and kWh can be monitored. Additionally line-line voltage, lineground voltage, average voltage, phase a/b/c current, and average current are also monitored. With this data at hand, the processing board can detect many fault conditions: Over Voltage Under Voltage Ground Fault Underpower Overload Phase Reversal Phase Loss Locked Rotor Current Unbalance All of these faults can be manually or automatically reset, with parameters individually adjustable. If automatic reset is chosen, the user can select the delay time before the next start attempt as well as the number of auto-start attempts, after which the pump starter will require a manual reset. Other parameters pertaining to fault detection can be adjusted, including trip class for overload, nominal power, nominal voltage, phase, and more. Besides overcurrent conditions requiring immediate control response, the most important fault to be detected for pumping applications is underpower. Dry well and dead head are a couple of conditions that would cause the starter to trip on underpower, saving the pump, piping, fittings, and overall system from over-heating and causing costly damage. Smart controllers utilizing a power meter will detect underpower by monitoring power versus current. Monitoring power is a much more precise method of detecting pumping problems compared to monitoring current, thus providing more accurate fault detection (see figure 2). Since accuracy is increased, nuisance trips will be reduced. based controller, inputs such as dry contact run, 20-120VAC run, and outputs such as fault and run status can be provided by the controller. Many pump controllers require an external device to send a run command. Often its a dry contact but just as commonly it can be a voltage signal. Franklins IPS has the versatility of accepting both. Additionally, logic is in place to power a small external 120VAC load and receive an ok to run dry contact signal back (for example, from a pumping system that requires a solenoid valve to open before pumping). In such a system, the smart control pump panel would process the following logic: 1. Receive a run command (dry contact, voltage, or manually). 2. Output 120VAC to the solenoid valve to open. 3. Wait for a limit switch signal from the solenoid val 4. ve indicating that it is fully open and providing an ok to run status. 5. The smart control pump panel will engage the contactor for pump operation.


Another advantage of using an all-inone pump starter is the versatility of built-in I/O. Using a microprocessor

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figure 2

No Load

Full Load

Current No Load


Full Load

Graphical representation of resolution when monitoring power vs. current. Large changes in motor load may correspond to only small changes in current. Power monitoring is a more precise way to track load changes.

The IPS has onboard memory dedicated to log faults. Up to one hundred faults can be stored with fully detailed history including phase voltages, line voltage, phase current, average current, power, time stamp, and so on. The detailed fault history can

be seen on a computer by connecting an Ethernet cable. This is very useful for troubleshooting dirty power, motor failure, and other situations that would normally require more investigation. It can also be useful evidence in resolving disputes with the utility company.

As described above, there are many pump motor controller options and levels of protection available. Matching the starters protection and I/O capabilities with application needs will ensure that the user gets the best product for his or her budget.



SEALING solutions

Mechanical Seals Can Tell the Tale

D i a g n o s i n g v e rt i c a l c a n p u m p s o p e r at i n g i n s e r i e s s y s t e m s
By Steve Reynolds, texas Rotating equipment

oday, operators and maintenance managers are searching for ways to limit costs in rotating equipment. In the example that follows, we can see high impact savings for purchasing, maintenance and operations (plant uptime) regarding two pumps operating in series with pump A pumping or boosting pump B.


Leaking or failed mechanical seals are simply an indicator of a greater problem. Mechanical seals are a costly maintenance line item requiring costly spares to be kept on the shelf for emergency situations. Here are some questions asked most often by clients: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. How How How How How How can can can can can can we we we we we we reduce our inventory costs? reduce our purchasing costs? reduce our maintenance costs? improve our MTBF ? improve our uptime? improve our Safety I/R performance?

Cost Solution After ten years of field testing with nine each low pressure A pumps pumping into nine each B high pressure pumps; we learned that the high pressure mechanical seal in the B pumps would in fact operate with the identical performance and deliver equal MTBF results as the low pressure seals in the A pump train. This is because the carbon face in the low pressure A pump is very wide across the face. Operating that seal face in high pressure causes the face to overheat and leak due to the lack of adequate leeching across the face to maintain the necessary fluid film for cooling and lubrication between the stationary and rotating mechanical seal faces. The high pressure B mechanical seals carbon face is engineered for a higher pressure, hydraulically balanced, machined by reducing the face width, minimizing the surface area between the carbon and the stationary seat/face. Thus, the mechanical seal operates as needed to meet the MTBF requirements for maintenance, operations, and budget. The Big Question (and Its Answer) How did we actually know the high pressure B seal would work in the low pressure A pump? a. We asked our mechanical seal supplier to calculate the process conditions of both pumps and compare the mechanical seal parameters with each application. b. The seal manufacturer approved the high pressure performance conditions for operating in the low pressure pump system. c. The customer agreed the data showed the high pressure seal would maintain their high standard for mechanical, environmental and Safety integrity.


Operating pumps in series, changes the operating pressures and start-up procedures considerably, when compared to a single or parallel pumping system. A series system exists when the discharge pressure of pump A becomes the suction pressure of pump B changing the mechanical seal hydraulics completely. The mechanical seals arent generally thought of as being interchangeable and most plants purchase a mechanical seal for pump A and a separate seal for pump B.

About the Author

Steve Reynolds is the quality control manager for Texas Rotating Equipment, Inc. of Dayton, Texas, a leader in turbomachinery related products and services. He can be reached at 936.258.3090 or

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figure 1
Discharge Pressure from PUMP A

the seal faces and can damage the face material of the B high pressure mechanical seal. Electric Motor Assembly Assumptions The number one HIGH assumption by PRESSURE equipment SEAL owners/ operators is that all Boosted PUMP B vertical Discharge motors are set up the same. However, most electric motor repair centers do not change the bearing arrangement for vertical up-thrust unless the customer specifies the need. There UP-THRUST are three causes for pump shaft upthrust, which can damage or destroy a mechanical seal prior to start-up: 1. The operator/maintenance team decides to modify the pump from packed to mechanical seal without addressing the motor. The operator opens the suction valve and the fluid up-thrusts the pump shaft causing damage to the mechanical seal faces due to impact/compression. 2. The A pump in a series application gets started first up-thrusting the B pump shaft severely damaging the mechanical seal because the electric motor wasnt set up to manage the up-thrust in the motor bearing housing properly. 3. The assumption that all motors are the same is a serious error. Motors that are mounted on pumps with packing work fine. However, the same motor now operating with a mechanical seal pump will most likely fail to control the pump up-thrust. The same motor is now the root cause for the next mechanical seal failure. We recommend all vertical motor installations, whether new or reconditioned, be inspected for up-thrust control and manage up-thrust before installing any motor onto a vertical pump that is supplied or modified with a mechanical seal. Resonance Vibration Pumps and motors operating in series amplify their resonance vibration by close proximity and similarity. We found that turning one motor 90 degrees on the pump head (distance piece), from the other motor reduced the harmonic resonance vibration to acceptable levels.




d. We installed the high pressure B seal in the low pressure A pump and monitored the seal gland temperature. The results were: no heat, no leaks, and no difference. e. We analyzed the performance monthly for six months with no change.


The customer/plant operator changed their ordering of spare mechanical seals to reflect one each 1.5-inch Type 8B-1 XP1D1 combination high/low mechanical seal, reducing the one line item count by 50 percent. Secondly, the planner and maintenance technician no longer had to double check which seal was being pulled from inventory and waste time verifying whether the low or high pressure seal was being installed in the proper pump application.


We have found mechanical seal failures occur under the following conditions regarding vertical pumps: Automatic Controls Set Up Improperly Auto control systems must be non-manipulative regarding which pump comes on-line first. The fail safe and starting procedures in the PLC must be designed and set up to start the downstream pump first. After the current rush in the B pump has passed then, the A motor should be engaged to start allowing the A pump to begin boosting flow through the B pump as designed. Manual Operating Series Systems Manually operated systems may be utilized by smaller plants or remote sub-stations. The procedures for properly starting pumps in series are important for protecting the integrity of the B high pressure mechanical seal. Immediate Seal failure occurs whenever the A pump is started first generating an upthrust into the B pump which increases the face load between


Installing, maintaining, and operating mechanical seals in pumps running in series requires a high level of pump, motor, and mechanical seal experience. We recommend following procedure closely, developing procedures where they may not exist, and careful considering the history involving every electric motor installation regarding pumps in series. Assume nothing; question everything.



331 lift Station Control Panel
SJE-Rhombus, a leading pump control solutions provider, introduces the 331 Lift Station Control Panel. The 331 Lift Station control panel is a simple, versatile solution for standard duplex applications; it covers three phase (up to 32 amps each), three voltages (208, 240, or 480V) with one panel. The 331 Lift Station control panel uses standard four float operation (off, lead start, lag start, and high level). Customer installed options include a secondary surge arrestor with mounting bracket and pedestal available in painted steel, stainless steel, or aluminum. UL/ cUL Listed and backed by a two-year limited warranty. For additional product information, brochure, and specifications for the 331 Lift Station control panel, please visit

thomPSoN PUmP

final tier 4 Powered Pump

Thompson Pump, a leader in portable diesel-driven pumps, announces a pump powered by Final Tier 4 EPA compliant diesel engines. The pump will be a 6-inch COMPACT series pump, which offers all the benefits and performance of Thompson Pumps popular Enviroprime System pumps but is smaller and lighter with fewer parts, less maintenance, and a lower price. The 74-horsepower, Final Tier 4 diesel engine powering this 6JSCEN pump provides very low emissions and fuel consumption while maximizing performance. Built on a proven platform of emissions control technologies, the engine does not require the commonly large diesel particulate filter or after treatment servicing. For more information, call 800.767.7310 or visit

lAmAR SolUtioNS
filter Judge
The Filter Judge by Lamar Solutions provides a surface water treatment plant operator a fast, safe, and accurate means of taking a core sample of gravity filter media. The Filter Judge allows the operator to take a sample to determine the depth of each layer of media, check for the presence of mudballs, and to help troubleshoot the underdrain. For more information, call 903.782.2677 or 580.277.5462, or visit


EnerG Rubber Seated Ball Valve

Val-Matics EnerG Rubber Seated Ball Valve is the ideal pump control valve due to its rugged AWWA construction, virtually zero headloss, and percentage flow characteristics. The EnerG Ball Valve features NSF/ANSI 61 fusion bonded epoxy interior and exterior coating and a bi-directional resilient Tri-Loc seating system. The Tri-Loc seat retention system provides positive mechanical retention of the valve seat allowing for easy adjustment or replacement of the seat without removing the valve from the line. It is available on both single and double-seated ball valves for sealing in one or two directions. When fully open, the resilient seat is completely out of the flow stream, which results in a significant savings in pumping costs compared to other pump control valves. For more information regarding the EnerG Rubber Seated Ball Valve, visit

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Zero CAl-CheCK Calibration validation
Zero CAL-CHECK is a companion test to the CAL-V Calibration Validation feature available on the Fox Model FT3 Thermal Mass Flow Meter and Temperature Transmitter. Where CAL-V tests the functionality of the sensor and its associated signal processing circuitry, Zero CAL-CHECK checks for build-up on sensor that could affect calibration, further validates the zero stability of the meter, and checks thermal conductivity (heat transfer) repeatability of the sensor. Unlike CAL-V, which may be performed in the pipe and at process conditions, Zero CAL-CHECK must be performed at zero flow to ensure a valid test result. Depending upon the configurationin situ or out of pipezero flow will either be compared to a customer-established field baseline or a factory baseline. More information on Fox Thermal Instruments can be found at

vANtoN PUmP & eQUiPmeNt CoRP.

Sgv vortex Pump head
A new SGV Vortex Pump Head for Vanton SUMP-GARD vertical thermoplastic pumps handles fluids and slurries containing stringy materials or solids to 2 inches (51 millimeters) in diameter. Solid thermoplastic construction of all wetted components allows corrosionfree, abrasion-resistant handling of acids, caustics and a wide range of solids-laden wastes at temperatures to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 degrees Celsius). The SGV Vortex Pump Head features a recessed, dynamically balanced, clog-free impeller, allowing solids to pass through the pump without blockage, and is offered on Vanton SG Series sump pumps for depths to 20 feet (6.1 meters), and SGK cantilevered bearingless run-dry pumps for depths to 4 feet (1.2 meters). For information contact Vanton Pump & Equipment Corp.: 908.688.4216,, or


ASCeNt ii macerating toilet

The new Ascent II macerating toilet system from Liberty features a 1.28 GPF high efficiency toilet for a macerating system. The new system features RazorCutTM technology for improved maceration of waste and a removable service panel that provides quick access to the cutter area without disconnecting the plumbing. Other features include ISTTM solid state switching, a built-in alarm, LED lights with external touchpad for alarm silence, and manual override. The toilets available in round front and elongated have improved flush performance and carry the WaterSenseTM mark. Both models feature insulated tanks to eliminate sweating. For more information, contact Liberty Pumps at 800.543.2550 or visit

gARdNeR deNveR NASh

2Bm1 magnet drive liquid Ring Pump
The NASH 2BM1 magnet drive pump series is an enhancement to the dependable NASH 2BE1 series; it is capable of achieving flow rates of 550-13870 GPM (125 to 3150 m3/h) and vacuum of 1 inch HgA (33 mbar abs). They can also be used as low pressure compressors. Noncontact torque transmission is achieved via a permanent magnet drive system. The 2BM1 pump is hermetically sealed, eliminating any possibility of leakage. This seal is essential for safety in demanding applications, including hazardous and explosive environmental conditions. Certificates of compliance with all ATEX categories are available for the new NASH 2BM1. For more information, call 724.239.1500 or visit



PUMPING trends

Once YOu Have THe KnOWledge... Singer Valve's Mark Gimson explains his three-point plan for operator training
or over a decade, Mark Gimson has served as Singer Valves account sales manager. He is a certified trainer and has run operator training sessions around the world. He is currently involved in the development of new products, exploring and analyzing new world areas for strategic growth and also marketing Singers current range of products. Modern Pumping Today: As a member of Singer's Operator Training Programs, what are some of the main areas you stress in these programs? What are the high-priority challenges facing today's operators? Mark Gimson: The main areas we stress are (a) safetyvalves are under pressure so if you have a full understanding of what is happening inside the valve you will understand when and how to take it apart safely; (b) how easy it is to work on the valves once you have the knowledge; and (c) maintenance and troubleshootingmost problems occur because simple things have not been done and it's easy to diagnose when you know the steps. Most operators leave our courses feeling a lot more confident to at least take the initial look at problems with their valves. This is fantastic because, if they do end up calling us, they have an understanding of what is happening, thus when our customer service team walk the through the fix, they are actually getting what they need. Sadly, I see one of the big challenges facing operators is time and budget. Preventative maintenance often takes a back seat as fewer and fewer operators have time to handle larger workloads. They also have to be experts in a whole range of products, not just our valves, so staying abreast of technology is a real challenge for them. Along with that is the age old budget problem. As money gets tighter, everything gets stretched. The more we can simplify their life, the more their budgets can stretch. MPT: Singer Valve has a global reach. How does accessing many different markets influence your development of control valves or how you assess its quality? Mark Gimson: When developing a new control valve our initial criteria is always asking the primary question: Is there a need for this valve? Frequently that need has been suggested to us in discussions with engineers on a specific project, but it can also come from our own observations in the fields or feedback from our representatives around the world. When it comes to quality we have stringent standards that all valves should be built to. We never lower that standard regardless of where in the world the valve is installed. We may upgrade from the standard but we will never lower it. This is the choice Singer made a number of years ago, and we have stood by that. Our valves are cast in ductile iron (not cast iron), our valves are all fusion bond epoxy coated inside and out (this is not the case in a number of North American competitors, although interestingly most of the world actually demands this now). All of our valves have 316 Stainless Steel seats, which
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we warranty for the life of the valve (we do not produce a bronze seat at all), and our valve stems are also 316 Stainless Steel as opposed to the lower grades most other companies use. Our choices on materials of construction actually help in the poorer more remote areas around the world, places where maintenance may not exist at all and getting to the valves may be harder that a just a few blocks away. MPT: Where do you see the biggest growth areas in the next few years? Are they weighted more toward new technology to solve existing problems or toward new uses for existing technology? Mark Gimson: The next few years in North America will certainly be interesting as we see a bigger move toward water conservation and the need to replace our aging infrastructure. We find a lot of the world is further ahead in this than our own water companies, which is why for quite a few years we have been selling products in countries like Brazil, Australia, and parts of Asia, who are definitely a lot more advanced in pressure management to control leakage than a lot of our domestic customers. As water prices increase we see that pressure management will become a much bigger issue domestically. As this is a worldwide problem the technology we utilize can be as simple as a mechanical/hydraulic system that automatically lowers pressure during low periods to a system that utilizes flow meters and PLCs. It really depends on the local market. We are seeing a lot more electronics on control valves these days and this is certainly an area that we put resources into. With our valves utilizing solenoid controls it is quite amazing to see that one valve can perform multiple functions, all depending on the control signal that you send to the controller. The pushing of the envelope in technology and ideas is what really excites our engineering team and they are always looking for the applications to stretch their minds. MPT: How would you describe the changing relationship between manufacturers, distributors, and end-users in pump technology? What do end-users expect from manufacturers today that is different than ten years ago? Mark Gimson: I think there is much more of a team approach these days. We certainly consider our representatives as part of the team and respect their opinions and value their feedback many of them have been with us for years, some as many as forty; they become family. The same holds true to a certain extent with end-users. Definitely any that have attended our in-house training seminars or spent time in our lab with the production folks, build a relationship that transcends the old supplier/user relationship by bringing all parties to realize we are part of a water industry team, helping in the supply of a quality product to our neighborhoods. This is why, when they have questions, or if we have questions, we have no trouble picking up the phone and talking to each other. We all need each other, and the days of manufacturers being only interested in a quick sale are long gone.