Pumps are vital. Without them, the process industries would come to a grinding halt.
In the latest issue of Pumps, Valves and Flow, we focused on some of the major problems within the pumps market. For example, oversizing and undersizing of kit is a theme we explore in our cover story.
The cost of installing oversized pumps can be counted in the billions, experts suggest. Industry simply cannot afford to waste this amount of money.
Pump oversizing usually comes down to a lack of understanding about the relationship of the pump and the process system.
So how do you tackle this problem? It seems the best way is for pump manufacturers, contractors and end users to open up better lines of communication — and maybe throw in a bit of training, too.
Clearly, the pump industry has a bit of a headache to deal with. Fortunately, it’s pretty good at finding the right pump for the job
Undersizing, meanwhile, causes its own unique set of problems. It affects progressive cavity pump in particular.
Undersizing a progressive cavity pump leads to more problems than oversizing because the volumetric flow is determined by the cavity size. This means that a smaller pump has to run more quickly to generate the required flow rate, leading to higher wear.
However, determining just how dangerous undersizing can be depends largely on the type of material being pumped.
One of the answers to undersizing is specifying a (slightly) oversized pump. Clearly, the pump industry has a bit of a headache to deal with. Fortunately, it’s pretty good at finding the right pump for the job.
When handling liquids, for instance, engineers are often spoilt for choice, as one of our latest expert comments points out. However, the cheapest pump is not necessarily the one that will have the lowest life cost or even be suitable for your application.