When you invest in pumps, you invest in industry's future
12 Sep 2018
Beyond the sectors in which they operate, pumps have a profile so low that they might as well be non-existent where the population at large is concerned.
It is an irony that, in an age where the average man or woman is perhaps more conscious of the perceived negative effects of industrialisation, so little is known about a key contributor to environmental improvement.
The US Hydraulic Institute sums up the impact of pumping systems thus: they account for 5% of industrial energy use, 20% of world electrical energy demand, while energy consumption accounts for as much as 90% of a pump’s total cost of ownership (TCO).
Yet it is reckoned too, says the institute, that between a third and a half of all the energy that is consumed by pumps could be saved by making use of the improved equipment and control systems available.
Tight margins tend to promote cautious spending and a culture of only reluctant innovation. Some sectors are more forward thinking than others
Pumps which fail to function at optimal level not only waste energy, they also present a greater threat of slowdown and breakdown. This in turn raises the spectre of unplanned downtime – the very factor that dents profit margins most.
It is easy to arrive at the conclusion then that anything which promotes the benefits of predictive maintenance deserves to be embraced. In principle, all but the most hidebound luddite is likely to agree.
However, tight margins tend to promote cautious spending and a culture of only reluctant innovation. As the comments in our main feature demonstrate, some sectors are more forward thinking than others.
Then again, there is perhaps a broad consensus on the subjects of digitalisation and smart products; more accurately, some sectors are more forward acting – willing to commit to actively invest.
The water and wastewater sector has been one of these. No surprise, given that the strategy from the top has emphasised TOTEX and TCO approaches that put purchase price in its proper perspective.