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More than thirty pump industry professionals recently gathered in Adelaide in for a PIA technical meeting, held at the headquarters of Grundfos Australia.

Grundfos Australia Managing Director Steen Holm-Jensen opened the meeting, speaking eloquently on Grundfos’ philosophy and values as a company, encompassing the customer, product development and corporate responsibility.

Daniel Clarkson then took the meeting attendees into the plant, where he demonstrated Grudnfos’s test setup for vertical inline pumps.

The set up was impressive; with a range of quick change suction and discharge pipes, quick connect power modules and hydraulic clamping of the nozzles, Daniel was able to install, prime, hydro test and performance test, dewater, disconnect and produce a test log and curve in less than five minutes.

This was followed by a presentation from BKB’s Tim Ewins and Scott Donoghue, which highlighted a major enforcement shortfall in the fire protection sector.

Many fire pump installations clearly do not meet the code in a number of areas, and yet enforcement is negligible in most cases, with self-certification being the effective norm.

As Scott correctly noted, this is a matter that has life and death implications but seems to attract very little interest from the engineering sector with only haphazard enforcement.

Alan Rowan then highlighted the importance of having competent pump installation and commissioning personnel and practices, and gave an interesting outline of PIA’s crusade on this issue, with an overview of the comprehensive PIA installation &commissioning training course.

Then it was PIA President Ron Astall’s turn to take to the stage with a presentation on net positive suction head (NPSH), and how it is crucial to understand pump suction performance.

The concept of suction specific speed was discussed in some detail, and Ron outlined how this parameter can be used as a tool at the process design stage to highlight potential problem applications prior to specifying and purchasing pumps.

Grundfos graciously provided tasty refreshments at the close of proceedings and most attendees stayed on for up to an hour afterwards to discuss the presentations and their impact.

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