The pump industry relies on expertise from a large and varied range of specialists, from experts in particular pump types to those with an intimate understanding of pump reliability; and from researchers who delve into the particulars of pump curves to experts in pump efficiency. To draw upon the wealth of expert knowledge the Australian pump industry has to offer, Pump Industry has established a panel of experts to answer all your pumping questions.
Progressive cavity pumps
Our progressive cavity pump expert is Peter Vila, Managing Director of seepex Australia. Peter has been involved with pumps for 35 years. He spent the first five years repairing them and the subsequent 30 years directly in technical sales, and for the past 15 years he has been predominately involved in one way or another with seepex progressive cavity pumps.
Has there been a study carried out on whole-life costs of progressive cavity pumps in comparison with other positive displacement technologies?
The short answer is ‘not to my knowledge’ – but it would certainly be interesting to see the results of such a study. By design, progressive cavity pumps have always been considered a high wearing item with maintenance costs exceeding most other pump designs. A major contributing factor to this perception has been the applications for which progressive cavity pumps are often used, typically non-flowable and sometimes abrasive products, the progressive cavity pump can at times be the last option, when no other pump will do the job.
But with careful consideration, it is possible to confidently utilise progressive cavity pumps which can provide the user with considerable whole-life cost savings.
Special care must be taken when selecting pump speed and materials, giving due consideration to pumped media – viscosity, solids content and abrasiveness. It’s quite common for the uninitiated to select inappropriate materials, or a smaller pump running faster, with a view to saving a few dollars on the initial purchase, only to find their maintenance costs have soared out of control due to an inappropriate pump selection. The important thing is to ensure you have the necessary information and experience to make a confident selection, or failing this, you have the contact details from a reliable source and seek their assistance.
Some progressive cavity pump manufacturers now have ‘maintenance friendly’ designs, which can offer significant savings in downtime, labour costs and spares prices, thereby reducing whole-life cost.
There are also some progressive cavity pump designs which have an adjustable clamping feature between rotor and stator. In many cases it is possible to relax the clamp when maximum pressures are not required and the result can be a reduction in power requirements, which again can significantly reduce whole life cost, especially when the pump is coupled to one of the latest model, high-efficiency drive designs.
I believe a number of progressive cavity pump manufacturers have apps these days to assist their customers in calculating whole-life cost savings for their pumps. I know my company, SEEPEX, has such an app for the SCT design and anybody can download this free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
A simple search for either SEEPEX or SCT will locate the free download and I’m sure similar searches for other brands or models will also achieve similar results. Happy searching!
For more information on progressive cavity pumps, please contact SEEPEX Australia on (02) 4355 4500 or