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.
This edition of Ask an expert will cover two common concerns: pricing and future development of progressive cavity pumps.
Q: When examining total life cycle costs how do progressive cavity pumps (PCP) compare to other technologies? Isn’t the purchase price the most important factor?
A: Between PCP manufacturers, purchase prices can widely differ. However, progressive cavity pumps have a lifetime of around 15 – 20 years, which means the largest part of total lifecycle costs is energy consumption, repair, maintenance and downtime, not the purchase price.
Some focus points for industries are shorter downtimes while others emphasise low maintenance costs or the lowest possible energy consumption.
PCP manufacturers work tirelessly to provide technical portfolios that deliver innovations for reduced lifecycle costs over the complete lifetime. Special care is taken when selecting pump speed and materials, giving due consideration to pumped media, viscosity, solids content and abrasiveness.
New buyers often make the mistake of 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.
To further reduce lifecycle costs, PCP manufacturers are designing maintenance friendly pumps which offer reduced energy consumption, ease of maintenance, extended service life and significantly reduced lifecycle costs.
Some designs even have unique rotor and stator features to allow for optimum re-clamping when the flow rate reduces due to wear. You can gain significant advantages for your application over its lifetime by choosing progressive cavity pumps.
Q: How are progressive cavity pumps (PCP) keeping up in this new digital age?
A: PCP manufacturers realise that their research and development needs to focus on digitisation, smart pumps that communicate with control systems, and even apps that will put all the necessary pump information right at their customers’ fingertips.
Many now offer variations of smart pumps and systems. These pumps have the normal benefits of PCP, such as minimal pulsation, low shear, flow unaffected by pressure/media variations, but with additional intelligent designs.
For example, some of these customised pumps can combine dosing and pumping with up-to-date control concepts while also offering integration into higher level controls and automation systems. Extra safety features and measurements of process variables enable increased control over the pump/system and quick feedback from the pump itself.
Contact a progressive cavity pump expert, to receive a customised and intelligent design which offers you greater control over your process.
Smart Dosing Progressive Cavity Pump showing typical options including flow meter, pressure indication, dry-run protection and drive with integrated smart speed control.
Peter Vila, Managing Director of SEEPEX Australia, is a progressive cavity pump expert. He has been involved with pumps for over 35 years. Peter spent the first five years repairing pumps and the following 30 years in technical sales, 15 of which have been with SEEPEX progressive cavity pumps.