Pumps and Pumping Systems: How to Manage Life-Cycle Costs

We provide a lot of pumps for many different industries in Australia. Our customers represent a diverse cross-section of different industries. But if there’s one thing they all have in common, it’s that everyone is concerned about the costs of their pumping systems.

However, many are concerned about the front end or initial costs, but don’t pay enough attention to life-cycle costs. This is the cost of operating the equipment for the duration of its effective life. Everyone pays attention to how much a pumping system costs and how much it costs to install. But they aren’t the only factors that decide whether or not a pumping system is providing a great ROI or return on investment.

Pumps and Pumping Systems: How to Manage Life-Cycle Costs

Here is a short list of factors that determine the real cost of your pumping system.

  • Purchase price: equipment and support system
  • Commissioning and installation
  • Maintenance costs: labour and materials
  • Operating cost: labour
  • Support system maintenance and repair
  • Energy costs
  • Environmental factors
  • Downtime and associated loss of production
  • Decommissioning and disposal

Evaluation Techniques

One of the easiest tools for assessing life-cycle costs is Simple Payback or SPB. The initial investment costs are divided by the savings per year to produce the SPB, or the time it will take you to recoup your initial investment.

If a pumping system costs you $2,000 dollars and saves you $1,000 a year, the SPB is two years. If the expected life of the pump is three years, you are running “free” for the last year. But if the expected life of the pump or system is ten years, you will be running “free” for eight years.

Internal rate of return is a number that takes the life expectancy of the pump into consideration. The longer, the life, the higher the rate of return.

Choose High Quality Pumps

At Pump Solutions Australasia, we only sell high quality pumps that are going to last a long time. This is going to provide you with the best rate of return. It is also going to reduce your downtime and the lost revenue that often goes with it.

To learn more, call us today: 1300 793 418.

Root Cause Analysis: the Five P’s System and How it Relates to Pumping Systems

At Pump Solutions Australasia, we don’t just sell pumps: we provide pumping solutions. And one of the best solutions to a major problem is called root cause analysis. When a part goes bad, it is tempting to just replace it and keep going. But what about the underlying problem? What made the part go bad in the first place?

Here’s an example of a major pharmaceutical company in the US that could have had a tragedy instead of the “near miss” situation they were able to fix.

At the Eli Lily pharmaceutical plant, a materials basked was being used in a four storey tank. As the basket was being moved to a new location, the cable which held the basket snapped without warning. This caused the basket to fall against the side of the tank. There was nothing in the basket at the time, so there were no injuries.

The incident could have been ignored as minor. The cable could have been replaced and the incident could have been attributed to cable fatigue. In fact, this is just what a lot of companies would have done to keep production going. However, the investigator, Jeffrey S Brown, decided to use a Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA)software to find out why the cable really broke.

When the cable originally broke, none of the operators saw anything they felt was unusual. All they saw was a broken cable and a falling basket. However, when the RCFA software was deployed, it was found that one of the major causes of the cable failure was failed safety switches. The cable had a block pulley system which came into contact with the cable drum. This caused the cable to snap.

When the cable was tested for strength, it was found to be well within manufacturer’s specifications. In other words, the cable itself wasn’t a factor.

Pumps in Australia - Root Cause Analysis

The Five P’s System

Are we suggesting you go out and buy software? No, but we do want you to know about the Five P’s system of root cause analysis. The five P’s stand for “parts, position, paper, people and paradigms.” While the data in this case was collected by software, the method is sound and can be used to get great results without software.

In this case, “parts” meant collecting the broken parts and also inspecting parts that may or may not have been affected by the process but were connected to it somehow. It is important to inspect all relevant parts before they are replaced or thrown out.

“Position” meant taking photos of the exact position of all of the equipment at the time of the incident. Position is important because small differences in position can greatly affect the outcome. This technique is used in many investigations over many different fields.

“Paper” meant having access to the latest data on when parts were last maintained or replaced, a manual for the system, a Job Safety Analysis and a recent inspection report.

“People” meant interviewing everyone present during the incident. It also involved interviewing those who had inspected the cable, the switches and any other parts.

“Paradigm” is an important part of the process, too. In this case, the paradigm was that “the switches had never failed before, so they won’t fail now.” It also involved the cable having an emergency switch that would reverse the direction of the pulley block, preventing contact with the drum.

Ultimately, it was found that when the pulley block contacts the drum, it creates a locked rotor position. This greatly increased torque, which was enough to cause the cable to snap. The safety switches were analyzed and were found to have not activated in time to prevent the incident.

Thanks to the root cause analysis, the facility was able to increase the distance between the block and the drum, providing what they called a “safety area” and giving the switches more time to activate. They also modified the Standard Operating Procedure for the materials basket.

What it Means for Your Pumps or Pumping Systems

We always recommend at least an elementary form of root cause analysis when any piece of equipment malfunctions. We are happy to help you replace your pumps parts, but we would much rather see you solve the problem.

To learn more about high quality pumps, call Pump Solutions Australasia today: 1300 793 418.

Submersible Pumps: an Irreplaceable Commodity

For most homeowners and in many industrial operations, submersible pumps are probably the first thought that comes to mind when someone says “pump.” These pumps are the first choice for dewatering applications from the smallest home dewatering pump to large submersible pumps used in mining operations. They are also the most sensible choice for water wells and oil wells.

Submersible pumps are pumps that can operate safely underwater. The motor is hermetically sealed so no water can reach it. This also protects the pump from cavitation. These pumps provide above average efficiency because they push fluids instead of pulling them.

Submersible Pumps: an Irreplaceable Commodity

Some Common Applications for Submersible Pumps

Besides dewatering and wells, these pumps are also used for groundwater pumping, fire-fighting, irrigation systems and even the pumping of sewage and slurries. They are used in the ocean for transporting oil and water. They can also be used to aerate ponds or swimming pools.

Submersible Pumps: Our Manufacturers

We have submersible pumps on hand from three different international manufacturers: Tsurumi, Lowara and Grundfos.

Tsurumi is one of the oldest manufacturers of submersible pumps in the world. They are located in Osaka and are more than 90 years old, having been established in 1924. They make wastewater/sewage pumps, sand/slurry pumps, dewatering pumps and corrosion resistant pumps.

Lowara is part of a giant in the pump manufacturing industry: Xylem. Their main submersible pumps are clean water pumps for use when sanitation is mandatory. They use AISI 316 and AISI 304 fabricated stainless steel to ensure sanitation and erase possibility of cross-contamination for water or chemicals.

Grundfos was established in 1945, but has grown to be the world’s largest pump manufacturer. Most of their pumps are used in the mining industry. They are owned by a foundation developed by their founder that is focused solely on making their products better. They invest all of their profits back into the foundation with a large percentage earmarked for research and development.

Call Pump Solutions Australasia Today

To learn more or to speak to our world class customer service crew, call us today: 1300 793 418.

What Services Do We Provide?

At Pump Services Australasia, we import the finest pumps from around the world into Australia for a plethora of uses. If you need a high-quality pump for any application, from an artificial heart to a complete wastewater facility, we can get it for you. But did you know we also provide a full menu of services for operations of all sizes and scopes? Here is a list of the services we provide.

Repair

We repair pumps in our full-service workshop, located at our facility, located in Wangara, Western Australia. We will repair any size pump. If it is too large to transport to our workshop, we can repair it onsite. We got our start creating vacuum pump systems from scratch and we know most pumps inside out.

Pumps Importer in Perth - Services We Provide

Servicing

The best way to ensure that your pump remain efficient and that you don’t suffer any unexpected downtime is to have your pumps serviced at the regular intervals recommended by the manufacturer. Most of our clients prefer to have us put them on a schedule so they are on “autopilot” and don’t ever have to worry about missing a scheduled maintenance visit. This gives them peace of mind, knowing that they don’t have to worry about downtime.

Spare Parts for Pumps

We carry spare parts for many popular pumps. If we don’t have them onsite, we can usually find them for you. We have both local sources and overseas sources. If we can’t find it, nobody else can, either.

Sales and Support

As we mentioned earlier, we have a wide selection of pumps from all over the world. We spare no effort at finding the most high-quality pump in the world and bringing them to Australia. We have the best customer service staff in the industry. They are professional, friendly and know all there is to know about pumps. To help maintain that high quality and performance, we provide full support and service after sales, too.

To learn more, call Pump Solutions Australasia today: 1300 793 418.

Don’t Let Inefficient Pumps Raise Your HVAC Costs

At Pump Solutions Australasia, we import a wide variety of pumps from around the world. We are even the sole importer in Australia for many manufacturers. We focus so much on quality because we want to bring you the most efficient and reliable pumps we can for any operation. That way, we save you money on monthly costs and we keep you from having disastrous downtime that can cost thousands of dollars.

One of the more subtle and underrated ways in which efficient pumps can cost or save money is in HVAC systems. Across a wide assortment of building types and operations, HVAC usually represents up to 40% of the consumption of power.

The energy used by HVAC systems accounts for approximately 70% of that considered by NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) for buildings such as shopping centres and offices. NABERS is currently the “gold standard” for measuring the environmental performance of buildings Australia and New Zealand.

Pumps for HVAC

The pump industry has been working diligently at developing better controls for pumps used in HVAC systems. These controls are important because they help the systems run at their maximum efficiency while ensuring that no systems are running against each other in “conflicting uses,” such as air conditioning and heat at the same time.

It is estimated that an HVAC system with inefficient controls can use from 50-90% more energy than one with efficient controls.

Why Pumps are so Important for HVAC in Australia

Australia has a temperate climate. That produces a heavy cooling load for HVAC systems, while rendering a small heating load necessary. It is essential, however, for the cooling systems to turn down at the right time to meet periods of minimal load. If a system can’t do this, it has a drastic effect on efficiency.

For those parts of Australia with a hot climate, such as Darwin, no heating is necessary and the AC runs at a heavy load all of the time. This makes controls less important but pump efficiency even more important.

For the rest of us, there are three basic components that can cause an HVAC system to consume excess energy: robustness of controls, turndown and conflicting uses.

There are some things plant and building supervisors or engineers can do to keep costs down and make the HVAC system more efficient.

The first is to decrease time of use. When a plant doesn’t need to be run, shut it down. The next is to correctly calibrate turndown. Ideally, you can use variable speed drives (VSD’s) to slow the pumps and fans down to a level that matches the loads. When run at a lower speed, VSD’s are more efficient and use less power than other controls or configurations to lower capacity.

It is also important to make sure there are no conflicts of use within the system. In other words, the heat and AC should never run at the same time. Robustness of controls is also important. They should be able to keep functioning correctly through minor mechanical failures within the system.

How Pumps Control Efficiency

Pumps constitute from 10-15% of power consumption in any HVAC operation. Fans consume the most power. It is generally more difficult to control pumps because of the presence of static head and what is called the “Low deltaT syndrome.” This means that the demand for flow reduces less than the load.

When you add VSD to a pump or system and it is used correctly, it will always reduce power usage and increase efficiency. However, if a pump is on the flat section of the pump curve, reduction can be minimal even with good controls. This is a common situation.

We Can Help at Pump Solutions Australasia

As our name suggests, we don’t just supply pumps; we provide solutions. We not only have world class customer service but we also have access to dedicated staffs from many of our pump manufacturers.

We carry a wide selection of pumps for a diverse customer base. No pump or operation is too small or too large for us. To learn more or to talk to our customer service staff, call Pump Solutions Australasia today: 1300 793 418.