• Standard Alloys Improves Hydraulic Performance of Centrifugal Pumps


Standard Alloys Improves Hydraulic Performance of Centrifugal Pumps

May 02 2013

KSB (USA), the world's specialist supplier of pumps and mixers, has helped customers save money and improve pump efficiency through its subsidiary Standard Alloys. Many plants in industries such as petrochemicals depend on literally hundreds of pumps to maintain operation. For these plants, improving pumps' mean time between repair (MTBR) can save tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. But many of these plants make the same mistake: They complete repairs by rebuilding pumps back to their originally supplied condition, which only leads to repeated failures.

Standard Alloys helps customers avoid that costly error, improve MTBR, and reduce lifecycle costs through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) guided hydraulic engineering and end-to-end in-house manufacturing. With more than 80 years of experience offering the highest quality castings, machined parts, and repair services, Standard Alloys doesn't just repair pumps, it improves them.

"Ideally, MTBR for many companies is six to seven years," says Richard Martinez, Managing Director of Standard Alloys. "But every plant has a list of 'bad actors': pumps that only run for three, two, or even one year between repairs. If you fix those pumps so that they work exactly as they did before, nothing's going to change; you're going to be fixing it again next year.

"Think of it this way: If you drive your car everywhere at 10 mph — or at 110 mph — it won't last as long as if you run it in the speed range that it's designed to run in. Pumps are the same.

"We try to figure out why that piece of equipment isn't lasting as long as expected. Then we evaluate how we can get it to the lifetime the customer wants and expects."

To help customers reduce lifecycle costs, Standard Alloys starts by working with the customer to understand how the pump operates in its current environment. This information is compared to how the pump was designed and built to operate. If these two scenarios don't match, Standard Alloys can modify the pump's hydraulic profile to better match the unit operating points by designing a Custom Hydraulic Solution.

"We also work with the customer's reliability team to evaluate which product is being pumped at which temperatures and pressures," says Richard Martinez. "Then we review industry standards and find a material that is better suited for the application.

"We aren't just a parts changer; we're a solution provider. Whether it's a metallurgic or hydraulic upgrade, we work to develop a true solution instead of just putting on a Band-Aid. We improve the performance and help the pump have a better hydraulic fit. The result is a longer run time, extended operating life, and greater efficiency."

To help evaluate which changes will make the most difference, Standard Alloys can use Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations to create various "what-if" scenarios. The simulations are benchmarked against a customer's current environment and a pump's operation in the field. Additional simulations are then created for various hypothetical conditions with the hydraulic layout: inlet angles, exit angles, number of blades, hydraulic wrap, and so forth.

"We look at each component to optimise the hydraulic layout and profile," explains Richard Martinez. "This iterative process can get us as close as possible to an ideal solution. And the customer can save $10,000 to $40,000 per year, per pump just in energy saving alone."

Standard Alloys and KSB take their products from engineering and design to manufacturing and shipping — all in-house. Thanks to the companies' complete range of capabilities and experience, all work performed is compliant to the OSHA 1910 standard. Standard Alloys provides supporting change-management documentation to the end user, confirming well-engineered solutions. Quality is tightly controlled through our Quality Assurance Program that has been certified to ISO-9001:2008 by DNV. Communication with customers is clear and transparent to ensure each Custom Hydraulic Solution meets their needs and expectations.


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