Maintaining Your Pumps To Get The Most Out Of Them

Effectively maintaining pumps in industrial plants keeps them operating well. A pump that operates at peak performance is one in which you can quickly detect problems, with enough time to schedule repairs, and avoid any major issues.

Typically, in a facility, the attention paid to maintenance is directly proportional to the importance of the system in a plant’s operations. When critical processes are affected, downtime is expensive. So if pumps are integral to your operations, taking good care of them is a sound investment.

There are typically two types of maintenance activities to factor into your plans – preventive and predictive. The first addresses standard system needs like lubrication, adjustments, and the clearing of any contaminants. Predictive maintenance, on the other hand, focuses on testing and inspection to pre-empt deterioration.

General best practices, followed well, can help give your pump a long and productive life. Here are some things to think about that when employed, will greatly increase the reliability of your pumps.

Choose the right pump for the job and have it installed correctly.

When pumps are appropriately sized for the job, they run at their best efficiency point (BEP). In this state, liquid flows consistently, and minimal external forces are present to interfere. When the flow rate either increases or decreases, there is an imbalance of pressure, which reduces the operating life of a pump, making it less than cost-efficient.

Once you’ve chosen well, think about installation. Pumps that are wrongly installed have significantly less efficient results. Ensure that the basics are followed in your installation. A pump needs a solid, heavy, flat concrete foundation. This foundation absorbs vibrations from the pump and prevents strain. All connections must me made placing no extra force while tightening to avoid the damaging effects of poor alignment. A good pump supplier can tackle all your installation appropriately.

Put in place a good maintenance program and keep stock.

Putting in place and making sure you follow a comprehensive maintenance program designed to keep pumps in their best shape is vital, as we’ve established. Plan regularly scheduled checks of as many technologies as possible to ensure that there are no underlying/not clearly visible problems that you’re missing. Organize yourselves into teams that oversee maintenance, with each team made up of technical people, of course, but also a management representative to give you the steering you need with goals in mind, operations staff as well as maintenance personnel from any third party vendors as applicable. Aim to meet at pre-set intervals to pre-empt issues that may arise, and you will save yourself a lot of stress, downtime and money. Think about whether you would like to enter into a maintenance contract with your supplier.

Keep on hand the parts and components prone to the most wear and tear, if your contract doesn’t cover everyday items. When choosing parts, while the temptation is to buy the cheapest ones that meet your specifications, be wary. Ensure parts are authentic and of high quality. The alternative is not worth the headache. Often, when part of a contract, maintenance providers will give you a new warranty on the parts replaced which can bring cost savings.