Useful Information / Technical Support
Why service your drum pump?
Reliable equipment is crucial in manufacturing. Pumps are used in many different industries, from pharmaceuticals through to food and chemicals. Any production that involves fluids requires a pump. Taking care of your pump is vital to ensure optimal performance and to prevent costly downtime and repairs. This article explores drum pump maintenance; including how and why you should take care of your pump.
Firstly, let’s explore the difference between corrective and preventative maintenance. Corrective maintenance occurs once a pump failure has already taken place. This requires essential industrial pump maintenance to be conducted swiftly, to get the pump working efficiently again with minimal manufacturing or process downtime.
Focussing only on corrective maintenance poses a concern as it solely addresses issues after they occur, rather than being proactive in preventing them. It’s perhaps more important to reduce pressure and downtime stemming from unforeseen centrifugal pump issues. Therefore, the implementation of a preventative maintenance schedule becomes useful for a business.
Preventative maintenance is less costly. This is because more parts are often required to repair a complete failure than to perform routine maintenance. Businesses can also plan and prepare rather than have a failure occur at an unwelcome moment.
A perfect example of this is replacement of the mechanical seal in the F430 pump. This is a wear part that should be replaced every 2 years, or approximately 800 hours run. If the seal is not replaced and subsequently fails, liquid will enter the inner tube, contaminating the bearings, o-rings and driveshaft. These parts are not designed to be immersed in the pumped fluid and may be corroded or degraded. Liquid may begin to leak from the top of the pump tube below the motor, causing further damage and possibly creating a risk to the operator. The repair cost will be at least double the cost of a replacement mechanical seal.
Importance of pump repair and maintenance
Whole-Life Cost Savings
Implementing pump maintenance procedures reduces the risk of unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs. Regular inspections and preventive maintenance will identify potential issues before they escalate, saving you money in the long run.
Well-maintained pumps operate more efficiently, resulting in energy savings and reduced operational costs.
By following proper maintenance practices, you can significantly extend the lifespan of your drum pump. This means avoiding premature replacement costs and maximising return on investment.
A well-maintained pump is less likely to pose safety risks, such as leaks, overheating, or sudden failures. Protecting the integrity of the process ensures a safe working environment.
Depending on the industry, there may be specific regulations or standards regarding equipment maintenance. Properly maintaining your pump helps meet these requirements and avoid potential legal or regulatory issues.
How to implement a Preventive Maintenance Program
If you currently lack a maintenance program for your pump, assign this responsibility to a team member. Follow a preventive maintenance schedule, e.g. annual servicing. This may include tasks such as replacing seals and o-rings, checking motor shaft alignment, testing safety devices such as pressure switches and verifying pump efficiency.
Identifying and addressing issues early can significantly contribute towards avoiding breakdowns. By implementing a structured maintenance routine, you can ensure optimal performance, whilst avoiding downtime.
Pump maintenance checklist:
Conduct routine visual and audible inspections to check for signs of impeller wear, shaft deflection, leaks, corrosion, loose connections or unusual noises. Check the motor coupling cage for wear and damage. The motor connection union nut can be damaged by rough handling. If cracked, replace it immediately. Otherwise there is a risk of the motor becoming detached from the pump which can destroy the coupling cage. Foot pieces and impellers can be damaged by abrasive particles, by dropping the pump or by pumping large solid particles.
During the visual inspection, you may notice corrosion of the pump body. Such corrosion can lead to failure due to weakening of the welds and essential components. Unwelcome centrifugal pump repair can be avoided by addressing this early. Consider if the liquid is compatible with the pump materials of construction.
Monitor Vibration and Noise
Unusual vibrations or excessive noise can indicate driveshaft or bearing wear. Regularly monitor and investigate any abnormal vibrations or noises and address the root cause promptly. If liquid, sludge or solid particles have entered the inner tube of the F430 pump, this can cause friction and excessive heat, leading to a squealing noise.
The driveshaft in the seal-less FP424 pump is reversible – if shaft wear is noted, reverse the driveshaft and double its lifespan. Pumping abrasive particles with seal-less pumps should be avoided. This leads to excessive impeller, bearing and shaft wear, causing vibrations and eventually premature failure. Excessive motor noise can be attributed to worn bearings or carbon brushes.
Infiltration of debris, dirt or contaminants into the liquid container should be avoided if possible. Regularly check filters and strainers, ensuring they remain free from blockage. Pumps used to transfer sticky or crystallising liquids should be flushed before being left idle for a length of time, to avoid damage to seals.
Check Seals and Stators
Examine elastomers, seal faces and o-rings carefully, checking for signs of wear or damage. Replace these components as needed to proactively avoid leaks. Leaks could result in damage to the pump, nearby equipment and the environment, potentially delaying production. Worn progressive cavity pump stators will greatly reduce pumping efficiency.
It’s essential to remember that mechanical seals are prone to wear and tear. Regularly replacing them will extend pump life. Centrifugal pump bearing replacement will increase the longevity of your pump.
Excessive heat generation in the motor, motor coupling or pump bearings must be avoided. Potential causes could be due to lack of lubrication, mechanical seal failure, misconnection of the pump and motor, or overload from pumping viscous or adhesive liquid. In addition, using the incorrect power input, dry running, or running the pump against a closed valve for long periods will generate excess heat.
If overheating is left unchecked, rapid failure can occur. This is of particular concern if the pump is used with flammable liquids, or in a Zoned area. Diagnose the root cause and take appropriate corrective measures.
It is vital to ensure there is not an accumulation of solids in your pump, as this can lead to impeller or driveshaft clogging. Signs of clogging include decreased flow rate, excess noise and eventually a destroyed motor coupling if total blockage occurs.
Although we endeavour to stock a wide range of parts in our UK warehouse, we recommend keeping typical wear parts such as mechanical seals, stators, o-rings, coupling cages and union nuts readily available on-site. You can download our Flux spare parts lists here (LINK). Having these components on hand helps avoid delays in repairing the pump in case of a failure.
Embracing a proactive pump maintenance strategy and maintaining a supply of critical parts will significantly reduce downtime and optimise overall pump performance.
If you need further assistance with the maintenance of your pump, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org today!
FLUX Pumps Intern. (UK) Ltd.
In 1950 the worldwide’s first electrical drum pump was named FLUX. Meanwhile the undisputed pioneer on the field of drum pump technology also has outstanding expertise and experience in many other areas of pump technology. The comprehensive product portfolio ranges now from various pump types with motors, flow meters and accessories to subsystems for the plant engineering and special system solutions like the drum emptying systems. The internationally acting family company with its 7 subsidiaries and numerous sales partners supplies its products to more than 100 countries worldwide.
Contact and information:
FLUX Pumps Intern. (UK) Ltd.
12 Enterprise Park
Verwood, Dorset BH31 6YS
Phone. +44 1202 823304
Fax +44 1202 813387