Selecting a pump seems like an easy task. They are all designed to move fluids from one place to another. Yet, when you really dig into it, it’s not such an easy decision. There many different types of pumps. There are different configurations and designs. Some are better for certain applications than others. There are a number of factors to take into consideration.
Here are 8 things to consider when selecting an industrial pump:
1. Fluid Properties
First and foremost, you must understand the types of fluids you are processing. This should be your most important concern. You have to find a pump that can handle the types of liquids, slurries, abrasive chemicals or viscous fluids your operation is dealing with. Some pumps just can’t process certain materials nearly as well as others. Some factors include:
• Acidity or Alkalinity (pH level)
• Solids Concentration and Solid Particle Sizes
• Specific Gravity
• Vapor Pressure
2. Pump Capacity (Flow Rates)
Knowing the type of fluid(s) you are processing is a good first step. That may help you determine the style of pump that you require. Next, you need to figure out the size and dial in certain pump configurations. You must understand how much you need to process in a day, a week or a year and use that to select or design a pump system that gives you the dependable flow rates you require.
3. Specialized Performance Factors
There are a number of other performance details and features you have to factor in for proper pump selection and configuration. We’re talking about friction head losses, static head, elevation, fluid velocity, variable speed drive, operating temperature, pressure, and output design. Most importantly, though, is evaluating your suction conditions and piping. 90% of all pumping problems are on the suction side of any pumping system. These are all details to research in order to help you find the best pump for the specific job at hand.
4. Energy Efficiency
Different pumps have different drive systems. The systems must also be optimized for efficient performance to reduce your energy costs during operation.
You may be able to save some money by purchasing a cheaper pump system. You may even be able to customize and configure it to handle your processing needs. However, running the wrong pump is usually a ticking time bomb. You may find yourself constantly making constant repairs or performing maintenance more often than you should. This can lead to costly downtime and unnecessary expenses. Why not just get the best pump to start with to save yourself a lot of headaches?
6. Ease of Use
You’ll also want to think about things like how difficult the pump system is to install and maintain in order to keep it working well. How often to seals, lubrication and bearings have to be replaced? What other maintenance and training procedures are required? Will your staff be able to handle the maintenance or do you need to bring in a specialist?
7. Environmental Considerations
If you are in an industry with strict environmental regulations, then choosing the right pump is vital. You have to prevent hazardous materials from leaking into the environment. Conversely, you have to prevent outside contaminants from seeping into the pump system. What about exhaust gases, fuel consumption and other environmental issues. These will need to be factored in when selecting your pump.
8. Control Systems
Many pump systems are controlled using specialized metering equipment and advanced software. This should also be taken into consideration when selecting and configuring the ideal pump for your industrial operation. These systems can really make a significant difference, or they can be the bane of your existence if there are constant problems with the software or accessories.
These are just some of the factors to consider when selecting a new industrial pump, as well as when configuring an effective pump system that will hopefully last you many, many years to come—no matter what materials you are pumping every day.
If you are looking to buy and install a new pump system, turn to the pump selection experts at DXP Pacific. Contact us today to get started!