By Jim Delee, Sr. Member Technical Staff, Fluid Components International
Pumps are all too frequently one of the most overlooked and abused pieces of equipment in process automation, yet nothing moves without them and a process becomes inefficient when they don’t operate properly or completely shutdown. While it is convenient to blame the pump manufacturer, more often than not the process or the surrounding equipment configuration is the problem.
Optimizing your process for productive operation, including the pump, and protecting the pump against common hazards, are two of the smartest ways that engineers and technicians can help their plant operations. These efforts will improve end-product or batch quality, cut the material costs, eliminate waste and reduce maintenance costs. Taking good care of your pump always delivers a positive payback and there are some simple strategies that can be employed—starting with an analysis of process media flow rates.
Protecting Your Process
With today’s focus on turning plants into 24/7 lean operations, the pumps in most plants are running near capacity to keep up with material through-put objectives and demand in many industries—such as petrochemicals.