Patrick Hill reports on the latest pumps and rental applications around the world.

21 November 2008

One of Multiquip's InstaPrime series of dewatering and sludge pumps.

One of Multiquip's InstaPrime series of dewatering and sludge pumps.

Anyone who wants to learn just how specialised pump rental is becoming might want to talk with Wayne Side, product director, pumps for Speedy Hire's power division in the UK. "It is a very, very specialised sector," he tells IRN, "It's getting more technical as the years go by."

One example is the Bentonite pumps Speedy rents for pile driving applications from its sixpower equipment depots across the UK. The hardened-steel, 100 and 150 mm pumps, supplied by GenSet plc in the UK and each costing up to €78000, help move the Bentonite clay-impregnated fluids used on big foundation job sites.

What's special about their design are the features for quick disassembly for cleaning, a daily activity, says Mr Side, a twenty-year pump industry veteran. What is attractive to rental companies about this specialised pump application is that piling fluid set-ups require at least three pumps - one to flush the hole, one dredge pump to lift the slurry out, and the Bentonite pump to get it back to the batching plant.

Complex, too, is the range of accessories that Mr Side's group, part of the Power business unit Speedy formed three-and-a-half years ago, offers customers. These include valves, settlement tanks, fuel bowsers, drip trays, hoses - "a huge array," he says - that contribute a very healthy 25% of rental revenues.

Perhaps most interesting of the accessories are isolator panels that are part of pump power supply circuits. An option on the panels, from motor control system manufacturer Ralspeed in Blackburn, UK, is ultra-sound devices to start and stop the pumps. They use sound waves, instead of floats in the excavation, to determine water level. Mr Side says shipbuilders and utility companies use this type of starter because they are more reliable.

Then, too, are the hose ramps used for pumping across roads and other areas subject to vehicle traffic. The 7 m long, chequered steel-covered sections, which can be joined together, are flattened to reduce height but have flow capacity equal to 20 mm hoses.

Pump rental might seem less complex to MW Hire Services in Urlingford, County Kilkeeny, Ireland. It rents general construction equipment but specializes in pumps and gensets. David Walker, executive assistant, tells IRN, "We have so much repeat business, about 85%, that we don't often help choose equipment. Our customers usually know exactly what they need."

The company buys pumps primarily from SPP in Reading, UK, because the augur-type units are the most portable, extremely reliable, and easy to service, says Mr Walker. He says the company also likes their ability to pump across long distances.

MW Hire rents long enough to recover full cost of pump ownership, and then sells them. "Once we get over the first few months, it becomes self-financing," he says. After recovery of costs, "The pumps are easy to sell on," to smaller rental companies and to farmers.

The company enjoys utilisation between 80 and 90% of its 500 unit pump fleet, sized almost equally across 100, 150, and 200 mm units, for eight or nine months of the year. Some rental contracts are for three years, says Mr Walker, typified by the twenty 200 mm Q type SPP pumps sets on the construction site of the Limerick Tunnel beneath the River Shannon. That project began in August 2006 and will complete in 2010.

Clearly then, pump rental - contract lengths, pumps materials, application diversity, accessory variety - is clearly a complex business. But Speedy's Mr Side makes it simple. "We're interested in anything that's fluid and that needs to be pumped."

=== box story ===
Keeping LA clean, and quiet

Low noise was a selection factor for the six SPP pumps Charles King Co. of Signal Hill, California rented to the Los Angeles Department of Public Works. The department used two XF400-436 pumps, two XF300-418 and two Q Series pumps to bypass a 15 m sewer section during rebuild. The pumps, sited within 30 m of university classrooms, ran continuously at 0.83 m3/sec and 7.2 m of suction lift.

Steve Radaich of Charles King says, "Due to the extremely deteriorated condition of the sewer, loose aggregates including concrete, rocks, and brick were present in our wet well which ultimately entered our pumps. However, solids and rags were no match for SPP's spiral vane impeller, which passed all solids while continuously pumping."

Elsewhere, Charles King mounted a SPP XF300-475 diesel-powered single pump on a road-certified trailer and added sound insulation for the Los Angeles County Sanitation District (LACSD). It will be used for emergency bypass pumping at the Whites Point pumping Plant, which is on the Pacific coast and one of LACSD's most critical and environmentally sensitive. The XF300-475 is capable of 13.6 m3/min flow at 90 m of head.

=== box story ===
Less wear under Stockholm

The durability of submersible Grindex pumps is allowing contractor Oden Anläggningsentreprenad to tunnel at 80 to 100 m per week through granite to construct the Skanstull-Solberga high voltage cable tunnel under Stockholm. The seven pumps, rented from Cramo, primarily remove water used to cool the bits of the rock drill on the job.

Closest to the drilling rig and most exposed to drill cuttings in the water is a Grindex Major pump. "This water is almost like gruel," says Peter Ahlgren, blasting supervisor for Oden. "Grindex recommend 2000 running hours between services, but we service the pumps every 1500 hours to be on the safe side. In practice this means the shortest service interval for the pump system is two months."

Seven Grindex pumps together lift 300 l of water 50 m to the surface through a pump pit and series of settling tanks. Five are the new Major N model, which can deliver a maximum of almost 40 l/sec at 2 m of head, are on the project, which will be completed in 2010.

=== Pump highlights ===
Pioneer Pump will introduce by the end of 2008 the 21 bar PP86C12-C18ACERT vacuum assisted, self-priming pump, the first in a new series of high-pressure pumps. It will have a maximum flow rate greater than 11355 l/minute. The company, based in the US and with a UK arm, is also launching a new 100 mm solids handling, low-pressure, dewatering pump - the PP44S8-C1.5ACERT. It will be available with either a 76 mm solids handling impeller or a 51 mm solids handling, high-efficiency impeller.

To reduce pump power consumption, Pumpex in Sweden has put new motors with 10% better efficiency on its drainage pumps, series P1001, PC1001, P1501 (pictured), and PC1501, and sludge pumps, series SP20 and SP30. The company, part of the ABS Group, has also extended its SP series of heavy-duty, lightweight sludge pumps with two smaller models - the 0.9 kW SP 10 and 1.5 kW SP14. Pumpex also increased the opportunity to interchange parts of all its pumps up to 9 kW.

New to Godwin's range of Extreme High Head pumps is the HL110M model, which is capable of heads up to 185 m and maximum flows to 115 m3/h. The single-stage model, available with a Tier 3 engine, replaces the double-stage HL6TS2 and passes solids up to 19 mm in diameter. It can run dry indefinitely, primarily because of its high-pressure, oil bath, double-mechanical seal with solid silicon carbide faces. The seal more effectively transfers heat to the pump body, Godwin engineer Dwight Evans tells IRN. "We are our own largest user [Godwin has 5000 pumps in its US rental fleet]; we tend to break our own pumps first," he says.

ABS Group's US operation in Milwaukee is developing new trash pumps. The company is combining its dewatering and wastewater solids handling capabilities to create the engine-driven, direct-coupled CB trash pump series. Available in 20, 25, and 30 cm sizes, the range will offer dynamic heads up to approximately 50 m and flows up to approximately 28000 l/hr, says ABS. The CB8 and CB10 will handle solids from 9.8 to 12 cm in diameter, while the CB12 will pass objects 9.6 to12.9 cm in size.

BBA touts the benefits to the environment from the new Economy version of its PT range of wellpoint dewatering pumps. The Netherlands company says the double-action piston pumps, which deliver a maximum head of 20 m and flows from 35 to 190 m3/hr, use 35% less oil and 5% less fuel than standard models. Service intervals, because of adoption of DrivoOn engine concept, developed in conjunction with Hatz Diesel, is 1500 hours.

TowerLight has expanded its Liquidator range with the 1200 m3/hr Liquidator 12 (300 mm) model. The pump delivers a maximum head of 42 m and has a sound level of 65 dBa at 7 m. The company, which bases its sales and marketing functions in the UK and its manufacturing in Italy, also added its High Head Gladiator Priming pumps, available in 100 mm, 150 mm, and 200 mm sizes and delivering heads up to 200 m. The pumps have integral fuel tanks and are skid-mounted. The 200 mm model will pass solids up to 82 mm in diameter.

With a cutter that makes 3000 cuts per minute and a hardened impeller, Selwood's new C150 chopper pumps liquids containing a high proportion of solids, organic matter, sludge, or rags at a maximum of 225 m3/hr and at a maximum of 37 m of head. The Hampshire, UK-based company manufactures the electric-start diesel, self-priming pump and sells it for €23000.

Multiquip's InstaPrime series of dewatering and sludge pumps from the US is now available in sizes up to 200 mm and flows up to 13248 l/minute.

From Sweden, Grindex's new drainage pumps have an electronic motor guard, called Smart, to prevent damage due to phase drop out, overheating or overloading.

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