“In every industry, pumps are critical, no matter what it is. Mining, power, water, sewage treatment, wastewater, the whole lot. Everything uses pumps,” says Lance Brett, Product Manager Pumps & Mechanical Seals at Motion’s in-house sealing specialists, Seal Innovations (SiL). SiL specialises in designing advanced sealing solutions that secure and protect valuable materials in mining and ore processing applications.
With a wealth of 35 years of expertise in the field, Lance explains that mining pumps predominantly comprise of robust slurry pumps specifically designed to efficiently transport slurries with high solid content.
“These pumps are generally rubber or metal lined on the inside, and are subject to constant wear and tear, and their maintenance is crucial to maintain their performance and efficiency,” says Lance.
“In mining, the process is very abrasive, so the lifespan of the pump generally isn’t as long as it is in general industry, so the pumps need maintenance a lot more often because they wear out a lot faster,” discusses Lance.
He highlights that despite the critical role that pumps play in operations, companies may overlook or delay necessary maintenance tasks due to various reasons such as budget constraints, lack of awareness, or a focus on immediate production needs.
As a result, Lance discusses the comprehensive pump repair services offered by SiL as a solution. They provide workshops where pumps are brought in for a full strip assessment and photographic report to determine what needs to be repaired and restored to bring the pump back to its optimal performance.
“We’re a one-stop-shop because we can repair it, we have the bearings, all the parts needed, all in-house as well. Mechanical seal repair, pump repair, spares, greases, the whole lot, all available through Motion,” Lance explains. “Due to being in-house, we don’t have to rely on a lot of outside supply at all.” Keeping us competitive.
Lance explains that these pumps are often subjected to rigorous operational demands, including high flow rates, frequent use, and exposure to harsh environmental conditions.
“As a result, they may experience wear and tear, mechanical failures, or other issues over time, which can lead to leaks, reduced performance, or even complete failure,” highlights Lance.
He explains that leaking pumps can also be a safety hazard and may result in environmental concerns or disruption of fuel supply, making prompt repair crucial to avoid downtime and potential losses.
Premature seal failures can be a major issue in slurry pumps due to the susceptibility of gland seals to malfunctioning caused by excessive friction resulting from over-tightening of the seals.
It is important to note that gland sealed pumps are designed to leak and drip so that the flushing water can cool the gland. Attempting to stop leakage by forcing too much pressure leads to increased friction in the seal, which can ultimately cause failure.
To prevent untimely seal failures in slurry pumps, a combination of measures should be taken, including selecting the appropriate seal material, ensuring proper installation, following a correct pump start-up procedure, and maintaining an optimum pressure and
flow of clean flush water. Additionally, Seal Innovations provide hybrid solutions that can be effective in reducing the occurrence of seal failures.
The SiL team can also analyse problems with these types of issues on site in collaboration with the customer. The team can assess the extent of the issue, examine the problem areas such as the pump in this case and identify the root cause of the issue.
When problems like these are identified, the team can take necessary actions, which may include sourcing readily available parts, and sometimes even repairing the pumps on the same day, as discussed by Lance.
“We have mechanical seals readily available on our shelf, and bearings in-house, which can sometimes result in efficient turnaround time. We are able to handle everything in-house, as long as there isn’t any significant internal damage. This is just one example of how SiL can prioritises uptime and minimise downtime for our customers,” Lance explains.
Lance explains that pumps are typically engineered to achieve specific flow rates. However, if the internal components of a pump are worn out and not functioning optimally, it can lead to a decrease in these rates. This inefficiency can result in the pump taking twice as long to complete its intended task, which can cause operational challenges.
Customers can rely on Motion’s commitment to delivering top-notch pump repair services, with a range of solutions including quality parts, spares, and greases available in-house. With a focus on reducing downtime and offering cost-effective solutions, Motion is dedicated to keeping the mining and processing industry pumping smoothly. Customers are encouraged to contact Motion for expert pump repair services and experience their exceptional commitment to excellence.
Seal Innovations Slurry Pump Package
• Gland Packing products
• Gland Packing installation procedures and tools
• Slurry Pump Mechanical Seals
• Water Management System to be used along with mechanical seal
• Bearing Isolators
• Rotary Seals*
• O-Rings *
• Lantern Rings*
• Shaft Sleeves*
• Gaskets (Manufactured locally and can be customised)
*Available in all sizes, profiles, design, and materials