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The Importance of Maintaining Your Slurry Pumps

The Importance of Maintaining Your Slurry Pumps

Release time:
2019/05/11 15:15
Regular maintenance of your slurry pumps extends the wear life, helps avoid unplanned downtime and lowers the total ownership cost for end users. In the rigorous, demanding world of mining, slurry pumps are often run to breaking point before intervening. This may seem beneficial in the short-term, but in the long-term you could be doing your plant an injustice.    
Monitoring the performance characteristics of the slurry pump regularly keeps you informed of its operation, and provides ample time to take a measured response rather than incurring a failure and unplanned downtime.    
From a preventative perspective, there are regular tasks to carry out during the campaign of the pump to ensure it runs for longer. If there is an unusual sound detected, leakage identified or a spike in temperature or vibration, this triggers the need for more in-depth maintenance during a planned shut-down before a failure occurs.  
Every machine that runs vibrates: place your hand on your refrigerator at home and you’ll feel minor vibrations as the electric motor runs. With most machines, vibration is one of the earliest indicators of a machine’s health and is therefore an important measurement to monitor closely.
The vibration velocity target varies from slurry pump to slurry pump; the maximum value target for a large size slurry pump will be greater than a medium sized pump handling water. Conversely, when we introduce solids into the fluid the vibration will increase in relation to the mixture properties and the duty parameters. When running routine inspections we always refer to historical data to understand the range of vibration acceptable for that particular slurry pump in that particular application.   
Vibration monitoring is about following a trend on a regular basis to understand if there has been a noticeable change. Our technical customer facing team are familiar with the data and can tell you when the equipment is approaching the end of its life or if there’s an issue there that needs to be attended to urgently. 
Once the slurry pump reaches the end of its wear life it’s normal to experience an exponential growth curve in vibration readings, which will start to increase gradually. However, if our team notices a spike in vibration before the end of its service life, then we know something is wrong and requires further investigation. Generally, a spike in vibration is due to a wearing impeller or other wet end parts, which we can simply change out during a planned shutdown