May.2024 27
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How to perform preventive maintenance on slurry pumps based on external performance indicators.
Introduction
Identifying signs of wear in your slurry pump early allows for preventive maintenance, which is far more efficient than emergency repairs.
Details

Unplanned repairs and downtime can be expensive. Identifying signs of wear in your slurry pump early allows for preventive maintenance, which is far more efficient than emergency repairs.

While regular internal inspections of the pump are important, there are often external indicators of wear that can be detected. By monitoring these signs and addressing them through scheduled maintenance, you can prevent unexpected failures and additional damage.

  1. Excessive Leakage at the Gland Different sealing technologies have varying acceptable leakage levels. It is crucial for operators to understand what constitutes normal and excessive leakage for the specific sealing type in use. If there is too much leakage, a simple adjustment or minor repair may suffice. Ignoring it can lead to more expensive repairs.

  2. Increased Power Consumption Pumps require substantial energy to move slurry through pipelines. An increase in power consumption suggests that the pump is working harder to achieve the same output or, worse, working harder and delivering less. This not only raises energy costs but also reduces productivity, which can significantly impact profitability. Any sudden change in power usage should be a red flag indicating a problem.

  3. Vibration While some equipment operates with high vibration levels, pumps should not. High vibration in pumps indicates inefficiency or worn components such as bearings, turbulent flow, or inadequate foundations. An attentive operator will notice these changes and recognize them as warning signs.

  4. Pump Performance Monitoring the pump’s flow rate is beneficial for assessing process efficiency and identifying wear in pump components. Various factors, such as obstructions, can reduce flow rate, but a consistent and long-term decline usually indicates worn liners and impellers.

  5. Belt Tension and Alignment Loose belts often produce a loud, squealing noise and generate heat, leading to eventual belt failure. Additionally, slippage from a loose belt reduces energy transfer efficiency between the motor and pump. Conversely, excessive belt tension or poor alignment can stress the bearing assembly and motor mount, causing increased wear on the bearings and reducing efficiency.

By recognizing and addressing these signs of wear, you can maintain the efficiency and longevity of your slurry pump, ultimately saving on costs and downtime.