South African slurry pumps manufacturer Pump and Abrasion Technologies (PAT) has designed and manufactured a new range of slurry pumps, the CURVE range, tailored specifically for the needs of the market.
The CURVE range was officially launched in South Africa at Electra Mining Africa 2016 earlier this month and on a global platform at MINExpo International 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the US, on September 26.
PAT MD Jaco Buitendag comments that over the past 11 years, the company has established itself in the market as a trusted and well-respected supplier of heavy-duty slurry pumps with its Battlemax, BattleStream and BattleSub ranges.
He adds that having identified a need in the market for new technology, PAT made a strategic decision to take a clean-sheet approach to developing an innovative and more technologically advanced slurry pumps solution.
Buitendag explains that the end result of over three years of research and product development is the CURVE range – a “benefit saturated product” that now enables PAT to strengthen its clients’ operations.
“Over the past three years, we have worked with our clients to identify key improvements that could be made to existing slurry pumps. We applied the latest technology in developing the new CURVE range, which we believe will revolutionise the slurry pumps industry,” he says.
Buitendag highlights that the initial testing of the CURVE pumps showed results with regard to total oxidisable carbon reduction, longer wear life, improved efficiency, lower power consumption throughout the product life cycle and improved safety during maintenance.
“The results of testing against these key considerations are proof that PAT is answering all the current challenges faced by mining operations today. What our research and knowledge of the industry showed was that current slurry pumping technology had not changed extensively over the past 50 years,” he reveals.
Moreover, he mentions that with the rate of technological advancements happening in all aspects of mining, the company felt that a new slurry pumping product was desperately needed in the market.
Buitendag adds that PAT, therefore, proceeded to allocate a significant portion of its development resources to collecting customer feedback and packaged it into what the company believes represents the new generation in slurry pumps.
He asserts that the crucial factor in the CURVE range’s performance is its design, explaining that the technical design approach entailed focusing on the internal hydraulic layout and the exact profiles of the hydraulic passage through the pump – two “fundamental elements which prompted special attention”.
Buitendag explains: “When plotting specific geometric size against total life cycle cost there is a point where capital and operational costs achieve a combined optimum. Every model in the CURVE range is sized to hit this optimum and deliver the lowest ownership cost to the end-user.”
Further, he notes that energy consumption was also a key design consideration and was evaluated across the entire product life cycle. The result is that the CURVE range’s hydraulics deliver low-energy consumption for a far longer period. The slurry centrifugal pump’s layout was also critically evaluated to identify areas with potential for improvement in order to guarantee increased efficiency.
“One of the additional objectives we strived to meet in the CURVE range’s development was for lower costs for mines when adopting this new technology. Keeping this in mind, we designed it so that its new technology can be retrofitted to legacy pumping systems with minimal changes to existing piping. What this means for our clients is that outdated equipment can now be upgraded with minimal operational impact and capital output,” emphasises Buitendag.
He comments that, ultimately, what the CURVE range will offer the mining industry is slurry pumps that reduce the total ownership cost by 40% to 60%, reduce downtime by up to 80%, improve safety for personnel fitting and working with the pump, and boast shorter delivery lead times, owing to product availability and strategic distribution partnerships.
“These are concerns that we hear from the African market as a whole on a monthly basis. We sought to address these needs and are extremely proud of the product that we have been able to bring to the market,” says Buitendag.
He concludes that with the innovative advancements the company has made, coupled with its industry track record of unwavering client support and delivery, PAT is ready to make CURVE pumps industry leading.