South Africa’s lack of clean water and sanitation is pressurising the country’s pumps industry to provide solutions, says pumps manufacturer Sulzer, adding that its new pump ranges cater to the country’s need for improved water and sanitation, with ranges specifically developed for water transportation and desalination.
Sulzer is able to support the growth of the water market in these and other integral sectors, such as municipal water treatment and circulation pumps in power plants. The company is well-suited to fulfil these tasks, as they specialise in transporting large volumes of water over long distances and high geodetic heights, and configure every operation to suit the needs of the end-users.
Automatic optimisation tools play an important role in the development of Sulzer’s centrifugal pumps, which convert rotational energy to energy in a moving fluid.
Three-dimensional tools, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD), are used for hydraulic design, while finite element analysis (FEA) is used for the design process, ensuring mechanical integrity in the pump.
Results from CFD and FEA tests are then validated through model and prototype testing. Sulzer takes the time to integrate different analysis tools to ensure that an innovative design is created, permitting the optimum hydraulic fit, and allowing for improved control of the production chain, lower energy consumption, and optimal hydraulic performance over a range of flows.
In addition to improving and perfecting performance, Sulzer aims to provide high levels of standardisation. Hydraulic coverage is ensured by using standardised power levels and limited casing options, with a certain number of impeller designs per casing. Drastically reducing the number of standard parts to three, namely standardised shaft diameters, sealing systems and bearing housings, ensures lower inventory volumes, as well as lower manufacturing lead times.
Modular designs with a minimal number of parts, as well as good interchangeability, involve using as many common components for all hydraulics. Parts that should be interchangeable between pump sizes are listed as being the suction case, stage case, shaft, bearing parts and sleeves, as well as some sealing and balance disk parts. Parts specifically used for different duties are the discharge case, diffuser and impeller. Sulzer maintains that ease of maintenance is ensured, owing to the company’s pumps having modular designs and a limited number of parts.
The combination of automated design process and high levels of standardisation allow for Sulzer’s pumps to meet high industry expectations regarding suction performance and efficiency, while still having compact hydraulic water passages, and innovative volute and cutwater designs, which drastically reduce pressure pulsations, shaft and bearing vibration levels, resulting in less mechanical stress.