INDUSTRY PLATFORM The annual Agritech Expo in Zambia is an opportunity for industry stakeholders and consumers to communicate and find solutions
Pumps and valves producer KSB Pumps & Valves has introduced the PumpDrive variable-speed system for the effective and controlled pumping of wastewater.
The system has been designed specifically to overcome problems related to the pumping of wastewater. Three innovative functions have been incorporated into the system, to allow for the optimal operation of pumps.
The first function involves establishing a complete water column almost immediately during start-up. This is done through a system that allows the pump to be taken to maximum speed within four seconds, and maintained for three minutes, allowing an appropriate flow to pass through all piping elements before the system starts its controlled, demand-driven operation. This function ensures that the discharge line and pump casing are fully primed, in order for fluids to be handled.
The second function is what is known as the ‘flushing function’. This is activated either automatically or manually, where operators use a control panel. The proportional-integral-derivative controller, a control loop feedback mechanism widely used in industrial control systems and applications requiring continuously modulated control, increases the speed up to a maximum value, triggering the required flushing effect. The pump’s current control task is temporarily halted for the flushing process. After the predefined flushing period, the flushing function stops, and the system is able to return to its previous, controlled operation.
The PumpDrive variable-speed system’s third function is flow velocity monitoring, a new feature designed to improve operating reliability of pumps on site. Flow velocity monitoring ensures that the minimum flow velocities specified at the time of selection are met, to keep the pipes free from deposits. If the flow velocity falls below the programmed minimum, PumpDrive can either transmit a fault message to the control station, or use the flushing function to remove any deposits from the piping. Flow velocity is computed by the variable-speed system based on measured electric values of the drive. No external sensors are required.
Up to six PumpDrives can be combined into a controlling unit, through plug-in bus lines, allowing the user to operate six pumps in parallel. The plug-in starts and stops the pump sets in line with demand, while ensuring that the operating load is evenly distributed. It compensates for the possible failure of individual components without interrupting the operation. All PumpDrives are designed for motors with ratings of up to 55 kW.
Focus on Africa’s Farmers
To showcase KSB’s innovative pumps products, the company attended the yearly Agritech Expo Zambia, which took place from April 27 to 29 in Chisamba, in Zambia, and was organised by events management company Spintelligent.
At the expo, KSB Zambia MD Alf Jacobsen said, despite its being the first show of its kind that KSB Zambia had exhibited at, it met the company’s objectives. “Our internal team was able to share ideas with farmers, and was delighted to see that many of the irrigation companies displayed KSB solutions as well.”
The KSB stand also attracted the attention of Zambian President Edgar Lungu, who expressed his desire to take up farming after his retirement. He assured Jacobsen that, when he did take up farming, that he has earmarked KSB as a preferred supplier.
The stand also attracted commercial and smaller-scale farmers from across the region, to discuss its own unique requirements. Jacobsen said that this provided KSB with the opportunity to meet with many types of farmers, to discuss solutions for dealing with challenges such as pig manure and feathers.
The show also gave KSB delegates an opportunity to reaffirm relationships with dealers and customers. It showed that there are many opportunities in the Zambian market, with the potential for growth. It also raised the challenge of KSB tailoring more solutions for Zambia’s unique market, including solar-powered pump solutions.