Standard Alloys Improves Hydraulic Performance of Centrifugal Pumps
Standard Alloys is a subsidiary of KSB, Inc. (USA), a global supplier of pumps and mixers. The subsidiary focuses on continuously improving centrifugal pumps, increasing efficiency, increasing mean time between repair (MTBR), and minimizing lifecycle costs for the end customer. Many plants can save tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars by increasing MTBR, yet when a pump fails prematurely, the default response is to rebuild to the original condition.
“Every plant has a list of 'bad actors': pumps that only run for three, two, or even one year between repairs. If you fix those pumps so that they work exactly as they did before, nothing's going to change; you're going to be fixing it again next year,” says Richard Martinez, Managing Director of Standard Alloys.
“We try to figure out why that piece of equipment isn't lasting as long as expected. Then we evaluate how we can get it to the lifetime the customer wants and expects.”
With Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) guided hydraulic engineering, end-to-end in-house manufacturing, and more than 80 years experience, Standard Alloys works with customers to reduce pump errors, improve MTBR, and save money.
The process of improving a pump begins with comparing how a pump operates in its current environment to how the pump was designed to operate. If there is a discrepancy between how the pump was designed to operate and how it actually operates, Standard Alloys can modify the pump's hydraulic profile to better match the unit operating points by designing a Custom Hydraulic Solution. Standard Alloys also matches the product being pumped to industry standards at various temperatures and pressures to determine the ideal pump material.
"We aren't just a parts changer; we're a solution provider,” says Martinez. “Whether it's a metallurgic or hydraulic upgrade, we work to develop a true solution instead of just putting on a Band-Aid. We improve the performance and help the pump have a better hydraulic fit. The result is a longer run time, extended operating life, and greater efficiency.”
CFD allows Standard Alloys to simulate a range of “what-if” scenarios with hypothetical conditions and hydraulic layouts. Those simulations are benchmarked against a pump’s operation in the field, the goal being to optimize pump performance. Martinez reports customers saving anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 per year, per pump in energy savings alone.
Standard Alloys and KSB design, test, manufacture, and repair all products in-house to the OSHA 1910 standard. In addition, product quality is ensured through the company’s Quality Assurance Program, certified to ISO-9001:2008 by DNV.