Demand for industrial pumps and dredging equipment supplier Integrated Pump Rental’s (IPR’s) rental fleet has doubled since the company’s introduction in 2014. IPR attributes this growth to its superior products and value proposition.
IPR MD Lee Vine says the company’s ability to offer fit-for-purpose products and turnkey solutions has ensured that its mining customers are able to improve efficiencies without incurring unwarranted costs. He notes that this is vital, as mines can ill afford additional expenses, especially during the current commodities downturn.
“By using our rental fleet, mines avoid any capital cost outlay,” Vine states, adding that IPR’s rental approach is more adaptive to site requirements than other pumps suppliers as, “it enables a mine to address situations as they arise, ensuring that it will not have to buy a new pump as and when its pumping requirements change”.
IPR’s fleet is able to cater to most applications, including slurry pumping, dewatering and dam dredging. The rental fleet includes products from Swedish manufacturer Grindex, Australian manufacturer Sykes and IPR’s in-house brand of dredging units.
Vine states that IPR has benefited from a successful marketing strategy – which was implemented last year after finalising its distribution agreement with Sykes in February – as it has generated increased rental orders for Sykes units from IPR’s existing client base, while significantly bolstering interest from potential new customers. “We have seen an increased number of enquiries from potential customers, particularly from mining companies that are looking for new suppliers and have noticed the savings and high-quality performance that we’re able to offer.”
Vine comments that the Grindex submersible units and IPR SlurrySucker dredge units remain popular, and that requests for these units have also increased.
Demand for the SlurrySucker in particular has exceeded IPR’s expectations and customers may eventually consider the SlurrySucker a revenue-generating device, rather than a cost. Over time, return ponds fill up with tailings and other sediment, which reduces their storage and surge capacity. Vine explains that, at some of the mines, the sediment removed from process or return water ponds is screened and processed, as this could potentially yield increased mineral recovery with economic value.
Vine also points out that the entire rental fleet comprises original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) products, ensuring that customers receive pumps that are renowned for their robustness and reliability.
“When the mines first came under pressure, companies rushed to cut costs, buying cheaper, poor-quality products, without considering the impact on life cycle costs. “Of late, mining companies have realised that using OEM products ensures reliable performance and reduces breakdowns, thereby enhancing mine productivity.”
In addition to its high-quality pumps, IPR offers various pump accessories, including fittings, piping, electric panels, hose floats, pump floatation devices, barges, monitoring devices and hydromining equipment.
Further, Vine says IPR’s staff has excellent technical knowledge and capability, also citing the service team’s responsiveness, recalling that, in November, a Vaal Triangle-based colliery called the team out on a Saturday, because its dams were overflowing. He notes that the service team responded immediately, installing nine Sykes CP150 diesel pumps that same day. “The pumps transferred 576 ℓ/s of water 3 km away over a seven-day period. Needless to say, the mine was extremely happy with our service.”
Vine states that the company offers installation commissioning, maintenance and decommissioning services, as well as engineering services from design through to fluid dynamics simulations. “We’re not just a drop-off and go service. We are available for the duration of the agreement and we can meet and mitigate almost any challenge,” he says, concluding that this is one of the reasons why the company is able to achieve consistent and sustainable growth.