New product ranges to enhance pumps portfolio

NEW ADDITION Weir Minerals has designed an entire range of Warman WBV vertical spindle sump pumps with a unique built-in sump agitation system

ENHANCING PERFORMANCE Weir Minerals offers the additional service of mill circuit audits, including investigating mining operation, mass balance review and operational trends

30th January 2015

By: Mia Breytenbach

Creamer Media Deputy Editor: Features


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Weir Minerals – a division of Scotland-headquartered engineering solutions provider Weir Group – is focused on enhancing its portfolio of pumps and materials technologies to assist customers in achieving the best returns from the products in which they are investing. The company will launch several new pumps ranges this year.

“Weir Minerals has designed an entire range of Warman WBV vertical spindle sump pumps with a unique built-in sump agitation system, and the product has achieved success on a global field-test initiative,” says Weir Minerals Africa slurry pumps product manager Rui Gomes. He tells Mining Weekly that he expects the range to be commercially launched onto the South African market in the first quarter of 2015.

While Weir Minerals has successfully trialled several of these pumps in various minerals sectors, including the platinum, diamond, copper and phosphate commodity markets, the next step is to continue testing in the coal and iron-ore industries. Gomes says the company plans to introduce the range to the rest of the African continent after the initial launch.

He highlights that Weir Minerals’ range of WBV vertical spindle sump pumps features an integrated, high-efficiency agitator system within the wearing parts, which is designed to combat the traditional solids build-up in sumps by keeping the solids in suspension during the pumping operation.

“Having the integrated agitating feature sets the range apart from other existing sump pump ranges available on the market. This eliminates the requirement for either an external agitator system or, in most cases, an ineffective water-fed agitation system,” notes Gomes.

The patented features of the agitator system used in the WBV pump addresses the largely unsolved problem of sump or pit bogging, which inevitably results in loss of production. Gomes adds that a unique inducer feature creates a swirling motion that assists in suspending the solids in the sump, ensuring that the solids enter the inlet of the impeller without the associated negative wear found in mechanical agitation systems.

“While Weir Minerals has a host of different pumps ranges for various applications, the company continuously hones its efforts and designs to cater for more specific industry needs.

“Based on Weir Minerals Africa’s experience and exposure to customers’ applications, as well as the industry’s requirements, the company designed the pumps to feature enhanced longevity, wear life, pump efficiency and improved sealing arrangements.

“The footprint of the pump has also been customised to suit existing plant applications, thereby reducing the impact for clients when replacing existing pumps,” Gomes says.

Enhanced Service Focus
Weir Minerals Africa sales, marketing and engineering director Rob Fawcett told Mining Weekly in September last year that the company was focusing on the mill circuit and the improvements that it was able to make in this key area for its clients.

Gomes reiterates this, further emphasising that the success of the company’s other pumps ranges, such as the MCR and MCU pumps ranges, can be attributed to Weir Minerals Africa’s understanding of the mill circuit.

“By narrowing our efforts to improve pump performance, and by broadening the examination and auditing of the entire pumps system in the mill circuit, including suction, feed tank designs and material optimisation, we can significantly enhance the pumps’ longevity and performance.”

Gomes notes that, while these criteria are considered during the initial mine design, the requirements at a mine are ever changing. Weir Minerals offers the additional service of mill circuit audits, including investigating mining operation, mass balance review and operational trends, with a key focus on optimum pump operation and performance.

He stresses that, if such adjustments are not made to the equipment as mines developed over time, it could affect the entire operation, from pump performance to the plant’s efficiency and production output.

As a result, Weir Minerals works closely with many mining companies to provide an overall view of plant performance and determine whether there is room for improvement, he says.

Gomes concludes that, in continuing its drive to reduce the total cost of ownership of pump and additional products, in line with customer requirements, Weir Minerals Africa will increase its focus on this service offering for 2015.

Edited by Samantha Herbst
Creamer Media Deputy Editor



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