Peaked interest in new slurry pumps range

RUI GOMES Development of the WHB range has been a global effort across Weir Minerals’ operations in order to incorporate our customers’ needs and requirements

PRODUCT IMPROVEMENTS IMPLEMENTED The Warman WBH slurry pump undergoing testing at Weir Mineral Africa's Alrode manufacturing centre

PLANT OPERATIONS OPTIMISED The new Warman WBH slurry pump on site at a crushing plant

12th June 2015

By: Kimberley Smuts

Creamer Media Reporter


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Interest in slurry equipment solutions provider Weir Minerals’ Warman slurry pumps has peaked over the past 12 months, with sales of these pumps having increased.

Launched in August last year, Weir Minerals’ new WBH slurry pump range includes many enhancements and material improvements to meet the productivity and cost demands of all types of customers and operating environments.

“Development of this range has been a global effort across Weir Minerals’ operations in order to incorporate our customers’ needs and requirements,” says Weir Minerals slurry pumps product manager for Africa and the Middle East Rui Gomes.

Key design features that have proven successful in previous ranges of pumps have been incorporated into the design of the new range.

“We have used field data to improve the existing range to ensure that the design is optimally applied in the marketplace. As an example, this particular pump has interchangeable metal volute or rubber liners, which allows for flexibility of application,” explains Gomes.

The complete WBH range includes pumps in sizes from 50 mm up to 300 mm discharge dia- meter, with a range of sealing arrangements such as a low-flow gland seal, expeller seal and mechanical seal options. This results in less dilution of the slurry and a lower requirement for gland water flow.

An additional feature of the Warman WBH pump is the external casing that maintains the integrity of the pump structure, even if the liners inside the pump exhibit wear.

The pumps in the WBH range are designed with a throatbush or front liner adjustment mechanism that continuously minimises the impeller gap as recirculation increases. Both the impeller and throatbush can be adjusted from a single point on the exterior of the pump, allowing a more even wear pattern and extended life of the pump’s wet end parts. The pumps also have an integral (one-piece) bearing frame.

With this new concept in impeller and volute design, power costs will decrease and can be controlled, Gomes states.

In support of the company’s value proposition of lowest total cost of ownership, Weir Minerals designs its pumps to achieve longer wear life while reducing the extent of yearly maintenance and the associated costs.

“Typically, if you are looking at an annual pump maintenance programme, you would consider four- to five-month cycles. However, if you can improve the cycle to between six and seven months, it will increase plant availability substantially and reduce the total ownership cost of the pump,” he explains.

The WBH range is locally manufactured and will be exported in line with project demand.

Gomes notes that local manufacturing was undertaken to address the markets in South Africa and on the African continent, adding that, as a heavy-duty slurry pump, the WBH range is aimed at applications in commodities such as gold, platinum, copper, chrome, iron-ore and coal.

As a company, Weir Minerals also ensures that its products are standardised and globalised by testing the pumps in different facilities and comparing the results.

“Although our focus is on the African market, we have supplied pumps into Australia, South America and Europe through our regional companies for projects in those territories,” says Gomes.

He notes that the mining industry is under financial pressure and, therefore, industry players are aiming to improve plant efficiency and optimise their operations.

As a result, Weir Minerals implemented product improvements aimed at reducing power consumption, Gomes notes.

Weir Minerals operates a number of service and support centres in strategic areas of Africa to ensure that end-users have immediate access to aftermarket support teams. In addition, maintenance contractors are on site to ensure that the pumps are working efficiently.

He says: “Mines rely on pump availability and the accessibility to parts as an important part of product support. The WBH pump design incorporates this requirement effectively.”

Edited by Leandi Kolver
Creamer Media Deputy Editor



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