Portable air and power rental company Rand-Air, a subsidiary of industrial equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco, has introduced the Weda range of dewatering pumps to its suite of rental options to meet demand from the market. This comes after the range of pumps was added as a purchase-only option in 2014.
“The rationale behind this decision is that the rental option preserves capital for the customer,” Rand-Air business development manager Henry Fourie explains, adding that rental is a particularly useful option amid the sharp economic downturn caused by the outbreak of Covid-19, which has caused many companies to be significantly more capital conscious than usual.
“Another benefit for the customer is that Rand-Air takes on the cost of pump maintenance,” he says, noting that this can help guarantee uptime for customers and give them access to the latest technologies available.
The Weda range of electric submersible pumps and accessories is designed for a number of dewatering applications across multiple industries. These pumps feature a built-in starter and motor protection system, along with optional automatic level control. Durability is ensured by adjustable wear-resistant rubber diffusors and hardened high-chrome impellers.
Various options of lightweight electric submersible pumps are available, designed specifically for drainage, sludge and slurry-pumping applications, and available in global voltages.
Atlas Copco Industrial South Africa Power Technique business development manager Sarel Bekker explains that the Weda pumps feature a unique sealing system and modular design, which he claims makes them highly flexible, easy to use and easy to maintain. He adds that the sealing system is designed to allow for simple maintenance and can be easily fitted on site.
The Weda range comprises drainage pumps (Weda D), sludge pumps (Weda S) and slurry pumps (Weda L).
Currently, Rand-Air’s main focus is to supply opencast mines, with several Weda S pumps supplied to gold mines for sludge-pumping applications.
Bekker adds that the coal mining industry also represents a significant portion of the demand for these pumps.
“The Weda S range is popular in mining because of its ability to handle solids of between 25 mm and 50 mm. Moreover, the voltage available – between 525 V and 550 V – is ideal for mining applications,” he explains.
Underground mining is not a focus for Rand-Air currently because of the unique set of requirements for underground applications such as the need for units to be explosion-proof, flameproof and spark-proof.
Bekker says the possibility of supplying such units to the underground mining market is under discussion, with the hope that it becomes a reality in the next few years.