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Simulation software helps improve pump system efficiency

ACCURATE MODELING Pumpsim enables mining companies can build a network of pipes, channels, pumps, tanks, valves and sprays to simulate flows and pressures of liquids, slurries and many other fluids

Photo by Victor Moolman

VIRTUAL WORLD The University of Pretoria provided a virtual reality environment to showcase the models created using Pumpsim

Photo by Victor Moolman

15th September 2017

By: Victor Moolman

Creamer Media Writer

     

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The Pumpsim pumping simulation software package uses three-dimensional (3D) models that identify the location of weak points in pump systems and where greater pressure is required to improve efficiency, explains consulting services Chasm Consulting Australia director Craig Stewart.

Using tools to accurately model, simulate and improve the efficiency of a mine’s pump and pipe fluid reticulation systems, mining companies can build a network of pipes, channels, pumps, tanks, valves and sprays to simulate flows and pressures of liquids, slurries and many other fluids.

Poor water reticulation design in a mining, construction or other industrial environment can often result in an unreliable water supply system, stresses Chasm Consulting, warning that this may result in insufficient water supply or pressure, pipe breakage, poor pump performance and production delays.

“Pumpsim can solve these problems by ensuring that pumps and pipes are correctly sized and rated, and that the pipe and pump design is optimal for all required activities. By ensuring your reticulation systems are correctly designed, you can be confident of the safe, continuous supply and removal of water at correct pressures and flows, eliminating costly downtime,” explains Chasm Consulting.

Speaking at the University of Pretoria, in Gauteng, in July, Stewart showcased the advantages of using Pumpsim on the Kumba Virtual Reality Centre for Mine Design at the university.

Mining technology integrator Dwyka Mining Services CEO Jamie van Schoor explains that the centre was used for the Pumpsim discussion, as it uses five projectors to display images in a cylindrical room, producing a 3D environment that enables people to experience more intricate models through the virtual reality experience.

Van Schoor says Pumpsim, which was launched onto the African market at the start of this year, can simulate a mine’s complete pump pressure system potential.

Unlike similar software on the market, it can import already completed 3D models from other software solutions to create accurate representations of a mine’s pump system.

By importing models of an existing or yet-to-be-built mine’s pump system, generated using computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software, a full-scale, realistic model is created. He points out that this allows for models generated in Pumpsim to take into account all the parameters required to create an effective pump system at a mine.

“Traditionally, pumping models were produced using large schematics, with lines representing links between pumps and water sources. Using the 3D process, we can add schematics and already rendered models,” he explains.

He goes on to highlight that Pumpsim offers a database of existing pumps, pipes and other equipment for simulation purposes to help mine managers, designers and owners effectively plan the placement of equipment at their mines.

The software can also show a mine’s management the effect of adding new equipment to areas by predicting its downstream effect.

“We can investigate how to improve the efficiency of systems and ensure that pumps are functioning properly and most efficiently, allowing for the optimisation of pumping systems and ensuring that the best results are achieved,” Stewart says.

He adds that additional features of the Pumpsim software include 3D modelling with smooth rotation, zoom and pan; real-time animation of liquid flow; pump, flow simulation and pump/pipe modelling; the import of centre lines and solids from CAD packages; and drawing exchange formats for the rapid building of models.

Edited by Tracy Hancock
Creamer Media Contributing Editor

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