Pump and Abrasion Technologies Africa Sales Head James Pienaar and Sales Manager Pieter Jordaan
South African slurry pump manufacturer Pump and Abrasion Technologies (PAT) has taken the exciting and bold step of designing and manufacturing a new range of slurry pumps tailored specifically to the needs of the market. The CURVE range was officially launched on South African soil at the 2016 Electra Mining event and will take to the global stage at Mine Expo International 2016, which is taking place in Las Vegas later this month.
Over the past 11 years, PAT has established itself in the market as a trusted and well-respected supplier of heavy-duty slurry pumps with its Battlemax, BattleStream and BattleSub ranges. Having identified a need in the market for a new technology, PAT MD Jaco Buitendag says that PAT made a strategic decision to take a clean sheet approach to developing an innovative and more technologically advanced slurry pump solution. “Over the past three years we have worked with our clients to identify key improvements that could be made to existing slurry pumps. We applied the latest technology in developing the new CURVE range, which we believe will revolutionise the slurry pump industry,” says Buitendag.
Initial testing of the CURVE pumps have shown remarkable results with regards to total ownership costs, or TOC, reduction, longer wear life, improved efficiency, lower power consumption throughout the product life cycle and improved safety during maintenance. The results of testing against these key considerations are proof that PAT is answering all the current challenges faced by mining operations today.
“What our research and knowledge of the industry shows is that current slurry pumping technology has not changed much over the past 50 years. With the rate of technological advancements happening in all aspects of mining, we felt that a new slurry pumping product was desperately needed in the market. We proceeded to allocate a significant portion of our development resources to collecting customer feedback and packaged this into what we feel represents the new generation in slurry pumps,” Buitendag explains.
The end result of over three years of research and product development from a clean sheet is the CURVE range – a benefit-saturated product that now enables PAT to strengthen its clients’ operations.
The crucial factor to the CURVE’s outstanding performance lies in its design. The technical design approach entails focusing on the internal hydraulic layout – of which two fundamental elements prompted special attention. These elements include the specific geometric size and the exact profiles of hydraulic passage through the pump. Buitendag explains that, when plotting specific geometric size against total life cycle cost, there is a point where capital and operational costs achieve a combined optimum. Every model in the CURVE range is sized to hit this optimum and deliver the lowest ownership cost to the end-user.
Energy consumption was also a key design consideration and was evaluated across the entire product lifecycle. The result in the end product is that the CURVE range’s hydraulics delivers low energy consumption for a far longer period. The slurry centrifugal pump’s layout was also critically evaluated to identify areas with potential for improvement to guarantee increased efficiency.
“One of the additional objectives we strived to meet in the CURVE’s development was for lower costs for mines when adopting this new technology. Keeping this in mind, we designed the CURVE so that its new technology can be retrofitted to legacy pumping systems with minimal changes to existing piping. What this means for our clients is that out-dated equipment can now be upgraded with minimal operational impact and capital output,” says Buitendag.
Ultimately, what the CURVE will offer the mining industry is a slurry pump that reduces the total ownership cost by 40% to 60%, reduces downtime by up to 80%, improves safety for personnel fitting and working with the pump, and boasts shorter delivery lead times owing to product availability and strategic distribution partnerships. “These are concerns that we hear from the African market as whole on a monthly basis,” says Buitendag. “We sought to address these needs and more and are extremely proud of the product that we have been able to bring to the market. With the innovative advancements we have made, coupled with our industry track record of unwavering client support and delivery, we are ready to make the CURVE into an industry leader.”