Pumps manufacturer and supplier Australian Pumps Industries MD Warwick Lorenz says the company is continuously working on improving its products by enhancing seal quality, self-priming characteristics and impeller design.
This will enable the company to pump more water with more pressure using less power. “That is part of our research and development programme and it is receiving a lot of attention.”
Although there are currently no revolutionary ideas coming from the pump industry in terms of centrifugal pump or even piston pump design, pump manufacturers continually “grind along” to provide improvements, says Lorenz.
“Every inch and centimetre of adjustment provide improvements for the operators of the equipment.”
Lorenz points out that its engineers are always working on finessing its products to add value to the product,designing capabilities to do more for the end-user, rather than making huge technical breakthroughs.
“The pump industry has come a long way in the last 2 000 years since Archimedes developed the screw “water elevator”. That really is the most basic form of centrifugal power that we seem to have on record,” says Lorenz.
A revolving impeller is a whole different subject as there are so many different types of this “absolutely essential” component for different centrifugal pumps. Industry, including Australian Pump, will continue to develop different configurations of what is really the same concept, he elucidates.
“As for a huge technical breakthrough, we believe it will probably be more in positive displacement style pumps than in centrifugal and, very likely to have more to do with the materials of construction, a field that is being developed and investigated all of the time rather than the newsworthy story every journalist is looking for.”
The company focuses on areas of the market that are mostly overlooked by bigger manufacturers such as purpose-built mining pumps and pressure cleaners.
“Value is what we focus on and what we deliver. That is where we are able to stand our ground and even encroach on the domains of some of the biggest companies in the world. Other companies have not been able to keep pace with the developments of the mining industry, putting us in a very strong position on a global basis.”
Meanwhile, he adds that products such as the company’s larger-capacity high-pressure water blasters, called the Raptor series, provide real economy for mines in terms of water conservation.
Using less water with higher pressure results in “major” savings in not only water supply – a valuable commodity on any mine site – but also waste reduction, Lorenz explains.
“The high-pressure water blaster is also faster and produces better results at lower labour costs.”
Additionally, the company’s trash pumps are used to pump tailings from mining sites as they can handle silt and certain solids in suspension.
Lorenz adds that, although Australian Pumps is not directly involved in mining projects – as its staff comprise pump manufacturers and engineers, rather than mining specialists – it does work with contract miners, mining companies and mining engineers.
The company’s products are used in a range of applications at opencast mines and quarries across South America, Europe, Africa, India and Australia.