Industrial pumps

regular check-ups and cleaning lowers lifecycle-costs

If a critical volume of conveyance is relevant for production, the operator can assure the availability of his pump in two different ways: either he invests in an identical, redundant pump and installs it for immediate usage just beside the main unit, or he assures the operational availability of his pump by active monitoring and procedures of maintenance. Method No. 2 has got the charm, that frequently performed maintenance and cleaning lowers the lifecycle-costs. The pump cleaner Inox-Cleaner therefore establishes interesting perspectives.


Industrial users evaluate the quality of a pump by simple citerions:
steadiness and usability stand in the foreground. Already on second place are costs, itemized on the one hand to costs of investments, on the other hand to costs of operation. All together influences how „expensive“ the pump is going to be for it’s operator during the whole time of usage (lifecycle-costs).

To assure the operational availability, it is still common usage in chemistry i.e. to keep pumps redundant that are important for production – means that the replacement-pump as a precaution already waits in the wings. (good luck for the producer). Besides applies the rule: to go for abrasion, means to perform maintenance only at the point that nothing else is possible. Cost-conscious operators often try to abandon an expensive alternative pump. But this only works, if you don’t go for abrasion with your aggregates, but install a quite well-working monitoring technique. Furthermore pumps that are relevant for production should be regularly maintained and cleaned. This is more and more taken over by specialized external service-providers.

If pumps are not part of the core competences

The pump can be seen as the heart of each procedural production, not too fancy – but still remains a fact: groundwater is fetched out of wells, medias of different kind have to be transported, coolant has to be transfered and finally effluents have to be transported. A big chemical company is alway at the same time a big consumer of pumps; the BASF for example has got about 40.000 pumps in use, just for the location Ludwigshafen. But nevertheless: pump-technique doesn’t count to the main competences of a chemical company, in consequence internal personal structures, just like technical ressources around the pump are reduced.

Who offers today a service for pumps? Naturally the pump manufacturer himself is at disposal. Further on several professional companies have specialized in that segment. A special position have got the service-providers, authorized by the pump-producer. At KSB for example called ‚pump-partners’, at Grundfos ‚service-partners’.

Is-Analysis / cleaning / maintenance

Hornung watertechnique GmbH, Maxdorf, is a KSB pump-partner for many years already. Founded in 1962 as a single company in the segment of electrical-engineering, from 1979 continued in it’s form as a GmbH, Hornung has constantly expanded it’s field of activities. Besides the setting up of complete watersupply-systems, sewage-plants and pump-factories for water and sewage water (more than 4000 successfully completed projects!), the 50-employee business additionally offers qualified services for water and special service operations for pumps of all kind and brands (including a 24 hour emergency service).

Chairman Mr. Karlheinz Hornung explains the company’s philosophy precise and pragmatically: „We made water the focus of your efforts“. The customers mainly are from the industrial environment where illustrious names like Roche Diagnostics, DaimlerChrysler, John Deere, can be found, just to list some of them. Though the roots of the company are located in the communal sector, chair man Mr. Karlheinz Hornung sees the higher growth potential in the industrial sector, because „there a significant reduction of personnel has already taken place during the last few years. Those companies mandate external service-providers for many tasks.“

Also the newest offer by Hornung will be regarded by industry and communes with interest: for cleaning of u-pumps the company has installed a flushing-techniqe in the aready existing testing area (2m deep, filled with water as coolant for motors) to clean the pump‘s hydraulic-system. Hereby pumps with a pump-diameter up to 200 mm and with an electrical powerplug up to 150 KW can be cleaned without disassembling.

Pump-efficiency level (almost) like new

Behind this new service-offer operates the specially developed pump-cleaner for stainless steel „Inox-Cleaner ®“ by the company ReiCo GmbH, Ludwigshafen. One the one hand the pumps can be (disassembled) cleaned in an immersion bath. On the other hand it is far more efficient if the pump itself transports the cleaner by bypass in a circulation. While the usually by service-providers applied cleaners have to react for at least 24 hours to solve ochre, lime and rust from the pump's hydraulic system, Inox-Cleaner gets along with about 20 minutes of cleaning-time. What's the prosperity of cleaning a pump? That's pretty fast explained with the example of u-pumps. Each communal or industrial operator of an underwaterpump knows the problem: the pump soils because of deposits of natural ochre, lime, rust and tinder.

Especially ocher bothers the operator and finally the service-provider who is in charge for cleaning: in combination with air-oxygen, with which it's already in contact down in the well, a part of the two-valued iron that is conatained in the groundwater is being oxidated to three-valued iron - ironhydroxide-compositions fall out and cause thereby the silting-up of the pump.

This causes serious consequences:
Because of deposits the pumps’s outcome is continously lowered and the applied energy is used ever worse. Only few percent-point of loss in effectivity cause, projected to the whole runtime of the pump, a multiple of the investment costs.It doesn’t take long then that a smooth-working pump becomes a waste of energy and money! Beside the costs, a cleaning is essential to be able to provide the necessary pump pressure and conveyor capability.

Up to now high amount of time and costs for cleaning

„To clean a pump really well, the aggregate had to be disassembled to it’s individual parts, to get to the hydraulic system”, say Mr. Werner Häßler chair man of the ReiCo GmbH. Following the components were cleaned conventionally by sand-jet. Or you make use of, just like Mr. Hornung mentioned, a mixture of formic and salt acid. The individual parts are most commonly cleaned over night by the aggressive chemicals and afterwards reassebled.“ Just for disassembling and re-assembling we have to estimate 4 to 5 hours” reports Mr. Karlheinz Hornung. But this effort of dismounting is dispensable, if the operator just only wants to have the cleaning (means no maintenance). How this works shows the the practical experience at Hornung. There, the u-pump that has to be cleaned, circulates the Inox-Cleaner itself by a bypass method. The result: while the commonly used cleaner hat to affect up to 24 hours, the Inox-Cleaner gets along with a trickle of that cleaning time to achieve the same cleaning quality.

Of course the time, that has to be scheduled for cleaning, depends on the existing parameters – type of pump, count of steps, composition of deposits. The main criteria for Mr. Hornung is: “We don’t have to disassemble a pump any more – nevertheless we achieve very good cleaning results!” And that is how Hornung’s new cleaning-service offer looks like: “we offer a complete service to the industrial and to the communal customer: initial point is always a condition-analysis. We clean a pump if it’s mechanic and electic are properly working. The pump’s check-mark reveals the original performance-values. Those can be reached with good approximation by cleaning with Inox-Cleaner. On demand, of course, we perform further procedures of maintenance.”
Single cleaning or maintenance plus cleaning

With the new product Inox-Cleaner the operator, and respectively the authorized service company, can choose of two avenues of approach:

  • On the one hand the immersion bath is for users that want to have their underwater-pumps maintained perfectly, inclusive inspection of all relevant parts. This procedure contains a dismounting of the pump, a disassebling of the pump in it’s individual parts, a sight check and ,if necessary, also maintenance; following the intensive cleaning of all individual parts with Inox-Cleaner in an immersion bath.
  • On the other hand the cleaning by flushing for those users who have a reduced standing time for pumps and want to restore the original level of effectiviy.
  • The procedure involves the dismounting of the pump out of the well and the cleaning with Inox-Cleaner ® by flushing. (without disassembling of the pump).

Advantage of alternative no. II is the cleaning in very short time – the customer generally gets his pump back in shortest time.

The mentioned advantages of a regularly cleaning and maintenance, here showed with the example of underwater-pumps, have to same status just like for other industially used standard circle-pumps and positive displacement-pumps: A clean hydraulic system increases the efficiency, supports the availability and optimizes the total charges. ReiCo chair man Werner Häßler “Good results with the pump special cleaner Inox-Cleaner has made for example a processor of highly viscous medias in the cement-industy, just like a provider for lifting-systems. And also with the cleaning of plate heat exchangers the first results are very encouraging.”

Conclusion: Lifecycle-costs of technical systems/components (or costs of ownership called) take center stage in the interest of every operator. Because only the reliable aggregate, that in addition handles energy efficiently, offers the optimal use to the operator. Regularly and precautionary maintained industrial pumps that work close to the optimum efficiency level (with help of a clean hydraulic-system) are awarded by especially low priced lifecycle-costs. By the way: regularly maintenance also means that the pump is less burdened and therefore more durable.„Who keeps his pump working so far that no more pressure can be perfomed because of deposits of ocher and lime is in danger that the pump’s bearing can be damaged or that split measures can be irreversibly widened.” So there are lots of advantages in the regularly, precautionary performed service like offered by Hornung Wassertechnik GmbH.