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Keep It Simple: A Principle for Slurry Pump Manufacturers
All manufacturers consistently engage in product development over both long and short term periods. Customers should hope to gain from these developments in a variety of ways: increased efficiency, increased reliability, reduced operating costs, or some combination thereof. Unfortunately, all too often these so-called product developments released in the slurry pump industry fail to deliver on some or any of these gains. Instead, many times new products or parts that other manufacturers promote as “product developments” are in fact marketing efforts designed chiefly to reduce competition.
Examples of these dubious enhancements abound in the industry. One such would be adjustable wear rings or
suction liners to maintain the recommended clearance between the impeller front shroud and the throatbush face. Almost all slurry pumps, Schurco Slurry pumps included, already have a feature to ensure this equipment specification is maintainable over time. In Schurco Slurry pumps, as seen in the image to the right, a clevis on the bottom of the bearing assembly in conjunction with torqueing the rear nut on the adjusting bolt forward or backward moves the entire impeller and shaft assembly forward or backward to the set clearance off of the suction liner recommended for optimal operation.
Some other manufacturers looking for differentiation, perhaps in description if not in end-result, opted to add a widget to their pump assemblies thereby allowing for online adjustment of a wear ring in the suction-side liner assembly. Why would maintenance personnel want to adjust a high-speed rotating impeller into a static liner part while the equipment is in operation? Even if interlocks were in place to prevent static and non-static component contact, how trustworthy are these features, and what would the impact be to the pump wear parts, bearings, and motor should these two parts come in contact?
Additionally, a new wrinkle of complexity is added to an otherwise simple piece of machinery. Additional parts must now be inventoried, and training beyond basic wrench turning would be required. Simpler is better feels like a good mantra to abide by when it comes to pumping rocks and some of the most abrasive materials in the world.
Schurco Slurry will always strive to be your common-sense slurry pump and part supplier in an otherwise complex world!