Third Party Assessments

JTA offers fluid movement system assessments and third party consulting services.

Assessment of standard of repair workmanship:

Recently we acted as a neutral third party in an investigation into the cost effectiveness of repairs done to a number of end suction, submersible/ immersible and multistage pumps. This project was carried out over a 10-day period and included the compilation of a detailed report on our findings and recommendations.

The photo below shows one of the multistage pumps prior to its disassembly and inspection.

Root cause (of failure) Analysis (RCA)

JTA was tasked with the determination of the root cause of failure of a 1,3MW 6,6kV submersible multistage pump installed in a mine shaft in the DRC. Analysis of the failed components and in depth site inspections and interviews showed a sub standard flow inducer sleeve had allowed the ingress of debris into the suction port of the pump leading to failure of the lower bearing. This led to the rotating impellers coming into contact with the stationary wear rings. The problem of galling in metals of similar hardness is well known, particularly in the world of pumps. In this case the materials of the two components were manufactured from nickel aluminium bronze. The photo below shows the end result of the two parts coming into contact.

5th Impeller+6th wear ring.jpg

John Tonkin is a Qualified BestPractices PSAT Specialist, having successfully completed the US Department of Energy (USDOE) course for the Pump Systems Assessment Tool (PSAT). John is registered with the USDOE and you can view the details of the qualification and his registration information here.

June 2013 saw John successfully completing the United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO) pump expert training program in Atlanta Georgia. In March 2014, he was accepted as a course leader for the two day program offered by UNIDO.

Pumping System Energy Audits 

Energy and maintenance costs coupled with plant reliability are the "new frontiers" in the design and operation of pumping systems. Pumps that have been selected in a manner that closely match site conditions will minimise energy and maintenance costs while drastically improving the Mean Time Between Failures and plant reliability. Even in an efficiently run pumping system, it widely accepted that the cost of energy required to run the pump represents, by far, the greatest cost component of the installation's Total Cost Of Ownership (TCO)/Life Cycle cost. By way of an example, a 55kW TEFC electric motor running continuously at  a 95% load factor, will consume more than 6 times it's (initial) capital cost, in electricity, in the first year of operation! The pie chart for the efficient pump system shows that the energy cost of a well designed system can be as high as 59% of TCO.

If the pump is grossly over or undersized, the operating cost structure changes dramatically for the worse. More than 90% of TCO can be attributed to energy and maintenance. It is also a widely accepted fact that system reliability is a function of how far from the Best Efficiency Point (BEP) the pump is operated.

John Tonkin & Associates have conducted many audits of pumping systems that have identified potential strategies that could offer serious savings in energy expenditure and significant improvements in plant reliability. Contact us for a assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of your pumping systems.