The trade publication Modern Pumping Today recently released a comprehensive 4-part series on pump maintenance that every plant and facility manager—and anyone else who works with pumps, should see. The series offers numerous maintenance tips that every plant and facility should incorporate into scheduled equipment management routines with the aid of maintenance software. Given that pumps consume some 60% of motor related-energy at most plants, maintaining them properly can have a significant impact on overall operational costs.
We’ve picked out five standout findings from the research and offered our take on how/why they should be implemented using a robust maintenance software platform like ManagerPlus.
1. Initial purchase price represents just 10% of total pump cost on average; maintenance accounts for 20%. In other words, if you’re going to spend time shopping for the right pump, you should be spending at least twice as much time ensuring that it is maintained and cared for properly. Putting together a detailed maintenance plan, including work orders and inventory preparations, is therefore essential to maximizing ROI on your pumps. A robust maintenance software platform will make that process much easier to implement.
2. When downtime and wasted energy are included, the portion of total pump cost related to maintenance jumps to 60%. Pumps are sophisticated machines comprised of many components that can develop problems. Unless thorough maintenance is performed on a regular basis, the laws of physics dictate that pumps will progressively break down, developing leaks, wasting energy, and eroding ROI. Maintenance routines must be both thorough enough to catch small problems before they become emergencies, and efficient enough that maintenance professionals’ time is not wasted on redundant tasks. A complete record of performed maintenance and asset history, tracked via maintenance software, is therefore a vital facet of effective pump maintenance.
3. Upgrades to pump equipment can reduce mean-time-between-failures (MBTF) by nearly half. According to Modern Pumping Today’s in-depth analysis, introducing just a few upgrades to your pumps can yield dramatic increases in performance. However, knowing which components to upgrade, and when, depends largely on the sophistication of the software being used to track pumps. A maintenance software solution with robust reporting capability can spot trends and problem areas early, making decisions about replacements easier and more effective.
4. Pump failures are a common cause of dangerous, costly fires. According to Modern Pumping Today’s analysis, for every 1,000 pump failures, there will be at least one fire causing approximately $3,000,000 worth of damage. More conservative estimates place the average cost for these fires in the $50K-500K range. Ensuring that pumps are well maintained is thus a serious safety concern, and the threat of fire is justification enough for a thorough preventive maintenance schedule in and of itself. A good maintenance software program will enable you to stay a step ahead of all of your inspections, not just those relating to pumps, keeping you fully compliant and safe.
5. Many problems stem from improper fluid levels. Oil and other fluids are essential to proper pump function and are relatively inexpensive to maintain. Without a firm maintenance schedule, however, these levels are likely to go unchecked leading to the costly problems covered above. Fluid levels are much easier to maintain and regulate than the consequences that can result if they are allowed to run to failure. Fluid level monitoring and regulation provide a perfect example of one of the key features of Preventive Maintenance: the exchange of a complex and costly maintenance task for a relatively simple one.
For more a more detailed analysis of pumps and their components, be sure to visit Modern Pumping Today’s site and read the whole series. And be sure to check back here for more maintenance tips and more insights into maintenance software and how it can be used effectively.