Impeller upgrade dramatically increases plant uptime
A gold mining operation in Western Australia with an exceptionally high silica and quartz content in their ores were experiencing unscheduled plant shutdowns due to pump failure.
Due to the severely erosive duty of silica and quartz sands (large, sharp and hard solids), the installed pumps were operating at 50% of best efficiency point flow rate in an effort to reduce internal velocities. The legacy installed metal impellers were typically lasting between 3 to 8 days of operation. To maintain production the client was running pumps to critical failure.
KETO Pump engineers were consulted to assess the pump and seek a reliable and economically justifiable solution. Inspection identified adverse damage to not only the impeller, but to the rubber parts of the pump. Severe suction recirculation damage was occurring in the conventional plain vane metal impeller design, resulting in short impeller life.
INDUSTRY / APPLICATION
Mining & minerals
- Ball mill and knelson concentrator
Mount Monger, Western Australia
- Reduced pump energy costs
- Increased process uptime
- KETO K-HEE™ impeller
SOLUTIONA KETO K-HEE™ severe duty high efficiency impeller was installed due to its heavy duty design, better suited to the severe erosive duty than the previous standard legacy impeller. The damage caused by the suction recirculation was substantially reduced. The KETO installed impeller lasted over 21 days, up to 6 times more than the legacy impeller. The impeller upgrade allowed the maintenance shut down periods to be extended to a consistent 20 days without having to run pumps to failure. Improved reliability not only reduced maintenance and labour costs but increased plant production by over 600 hours per annum.
Savings due to increased ‘mean time between overhauls’ (MTBO)
- Reduced impeller/wet end change outs from 122 p.a. to 18 p.a. resulting in labour savings of AUD$185,000 p.a. per pump.
Annual energy cost savings
- The hydraulic design of the KETO wet end absorbs 42kW for this duty versus the legacy design at 47kW.
- 0.15c/kWhr @ 7,500 hrs per year results in AUD$47,250 power to run the KETO impeller versus AUD$52,875 to run the old design wet end. A saving of AUD$10,125 per pump per annum.
“Using KETO slurry pump equipment increased our bottom line by nearly 10%. For Silver Lake that’s over 1 million dollars”
Les Davis, Managing Director, Silver Lake Resources Ltd