KETO K-IBA™ bearing assembly and K-ISS™ seal upgrades
A copper mine in Tasmania was experiencing frequent and expensive pump failures.
Pumps on this site are located 2.4km underground which means maintenance can be expensive and difficult. The pumps operate at a high speed to develop the high pressures levels required to dewater the mine.
This site was experiencing regular pump failures with the legacy W-W 4/3DD-AH pumps. Bearing barrels were running at extremely hot temperatures at an average of 105°C and had a short life of only 2 to 3 months. Excessive greasing was used in an effort to try to reduce the temperature, potentially compounding the problem.
Additionally, the pumps were consuming excessive quantities of fresh water to lubricate the gland packing, at approx. 30L/min per pump.
INDUSTRY / APPLICATION
Mining & minerals
- Copper Mine
- Water usage reduced from 30L/min to 6L/min
- Increased bearing housing life from 3 months to over 12 months
- Reduced bearing temperatures
- Spare parts savings
- KETO K-IBA™ bearing assembly
- KETO K-ISS™ mechanical seal
SOLUTIONA K-IBA™ bearing assembly was installed in the existing legacy pump. These barrels are better suited to pumping at high pressures due to their heavy duty design. To reduce the water usage KETO engineers recommended a KETO K-ISS™ seal to be installed in the legacy pump. K-ISS™ seals are specifically designed to cope with high suction pressures while remaining leak free. A constant flow valve in the K-ISS™ seals automatically adjusts the water flush pressure.
OPERATIONAL IMPROVEMENTSThe running temperature has reduced from 105°C to 65°C. It is now running at a normal touchable temperature at both ends. This has removed the need for excessive greasing. The barrel has already been running for 12 months, that is 4 times the previous life of the legacy barrel and at the time of publishing this case study, is still going strong. The K-ISS™ seal has also had a significant impact on water usage, with water reduced from 30L/min to 6L/min, a saving of 24L/min (over 12 million litres of water saved per pump p.a.). KETO are now working on the site to install the same arrangements on the bank of 6 pumps, and with other site installations to increase bearing life, minimise greasing requirements, and reduce water consumption.
FINANCIAL ILLUSTRATIONOur client achieved savings of $21,840 p.a on spare parts without even considering flush water and maintenance savings.
RELATED PRODUCTS & SERVICES
K-ISS™ Mechanical Seal
The K-ISS™ mechanical seal (external flush) combines the best features of several sealing options into one cost-effective alternative. It automatically compensates against changes in suction pressure and wet end wear and utilises up to 90% less seal water than alternative solutions.