When setting out to buy a new or replacement pump, the chances are that the user will go to a manufacturer with which there has been a satisfactory relationship in the past.
Experience shows that the pump performs the duty for which it was selected and the manufacturer, or its distributor, has the resources to provide spares and technical support. However, if the pump has been a real problem, or the application for which the pump is being selected is new, then the selection process can become more complicated.
This procedure is made more difficult where the user is not a specialist in fluid handling technology because the many types of pumps available offer greater degrees of versatility, making them suitable for a considerable range of applications.
Take metering pumps for example: here the choice can be between piston, plunger, mechanical diaphragm and hydraulic diaphragm. When considering which of these types is most appropriate, the facts required by the supplier will include: flow-rate, discharge pressure, product, viscosity and specific gravity. However, without expert guidance it is easy to overlook other elements that need to be taken into account when designing the system and that is where AxFlow's expertise can be demonstrated.
The consequences of wrong pump specification can go beyond frequent downtime, maintenance costs and high demand for spares. There can also be penalties resulting from unnecessarily expensive and complex plant installations, occasioned by a need for control, monitoring and safety devices, which, in turn attract additional maintenance costs. Worst of all, there is a risk of producing substandard product.
Pumps that have been designed for specific duties, although sometimes more expensive at the outset, can often repay their extra cost in more simple/lower cost installations. This is achieved by contributing to lower maintenance costs and higher plant availability, while performing duties that would be considered arduous applications for more general purpose designs. It is not uncommon to see price being put before performance by purchasing departments. In such a case, the impetus is on the pump provider to examine and explain life-cycle costs and how they can impact on the investment. Life-cycle costs will take into account known factors such as the initial investment and subsequent spares, alongside the less obvious factors associated with maintenance, downtime effect, power consumption and efficient use of the product being handled.
It is the application that will always determine the type of pump to be used. Having established the nature of the medium, the next stage is to consider other parameters including, delivery volume and pressure, temperature, flow characteristics, vapour pressure, solids content, corrosiveness, toxicity and hygiene. When applications involve pumps being operated in hazardous environments ATEX certification has to be addressed.
From the perspective of the customer and/or end user, any assistance that pump suppliers can give towards establishing a greater understanding of what is required when it comes to pump selection has to be welcomed.
The positive displacement technologies that are available from AxFlow include: AODD, Progressive Cavity, Metering/Dosing, Vane, Gear, Rotary Lobe pumps and Hose pumps.
The AxFlow Group, headquartered in Sweden, is the largest distributor of positive displacement pumps in Europe. With operating companies in more than 20 countries and a Distribution Centre in the Netherlands, it is able to ship pumps and other equipment from stock to customers within 48 hours anywhere in Europe. In order to be a true provider of fluid handling solutions the Company also includes mixing technology as well as instrumentation and analysis equipment within its product portfolio.
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AxFlow is active all over Europe and specializes in the marketing, distribution and provision of a complete sales engineering service for high quality, market leading fluid handling equipment. AxFlow's high standards of technical competence, service and integrity have contributed to steady growth since its establishment in 1989 and form the basis for future development. AxFlow represents world leading manufacturers of fluid handling equipment, and together we offer the highest value to customers. AxFlow's philosophy is to continue to enhance the range and scope of services, and to offer customers full commitment and value from one source. The AxFlow Group has an annual turnover of EURO 140 million (2008) and 400 employees and is a subsidiary of Axel Johnson International AB, Stockholm, Sweden. www.axflow.com
Axel Johnson International markets and distributes components, systems and customer related solutions to industrial companies, local distributors and agents. The company consists of five business areas: Forankra, AxFlow, AxIndustries and AxImage. The group of companies has an annual turnover of EURO 640 million and is represented in some 20 countries in Europe. Axel Johnson International is a part of Axel Johnson AB, owned by Antonia Ax:son Johnson and family.