No manufacturer that has been around for any length of time makes a bad pump. The bad press that follows an early pump failure is generally the result of a misapplied pump. Unfortunately, it is often the pump’s reputation that takes the rap and not the circumstances that lead to the installation of the “wrong pump”. Any reputable supplier will want the client to be pleased with his pump purchase long after the initial installation. Having said that how does he get it right?
In 1941 the actor and comedian George Jessel, when referring to “the people”, made the famous quote “Give ’em what they want.” The truth of the matter is in the pump world you need to “give them what they need”. To do this the supplier needs to know as much as possible about the customer’s application.
The need to know
I once had a PA call me up and request a quote on a 40 HP submersible pump. When I asked for more info such as head, flow, liquid, and solids content he cut me off and said I don’t have time for this just give me a price for a 40 HP pump. As I was in no position to argue with him I sent him a quote for 6 different pumps. Needless to say, I got a call from the mine foreman the next day and we discussed the details of the application. As it turned out the head/flow he needed required a 60 hp pump so I sent him a quote, copied in the PA, and soon after received an order. Everyone was happy.
If the mine had taken delivery of a 40 hp pump, at best output/flow would have been below the required amount or possibly even non-existent. Would it have been a bad pump or a misapplied pump?
What to Know?
The simple answer here to is give as much information as possible. The more the supplier knows about the application the better he can respond with appropriate information. It is equally as important for the customer to offer up as much information as he can as it is for the supplier to seek all the application details.
Major pump suppliers like Toyo all have questionnaires that can be sent out to prospective customers to help them convey application details to the manufacturer. These are great tools that help both parties home in on the correct pump for the application. Even if the pump user is well versed in pumps and the application thereof, I would still recommend the completion of one of these questionnaires.
Providing specs like; head, flow, liquid type, etc are covered by all questionnaires but more general questions are sometimes overlooked or just not responded to. These can be critical to the selection process. Below I have listed a few:
- Why is the customer looking to pump the liquids or materials? It is vitally important to obtain a project overview. This gives the supplier a feel for the customer’s end goal and keeps everyone on track while not getting locked into a fixed project plan. Thinking outside the box can sometimes lead to a better plan.
- What is the anticipated life of the project? This will help the supplier determine if the customer needs premium products that will last a long time, or if he needs a more budget friendly product that will still last for the life of a shorter project.
- Is the purpose of the application to relocate a liquid, a liquid that contains solids, or is it to use a liquid to relocate a solid. This along with the project life data, will help a supplier focus on the correct product line to offer.
- Is this a new application or are the existing pumps giving problems? If it is replacing an existing pump, what type of pump is it and how is it failing? No one wants to offer similar equipment to what is already there and suffer the same fate.
Who to know
I can not over-emphasize the need to obtain and share information. It is the best defense against failed pumps. I know that all customers vary with regard to pump knowledge, some will need to seek help from within their organization to provide the details of their application.
However, you can rest assured that the sales and application team at Hevvy/Toyo are here to support you and are just a phone call away.
Bye for now.