Subject: Pump partnering 13-11

With all the current talk about seal partnering, can pump partnering be far behind? As with mechanical seals the concept is simple; call in several pump companies, talk to them about a lot of lofty ideals and then learn which of them will give you the best price on a standard ANSI (American National Standards Institute) pump if you promise to give them all of your business.

This is often called convergence and is recognized as a clearly defined trend in industry..

If you are getting good life out of your present pump, and if every one was selling the same thing, then that would be a good idea, but that is not the way it is. The fact is that the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) pump is not giving reasonable trouble free life and to standardize on it would be foolish if you were looking for long service.

There are two major problems with this pump:

The problem simply stated is that the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) pump was made for conventional packing and you are trying to use a mechanical seal because leakage is no longer acceptable for a variety of reasons that include:

Let's look at the cause of the seal problem:

The overall problem is that the pump manufacturer did not want to alter his packed pump design to accommodate a mechanical seal. Since he held all the power over which seal design was going into his pump, he insisted on a set of criteria that reduced his cost and guaranteed premature seal failure. The consumer who possessed little pump knowledge and even less knowledge about mechanical seals went along with a "child like faith" that all was well because he was dealing with reputable manufacturers.

The ball or roller bearing problems are just as easy to identify:

There are other features that can be incorporated into the standard pump that would eliminate many of the current seal and bearing failures:

Equally as important as the pump design is the knowledge you need to troubleshoot piping and installation problems. A very high percentage of troubleshooting time is spent on those two subjects. If the consumer is going to save the cost of this service in the form of a pump distributor discount (pump manufacturers seldom get involved in seal and bearing failures other than to blame some one in operation or maintenance as the cause of the premature pump failure) then the consumer is going to have to provide his own service in these areas.

In this age of multi-craft mechanics and non-specialized mechanical engineering, I'm not very confident about the probability of their success. Think about it this way:

Two people coming towards each other from opposite directions will meet somewhere in the middle as they converge, but they are clearly going in opposite directions.

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