SEEPEX slashes pump maintenance time with new smart solution

SEEPEX’s new, innovative Drive Joint Access (DJA) technology reduces maintenance time for its open hopper pumps by up to 75%, and costs by up to 90%. This smart maintenance concept –an industry first –has already been installed at Thames Water, Anglian Water, United Utilities and a wastewater treatment site in Ireland.

The patented solution enables in situ access to Seepex’s open hopper pumps for dewatered and thickened sludges in just 11 minutes; maximising asset uptime, cutting labour costs and optimising operational performance.

Overcoming space constraints

Prior to the launch of Drive Joint Access (DJA), operators of these open hopper pumps faced a real challenge whenever their pump needed servicing or repair. They are typically located in tight spaces underneath large pieces of capital equipment such as dewatering machines-often obstructed by pipework, valves and structural steelwork.

Even the simplest maintenance task could take three or even four days,as engineers were required to remove the whole pump from the installation –often with the aid of costly, heavy lifting equipment –before taking it to a workshop to complete the service or repair, and then reinstalling the pump.

Full drive-side access

Recognising the impact this complicated, lengthy and costly process had on their customers’ operations, Seepex engineers set about developing a solution.

The company had previously designed a feature that enables the rotor and stator to be removed from the front end of the pump without requiring the whole unit to be dismantled. They took this proven concept and translated it to the back end of the pump.

The result is the DJA: a detachable joint casing mounted on rollers, situated between the feed hopper and the pump-bearing housing. It enables engineers to reach the drive-side joint area, mechanical seal,plug-in shaft and gear box drive within just 11 minutes –a major step forward.

Reduction in downtime

The result of this easy-access solution is that typical maintenance time has been reduced from three or four days –depending on the pump size–to under oneday, deliveringa significant uptime increase. This is particularly important in wastewater applications as the volume of sludge being treated remains constant. When a dewatering system is out of action for several days for pump maintenance, additional pressure is placed on the site to process sludge by either emergency removal using tankers or mobile dewatering equipment hire. Thanks to the DJA cutting maintenance times by as much as 75%, this is no longer a concern.

Besides speedier maintenance, DJA also offers significant reductions in labour and equipment hire costs. Furthermore, it makes regular proactive inspection and maintenance of the joint, mechanical seal and drive side components quick and easy, enabling preventative, rather than reactive, maintenance to increase customers’ asset availability and optimise their operational efficiency.

DJA in action

Seepex has recently delivered a project at Thames Water’s Mogden WwTW to replace existing pumps located in a difficult to access area underneath 14 drum thickeners. Other sites which have adopted DJA are Anglian Water’s Rochford STW, United Utilities’Davyhulme WwTW and a wastewater treatment plant in Ireland.

“This innovation is a game changer. Maintenance times for open hopper pumps are significantly reduced and routine inspections can now be easily carried out,” says Simon Lambert, Global Industry Manager Environmental for Seepex. “With no removal of pipework, pump hopper structure or complete pump skid necessary, and no lifting equipment required to remove the pump, DJA has simplified maintenance, reduced costs and increased asset uptime for our wastewater customers.”