Air-Operated pumps

An air-operated pump is a positive displacement reciprocating pump utilized for the general transfer of liquids, and is driven by means of a compressed gas from an outside source. The compressed gas that’s used within an air-operated pumps is normally just air, and the directional flow of the internal process liquid is produced from suction and discharge check valves. Air-operated pumps are utilized in different industries, including petrochemical and food and beverage facilities, along with wherever else they are needed.

The category of air-operated pumps is usually encompassed by 4 types of pumps that transfer liquids and make use of compressed air as a power source; air-operated diaphragm pumps, bellows pumps, piston pumps and plunger pumps.

An air-operated diaphragm pump contains a diaphragm connected to a reciprocating shaft in which one side of the diaphragm is in contact with the liquid being pumped and the other side is in contact with the compressed air. While various pumps of this model use only one diaphragm, pumps with two diaphragms are better suited for transferring highly abrasive or viscous products.

Alternatively, an air-operated bellows pump contains two bellows connected to a reciprocating shaft which one side of the bellows is in contact with the liquid and the other side is in contact with the compressed air. Air-operated pumps, whether diaphragm or bellows, have an incredibly long pump life if properly manufactured. Their testing covers a wide variety of testing procedures for these two air-operated pump types, including a test to demonstrate mechanical integrity while the pump is in operation, performance test, net positive suction head testing, suction lift testing, hydrostatic testing of pressure-retaining components and noise measurement.

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Oil circulation systems

Mechanical engineering has evolved significantly, not only in advancements, but also in health and safety, environmental aspects, reliability and sustainability.

Competition among suppliers is also noted, with available suppliers exceeding market demand. Competition between customers also influences their choice of equipment used, with grease emphasis on productivity, reduced operating costs, quick return in investments, health and safety, and profits.

OEM’s now place great emphasis on sustainable designs, environmentally and maintenance friendly. Cost of ownership has to be the lowest it’s ever been. No longer bulky units with high built-in safety factors. CAD and other IT technological developments have enabled engineers to design systems and machines to exact specifications. The decision is sometimes based on economics, which keeps maintenance engineers and consultants employed.

On lubrication system design, we consider not only the initial build cost, but also the running and maintenance costs during operation, which is normally in excess of 15 – 20 years. Oil circulation systems have to be simple, reliable and easy to work on by a diverse demographic variety of skilled and semi-skilled personnel, even in remote exotic locations world wide.

OEM’s have also turned to specialty firms to develop, design, manufacturer, install, commission and offer an after-market service on their lubrication systems and equipment. Each lubrication system is unique, designed around both the OEM’s and customer’s site specific requirements.

Our efforts are focused on understanding the machine components needing lubrication to operate reliably, and delivering a sound system design based on the OEM’s design, technical and economic factors and presented to us within a complex specification.

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Getting the best out of your Fluid Management System

In the lubrication industry, a fluid management system is comprised of various fluid control components which meter, monitor and dispense oil and other lubes. Technicians dispense a huge amount of bulk fluid which makes it very critical to keep it in check, whether on the field, workshop or fleet service centres: every drop counts.

Benefits of fluid inventory control using a fluid management system

Cost savings

Fluid management systems allow fleet vehicle service shops to control expenses by effectively managing their inventory of fluids such as oils, gear lube, coolant and anti-freeze.

To reduce;

  •  Incorrectly dispensed fluids
  • Un-billed fluid changes
  •  Human error
  • Theft
  • Rounding mask losses

Improved proficiency

The detailed dispense history provided by fluid management systems can assist workshop managers in visualizing production and discovering patterns or work-flow roadblocks, optimize material deliveries and reduce parts room work and errors.

Data transparency

Effective fluid management systems provide parts managers the necessary information to order enough fluid at the right time as well as the ability to recall transaction data. With inventory available, technicians have less downtime and are able to service more vehicles.

Accuracy

Another advantage offered by fluid management systems is that metering can ensure the dispense of precise volumes, avoiding costly mistakes.

Accountability

Effective fluid managed systems provide parts managers with the information necessary to respond to the important questions, such as; who dispensed fluid; what quantity of specific fluid was dispensed; where in the facility the dispense took place; when it occurred and why. 

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All about Gear Pumps

A basic gar pump features a rotary housing containing 2 or more gears; that is toothed wheels, helical gears or lobed cams. Tight tolerances are required between the casing and gears, bore and gears and also between the gears. Typical housing will have an inlet and outlet, for suction and discharge respectively. The 2 main types are; external gear pumps, which use two external gears and internal gear pumps which use internal and external gears. The term positive displacement for gear pumps describes the fixed amount of fluid they move for each revolution.

The rotation of the gears causes suction at the inlet and a subsequent discharge at the outlet. The liquid is carried around the casing to the outlet by the teeth where they eventually mesh, causing the fluid to discharge via the outlet.

External gear pump

This gear pump uses 2 external gears that displace non-lubricating fluids (gears are oil lubricated). The mechanism is usually driven by one of the toothed gears, which in turn drives the other. 3 factors are involved in the regulation of flow: volume of cavity between the teeth, speed of gears, and the amount of fluid that slips back to the inlet via the mechanism. There are 3 main types of gears; spur, helical and herringbone. Helical and herringbone deliver more flow at higher pressure while also being quieter, but may require a greater inlet pressure than spur.

Internal gear pump

An internal gear pump utilizes internal and external gears. The gears themselves are lubricated by the fluid, which is of a lubricating nature. The internal design is seen as being reliable, easy to operate and maintain; due to only two moving parts being present. Only one drive gear is required for the mechanism to function but it is possible to use two. The pump will usually contain at least one bushing. The design can also be modified to include a crescent shaped portion that enhances performance when pumping high viscosity fluids. Internal gear pumps have relatively low speed and inlet pressure requirements.

Gear pumps are capable of moving small suspended solids but due to the meshing of gears they can be damaged by pumping large solids. When solids are present in the fluid they may act as abrasives, causing damage to the gears and increasing downtime. In terms of construction materials, gear pumps can be made from a wide variety of materials, ranging from bronze, iron and stainless steel to cast iron, depending on the application and fluid properties. 

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The Benefits of using spray lubrication systems

Spray lubrication systems ensure the proper volume of lubricant is applied to the target with minimal waste. Many spray system configurations are available ranging from simple automated systems to replace manual or roller/brush systems to more sophisticated systems that are suitable for use with multiple parts. System alternatives include a wide range of hydraulic and pneumatic nozzles, spray headers, coil lubricator, controllers, etc.

The benefits
  • Most systems include Precision Spray Control (PSC) to ensure uniform coverage even when line speeds vary
  • Accurate spray placement reduces lubricant consumption
  • Automated on/off control eliminates drips and leaks that cause quality issues
  • Reduced over-spray and misting means less maintenance downtime and improved worker safety
  • Wide range of system configurations for use with low or high viscosity lubricants
  • Optional spray headers ensure proper fluid delivery to the nozzles and trouble-free operation
  • You’ll get a spray gun ideally suited to your application. Choose from a wide range of our spray lubrication systems with dozens of compatible spray tips, materials and accessories.
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All about grease pumps

Grease transfer is typically difficult due to its viscosity, therefore high pressure grease pumps are required to transfer grease proficiently and quickly. Grease is commonly transferred from barrels using a grease drum pump which must be used alongside a follower plate. The follower plate is placed inside a container and ensures the removal of grease from the sides of the container, directing it into the grease pump ensuring minimal wastage.

Air operated grease pumps are a popular choice, complete with a hose and trigger nozzle either for dispensing or for applying grease to machinery. For larger volumes of grease transfer, electric grease pumps are popular including peristaltic and gear pumps. The air-operated grease supply system operates with 2 up to 10 bar compressed air depending on the desired pressure ratio. The cylinder of the pump will automatically be switched before reaching the end position which generates the upward and downward stroke necessary for delivering.

This precise, mechanical switch-over is integrated inside the pump head and therefore well protected against external influences and manipulation. The well-engineered geometric form of the valve and the sleeve with spring supported toggle guarantee a safe switching.

Also, to ensure that the grease pump will not corrode in a marine environment, the pump is specified to come with a stainless steel tube set. We supply the complete package including barrel pump, motor, hose and connections. This ensures the pump is ready to be used as soon as it arrives.

The drum pumps we supply are of the highest quality and extremely reliable. You can be confident with grease pumps supplied by us as we strictly comply with international standards.

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The advantages of using flow meters

As technology advances and new industries are developed, the need for precise and exact measurements increases. Liquid flow meters are one such innovative tool created to meet this need. Continuous development of these instruments has served the advancement of many different industries and an ever-increasing range of applications.

True to its name, liquid flow meters measure liquid or gas flow through a pipe and its rate of change. Different types exist with varying construction to serve a wide range of purposes; however, each are built to the best possible fluid temperature, etc of a liquid and the area of application.

Advantages through wide-range applications

Today, liquid flow meters have cemented themselves as essential instruments utilized in many different industries.

Some of these industries include :
  • Fuel and oil
  • Petrochemical
  • Chemical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Paints, grease and coating
  • Food and beverages
  • Differential pressure flow meters:
  • Suitable for gas and steam measurement
  • Low pressure drops for nozzles
  • Withstands extreme pressures and temperatures
  • Ability to change range
Electromagnetic Flow Meters:

Foremost advantage is fixed parts
Withstands changes in density, viscosity, temperature, and electrical
Conductivity
Not affected by contamination of liquid
Easy to maintain with a low maintenance cost
Capable of operating in both directions

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The importance of contamination management

Implementing proper methods of filtration is the most effective way to eliminate contamination in hydraulic systems. Contamination of hydraulic and lubrication fluids, as well as lack of adequate filtration, is a leading cause of hydraulic system and component failure. To successfully maintain hydraulic systems and components, one must understand the specifics of fluid contamination, the sources for system contamination, and why filtration is the most cost-effective way to maintain fluid cleanliness.

Fluid contamination is a major contributor in approximately 70% of hydraulic system failures. Contaminant particles find their way into pumps, valves, servo-valves and various hydraulic system components where they cause wear. In extreme cases, they can cause a component to seize.

By eliminating the particles and fibers that cause wear in these systems, many of these expenses can be avoided. Filtration is the simplest means of eliminating particles.

Contamination management is crucial. Hydraulic systems rely on a clean, properly specified fluid to deliver consistent power. Every hydraulic system requires some degree of filtration to keep the fluid clean. Removing particles that harm the system, or more specifically, system components, will prevent premature wear and prolong the system’s life. By implementing a contamination management program through proper filtration and systematic maintenance, plant managers can eliminate 80% of the potential causes of premature hydraulic system failure.

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What is the difference between a single line and a dual line lubrication system?

An automatic lubrication system is a system built to deliver controlled amounts of lubrication to different parts of a machine during its operation. We are going to be looking at the differences between single line and dual-line lubrication systems. 

Single line lubrication system 

This system can serve a single machine, different parts of a machine or multiple machines. This system uses a central pump station that will automatically deliver lubricant through one supply line to a series of injectors. These injectors are lubrication points and can be adjusted to produce the desired amount of lubrication. 

The central pump station begins by pumping lubrication to create pressure in the supply line. When the desired pressure is reached the injectors dispense the predetermined amount of lubricant to the parts that need to be lubricated in the machine. After this process, the pump shuts down and the pressure is vented out of the system allowing the remaining grease in the single line to be redirected to the reservoir. This is to restore the normal pressure levels in the system. The whole system is controlled by a timer or controller that signals the pump. 

Dual-line lubrication system 

A dual-line lubrication system is very similar to a single line lubrication system. It can handle hundreds of injectors using a single pump station over several feet using smaller tubing or pipe. 

Similarly to the single line lubrication, the pump is signalled by a timer or controller to start the lubrication cycle. The pump starts by building pressure in the first line of supply while simultaneously venting out the second supply line. When the first line reaches the desired pressure, the lubrication is dispensed by the metering devices to only half of the lubrication points. 

The difference comes here as a dual-line lubrication system uses a switch monitor to monitor the pre-set pressure and whether it has been reached to close the system. The system off, the monitor will indicate a changeover in the valve so that the lubrication is directed to the second supply line. This means when the controller reactivates the second line will become the line with pressure and the first line will be the line being vented. 

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Different types of lubrication systems Prolube Marketing design, supply and install

Prolube Marketing has been in the fluid handling industry for many years. During this time, we have designed, supplied and installed a variety of lubrication systems for numerous clients. Read about the lubrication systems that we have on offer below:

Single line progressive lubrication systems

These systems offer years of durability and reliability. They have a very compact design and require minimal maintenance to keep operating and providing continuous lubrication to bearings for time to come. Single line progressive lubrication systems can be used for many applications such as construction equipment, wind turbine generators and much more.

Single line injector lubrication systems

Lubrication systems such as this can always be trusted to keep your system running, even if there are faults. If one injector happens to fail, it will not affect the entire system as other injectors will continue to inject an accurate amount of lubricant to each lubrication point.

Dual line lubrications systems

Dual line lubrication systems are commonly found in application such as loading equipment, cement works and more. These systems work well on pressurised equipment as it can function at high pressures. The systems can also easily be expanded or changed due to the modular elements.

Machine tool lubrication systems

This centralised lubrication system is used on industrial machinery in order to reduce downtime, improve the overall operations of the machinery, reduce the waste of lubrication and more. It is an efficient way to automatically lubricate all parts of the machinery.

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