Pumping out new products

Changes are happening in the world of pumps… the move away from traditional air and hydraulics to electric and battery-operated equipment mean improved energy efficiency and increased productivity.

Answering the call to energy efficiency

“The new technology that’s exciting us at the moment and is still in its infancy, is the electric air-operated diaphragm pumps,” says Matt Gardner, director at Pump & Machinery.

“These are to replace the air-operated diaphragm pumps from the likes of welding.”

So why the move to electric?

“The problem with air is making the compressed air is quite inefficient,” says Gardner.

Instead, converting to electric has lots of energy savings – something that customers who are looking to be more sustainable are looking for in their purchases.

Having been in the welding and air-operated double diaphragm pump industry for over 60 years, Gardner says that Pumps & Machinery is the country’s ‘experts’ when it comes to these pumps – first introducing them when the company was called Levingston Bros.

“The electric air-operated diaphragm pumps are not a product that we stock yet because the right product hasn’t come out onto the market yet, but we think we’re fairly close to that.

“It’s going to be an interesting transition for us moving from air-operated to electric-operated double diaphragm pumps.”

Gardner says this new technology is something he will be expecting to see next year.

Making equipment easy to use on site

Hytools, supplier of specialised tooling to a wide variety of industries – including power generation, engineering, marine, gas and infrastructure – supplied Brian Perry Civil with electric torquing guns for use in the construction of the Waikato Water Treatment Plant.

Managing director of Hytools, Graeme Drummond, says the product is “fairly new to the market”. Being battery operated, as opposed to air, electricity or hydraulics, “the battery guns make them very portable and on sites that power or air are very hard to get hold of, it makes the operator’s job a lot easier to operate the gear”.

“With hydraulic equipment, you’ve got a hydraulic pump, hoses and the tool, and require generally two people to operate the unit. And it’s quite cumbersome to move it around a site that’s got equipment all over the place – with a battery torque gun it only requires one person,” says Drummond.

In certain applications, the tool can be a great benefit. With a torque from 175 up to 4,000nm, it is about four to six times quicker than a standard hydraulic torque wrench.

“What makes it even quicker, is because you’ve got a tool that’s not plugged in it makes it very easy to manoeuvre around pipework.”

Jack Darrin, Brian Perry Civil site engineer, says his team found the product “very efficient and easy to use in comparison to traditional hydraulic equipment”.

“They are compact and allowed us to easily torque large diameter bolts in tight places,” says Darrin.

“The absence of hydraulics was also very beneficial when working in contaminant sensitive areas such as the treated water tanks. Overall, we were very impressed and look forward to using this equipment on future projects.”

Drummond is happy that Hytools was able to provide the equipment to Brian Perry Civil for this project.

“This particular project was probably a two-year project they’ve done in a year. And the time is very critical because obviously Auckland has run out of water, the dams have dried up, so they were on time,” he says.

“Delivering the water on July 14 was bang on schedule. Equipment such as the battery torque gun enabled that project to be on time where they might have lost time on other structural parts of it.”