“Time is money” is a common refrain in business. When it comes to air-operated double-diaphragm pumps (AODD) pumps in fluid handling operations, “downtime is money” is an even more accurate phrase. Your company achieves its goals and serves customers best when your AODD pumps are functioning properly, not when they’re out of service.
The team at Versamatic understands this reality. In this blog post, we’ll look at the various ways you can limit the amount of AODD pump maintenance and downtime.
We’ll cover the importance of:
By implementing these strategies and relying on the expertise and resources provided by AODD pump manufacturers and distributors, you will be well on your way to optimizing your operations by maximizing your uptime.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT AODD PUMP
First and foremost, you must have the right pump for the right application. Improper pump selection leads to inefficiency, frequent maintenance and troubleshooting, and potential safety concerns. To ensure you have the correct pumping equipment in place, always consult with your AODD pump distributor and manufacturer before purchasing your pump.
Pump size is an important consideration, as is material selection. It’s essential to get your pump’s material of construction (metal vs. plastic) correct, otherwise, you could experience corrosion and permanent damage to your pump.
Likewise, elastomer materials, like diaphragms, balls, and seats, must be compatible with the fluid you’re pumping. If they’re not, be prepared for premature pump failure and a host of maintenance tasks down the line. You may end up with leaks or fluid coming out of the exhaust, which could be a safety hazard for your workforce, depending on what you’re pumping.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER AODD PUMP INSTALLATION
It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when installing your pump. The installation instructions will offer advice on important factors like torque specifications and operating pressure.
The installation guidelines also will recommend accessories you can install, such as filter regulators and flex connectors, that will improve your uptime and keep your pump’s maintenance to a minimum.
If you didn’t initially install a filter regulator, you may need to add one to your air line if you’re going through air side components frequently or if you notice signs of dirt and debris on the air side of the pump during a rebuild. Debris on the air side can cause O-rings and the sleeve and spool to wear out prematurely.
In addition to keeping the air side of your pump clean, a filter regulator allows your pump to run at optimum PSI, which makes the pump more productive and extends the life of your diaphragm and check balls.
Flex connectors are another helpful accessory. They decrease downtime by reducing the amount of stress that occurs where the pipe connects to the pump, reducing the chances you’ll break the foot brackets on your manifolds, which would require maintenance. Flex connectors are trickier to add post-installation than a filter regulator is, but it is doable.
PROACTIVE AODD PUMP MAINTENANCE
All AODD pumps require periodic rebuilds due to the consumable nature of key parts like diaphragms. Although pump failure is inevitable, it doesn’t have to be unpredictable.
As you become more familiar with your pump and the life expectancy of its components, it’s helpful to schedule and perform a preventive rebuild rather than wait until a pump fails to take on this maintenance project.
Being proactive and planning a rebuild allows you to limit your downtime because:
- You can be sure to have the correct rebuild kit on hand
- You can ensure personnel are available to do the maintenance
- You can avoid potentially costly, time-consuming, and hazardous cleanups that may be required if a pump runs until failure and product enters the air side of the pump or leaks outside of the pump
Pro Tip: If you’re taking an AODD pump out of service to replace the wet side, replace the air side as well, and vice versa. Doing so can save you one to two hours per rebuild.
If you’re in the market for a 1” pump, it’s worth considering the Versamatic Valor. This patent-pending AODD pump with a simple, durable construction requires less maintenance compared to competitors. It features an easy-to-service combined main air valve and pilot valve, increased stability during maintenance, and five-minute average air side service time compared to 45 minutes or more for competitive AODD pumps.