How intensive technology testing supports high-pressure pump safety and quality
Mines and industry rely on critical high-pressure pump technology to keep operations safe and efficient, which makes rigorous testing of this equipment an essential part of the manufacturing process.
According to Kathryn Poke, director of engineering at RMI Pressure Systems, dedicated test cells in the company’s Manchester production facility support a range of technical tests to ensure final product quality. The firm is a key player in high-pressure and high-volume fluid pumping stations. With a primary manufacturing facility in the UK, the company has operations in China,
the USA, India and Australia – supporting equipment in countries around the world.
Poke says that RMI Pressure Systems’ quality and testing regime means that new equipment and components can be put through as much as two million pump cycles – over periods of up to 160 hours – to prove their integrity. “In robust and continuous applications such as longwall coal mining, our customers rely on our high-pressure reciprocating pumps to deliver optimal uptime and safety,” she said. “Similarly, our steel industry customers look for quality and reliability in de-scaling and forging applications.”
Demanding environments for pump pressures
In these demanding and often hazardous environments, pump pressures can reach 350 to 400 bar – making any leaks or defects potentially disastrous. Poke says that the firm’s meticulous testing regime has been critical in building its reputation: “Before delivery, all of our equipment is put through its paces in our test cells. These well-resourced facilities measure and record temperatures, pressures, speeds and other indicators – generating data that is carefully reviewed and analysed by our engineering team.”
Poke says that the test cells run alongside the company’s manufacturing processes, which are accredited in terms ISO9001 quality standards. This ensures that the extended periods of testing do not compromise production rates. The test facility can accommodate three high-pressure pumps at a time. “This means that our customers are confident that RMI equipment is ready to go when it is installed and commissioned on-site,” explains Poke. “There is no run-in time or bedding down to be done, so the pumps’ contribution to productivity and uptime will be immediate.”
Ensuring optimal pump performance
Experts from the company are available to assist with installing and commissioning the equipment, giving customers peace of mind and ensuring optimal performance. Its manufacturing quality is also enhanced by its careful selection of suppliers and components; these are chosen on their excellence, and regular quality assurance processes are applied. Cycle testing of components is also conducted to ensure a quality finished product.
“Our inspection team tests new components extensively against the conformance criteria before giving them the thumbs up,” details Poke. “Staying up-to-date with technology allows us to improve designs, software and materials of construction; each improvement, though, needs to be thoroughly tested before we introduce it to the market.”