Pump gland improvement project

Bishop, Damon Thomas (2010) Pump gland improvement project. [USQ Project]

[img] PDF

Download (15MB)


[Abstract]: The need for this research project has arisen principally due to the economic cost incurred from poor reliability of a pump group within the Rio Tinto Alcan Gove Alumina refinery. This poor reliability issue concerns the glands on a pump group whose reliable operation is critical to the success of the business. This research project has identified the root cause of the problem and in turn provided a solution.

The Alumina industry relies heavily on slurry pumps to transport liquids and solids throughout the refining process. The failure of these pumps can significantly impact on a refineries ability to produce and consequently the reliability of the equipment is a major focus. Slurry pumps often utilise tradition stuffing box style glands to seal the wet end of the pump from the atmospheric and
are usually the first part of a pump to fail. At the Rio Tinto Alcan Gove alumina refinery the mill injection pump group have been experiencing repetitive gland failures which have been costing the operation approx $12,000 per day. It is these pumps that the project has concentrated on.

The critical objectives of this research project include
• Identification of the reliability project
• Identification of the root cause
• Proposal of a solution to mitigate the effect of the root cause.
• Implementation of the solution.

To achieve these objectives several methodologies have been employed.
• Comprehensive review of production and maintenance cost associated with these pumps.
• Literary review to examine past works involving pump gland on site and globally.
• Detailed failure investigation.
• Conducting of an Apollo root cause analysis to identify the root cause and provide the best solution to mitigate it.
• Implementation and validation of the solution.

With all objectives achieved the completed project has obtained it desired results. Since the solution has been implemented there has been a significant reduction in gland failures with no recorded production losses. The time and capital expedited on this project has returned many times its value.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 18929
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Page 101 removed at request of author.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Snook, Chris
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2011 04:17
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2012 05:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: refinery; slurry pump; pump gland malfunction; operational works; operational risk; Rio Tinto Alcan Gove Alumina; Northern Territory
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091309 Tribology
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4017 Mechanical engineering > 401708 Tribology
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/18929

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only