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CONSEQUENCES:  $1M Lost in Annual Production

[How (TCO) Total Cost of Ownership can = Serious Savings] This article provides a real life TCO savings example that saved one company more than $1.2 million annually.

All too often, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) considerations are forgotten. With careful expert planning, TCO considerations can save a business millions. Ten dollars, saved ten times each shift – three shifts a day and in ten places – equals $1,095,000 per year.

This is a real story of a similar scenario.

A large U.S. southeastern paper manufacturer had been experiencing reduced throughput. Poor performance of two of their fill pumps (which were no longer being manufactured) was to blame.

After carefully examining the challenges associated with increasing the old pumps performance and throughput, a decision was made to install a larger impeller in the existing pump. Even with careful planning the results of this effort did not improve flow-rate, and cavitation issues worsened.

ITT Goulds Pumps got involved. The customer's Technical Manager and Process Engineer contacted contacted Steve, an ITT Goulds, Senior Sales Engineer.

Upon getting the call Steve travelled to the plant site, where the customer's team brought him up to speed on their challenges. Steve reviewed the application in detail: traced pipe, determined optimal flow-rates, and took a thorough inventory of the existing installation.

In short order ITT Goulds recommended appropriate tests, to determine:

  • Can the existing pumps be modified?
  • Are larger pumps with lower NPSH and higher head capacity needed?
  • Will a variable frequency drive (VFD) be required?
  • Can friction loss be reduced by replacing small diameter pipe sections, and other constrictions?

Test results were clear (see charts below).

*Click charts to view full-size image.

*Note: Affinity laws were applied to estimate friction head loss at higher flow-rates, to accurately understand system requirements at "all" process flow points.

Goulds recommendations were:

  • Keep the existing pumps. The pumps themselves were not the problem. They were in good condition and were sufficient to support the increase in flow-rate required.
  • Install 13" impellers, in both pumps, and run them in parallel operation. Estimates showed that each pump would produce a flow-rate of 2,000 GPM "each" when using 12 Feet of NPSH. At this operating point, running both pumps in parallel, cavitation would be eliminated and head/flow requirements met.
  • Install larger motors – 125 horse power. Demands created by increased flow-rate and pressure, required larger motors capable of efficiently supporting the pumps.
  • Modify base plates, couplings to accommodate larger motors. Installation of larger motors required upgrades of related hardware.

Test data, and a case for TCO savings were presented. Steve reviewed the test results with the customer. ITT Goulds' reputation for expert advice was known and trusted, but the customer wanted to be sure that their investment was justified.

Based upon ITT Goulds' recommendations, an upfront investment was necessary; $3,000 needed to be spent. But with this investment, would increased the flow-rates be accomplished? Would a return-on-investment be achieved? The answer was, yes.

The changes recommended by Steve were approved and implemented within a few weeks. Subsequent production results showed increased throughput and elimination of cavitation issues.

Net Result = $1,160,500.00 increase in production, achieved the first year. The customer reported to Walters that the ITT Goulds recommendations resulted in an astronomical savings that year, and that the upgraded installation performed precisely as predicted.

This is what TCO is all about. The customer continued to experience these production increases and savings, year after year.

Best Efficiency Point (BEP), and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are two principals inextricably linked as best business practices, practiced by Goulds. Learn more about what the ITT Goulds team can do for your operation. Contact your regional sales representative and ask them what they can do for your company's operations today.