Kennametal Extrude Hone™ (Irwin, PA) and Hydro® (Chicago, IL) have entered into a strategic alliance to provide pump customers in the power generation industry with the optimal strengths that both companies provide into one, global service and support unit. The primary benefits for customers: improved efficiency, cost-saving pump performance, longer uptime between service interventions, and engineered upgrade solutions. The business arrangement represents an ideal fit between two companies with complementary specialties. Kennametal Extrude Hone provides precision surface solutions and products on hydraulic components, among others, and Hydro® is a global leader in pump maintenance and restoration services.
These two images depict Kennametal Extrude Hone's Abrasive Flow Machining Process on a centrifugal pump impeller used in the power generation industry. Image on left: before AFM; right: after AFM.
"Operators of power plant boiler feed pumps are often unaware that with improved pump performance, they could save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year," states Urs Hirsiger, Managing Director of Kennametal Extrude Hone. "Hydro® drives pump improvements as its core business mission, and Kennametal Extrude Hone provides a technology that is proven for turbine engines to improve air flow. The two companies working together will reach pump efficiencies never achieved before. This will allow operators all over the world to benefit from this alliance."
Kennametal Extrude Hone's Abrasive Flow Machining (AFM) process is often applied to key pump components, such as centrifugal impellers, resulting in a laminar flow and consequently, significantly improved performance. AFM is used to essentially "polish and shape" the inner pathways of narrowed fluid flow passages.
"The importance of providing our customers with ways to reduce their power loads and save on energy costs has become ever more paramount," said Jay Shah, President of Hydro® "By tapping Kennametal Extrude Hone's media-based technologies developed in the recent years, customers can expect an estimated increase in pump efficiency an average of four percent, depending on the specific pump speed. That improvement alone results in a significant energy cost savings."
In addition to clogged fluid pathways, many other pump components can wear over time and contribute to vibration. Vibration negatively affects other components and the overall longevity and efficiency of pump operation, resulting in frequent repairs. Together, Kennametal Extrude Hone and Hydro® are offering restoration and maintenance packages to refurbish powergen pumps to a "similar as new or better" condition, and thereby extend the time between repairs.
According to Jeff Smith, President of Hydro Parts Solutions, Inc., extending renovation intervals on impeller pumps from every 8 months to 60 months is possible. "After just 48 months, the savings on this aspect alone grow exponentially," he said. The two companies plan to apply their techniques and expertise to additional industry sectors beyond conventional power generation plants in 2014, including nuclear, petroleum, steel, pulp and paper, municipal, and general industrial pump applications.
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