How to Maintain and Troubleshoot Vacuum Pumps

A vacuum pump is a mechanical equipment that produces a partial vacuum to draw or pump out gas molecules from a sealed unit or chamber. A sealed pack has no air or gas remaining inside; hence, these pumps are used to create that perfectly sealed chamber or unit with a total absence of air inside. The sealed chamber may have liquids of varied consistencies from thin to viscous, semi-solids, pulps, slurries, and so on. Regardless of the consistency of the fluid inside, the pump must be able to function efficiently. Although this is an important requirement in all industries, this is applicable especially in the pulp & paper industry that deals with viscous pulps, semi-solids, and slurries. This post discusses the maintenance and troubleshooting tips for vacuum pumps used in pulp and paper industries.

Troubleshoot Vacuum Pumps

Pointers to maintain and Troubleshoot Vacuum Pumps to Prevent Failures

Continuous use of vacuum pumps causes wear & tear and subsequent malfunctioning. Sometimes it may fail to work. Such failures lead to repair costs and also production downtime which may prove costly. We cannot completely avoid such failures; however, we can take preventative measures and perform maintenance and troubleshooting to avoid them. Here are some pointers related to maintenance and troubleshooting which may be helpful in preventing such failures.

  • Like any other machine or equipment, the vacuum pumps need periodic or preventative maintenance. This helps determine issues and fix them quickly. It also increases their efficiency and operational life.
  • Friction is one of the causes of wear and subsequent failure. Hence, the pump parts and bearings must be well lubricated. Regular oil or grease lubrication increases smooth functioning and the overall lifespan of bearings. Ensure to use the lubricant advised by the manufacturer of the pump.
  • Perform regular testing and inspections of the pump. While a visual inspection is necessary, one would not notice any issues in internal portions. Hence, using a videoscope for inspection is important. It will help test the crucial parts such as rotor blades, body sweeps, purge lines, etc. A videoscope helps identify signs such as cavitation, scales, corroded portions, contamination, and so on.
  • Overheating is one aspect that must be avoided. Elevated temperatures also lead to pump failures. These pumps have heat exchangers through which heat is transferred to the outside environment. This is useful for temperature control. These heat exchangers must be inspected periodically to check their functioning.
  • Air in-leakage must be prevented at all costs. It puts pressure on the turbine, reduces the power output as well as efficiency. This happens due to a large percentage of dissolved oxygen. With a simple flowmeter or rotameter, you can measure this dissolved oxygen levels and ensure it does rise above the required limit.

If you are in the pulp & paper industry, you may require a good vacuum pump that can withstand harsh environments. The pump must be able to withdraw air without drawing out portions of the liquid inside. If you need a vacuum pump for any reason, ensure you source it from a reliable supplier. For a new purchase or an upgrade, Gardner Denver Nash vacuum pumps are highly recommended. Peak Machinery is a reliable supplier of new surplus, rebuilt and second hand Gardner Denver NASH vacuum pumps for the Pulp and Paper Industry as well as many other industries. Peak Machinery, Inc. stocks vacuum pumps along with a wide range of other types of industrial processing equipment for mills and plants including Blowers, Pumps, Pulpers, Pulper Drives, Gear Reducers, Pressure Screens, Control Valves, Knife Gate Valves, Electric Motors, etc. For more information or any questions you may have, do contact the team at Peak Machinery via phone (612) 810-1955 or email (sales@peakmachinery.com).

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