choosing the right pump for your project in Africa
With Africa being the new frontier for growth in the globe there are many pump manufacturers and suppliers comprising of international and local companies that have setup shop, therefore when having a project coming up it is advisable for you to have a good idea of all of the different pumps and products on the market.
According to Edward Davis, Director, Business Development & Marketing, Davis & Shirtliff one of the largest suppliers of pumps in East and Central Africa, The rise of cheap Far East products has really improved availability in the market and allowed access to product for people who could not afford them before. The traditional Western premium brands still have a presence but their market share is eroding due to high pricing and the fact that there are now reasonably priced alternatives available in the market.
Currently there are a variety of pumps on the market, each one designed to meet specific and even specialized needs. There are three major groups of pumps that are used in construction projects these are direct lift, displacement, and gravity pumps.
For the above mentioned pump groups each one of them has a variety of different pumps, each with a specific function, including vacuum, water, trash, hydraulic, and sump pumps. Before contractors purchase a pump, they should first determine which pump type they need.
4 key points
According to a Taiwan based pump manufacture Hung Pump International Manager in order to select the best pump for any given job there are four key questions that need to be answered.
He lists them as:
What is the total head, or pressure, against which the pump has to operate?
What is the desired flow rate?
What is the suction lift?
What are the characteristics of the fluid?
He adds that all the above questions should be in mind when purchasing a pump for your project, be it small or big.
If you piece together the answers to all four of these questions it will become much easier to dramatically pare down the list of pumps that suit the task at hand. This may mean a bit of extra research, but it is well worth it to ensure that the proper pump is in place, doing the optimal job and saving hundreds to thousands of dollars in the long term.
Davis agrees and says that one must consider factors such as application, head, flow, location, temperature, water condition, power source, NPSH. He advises that tt is best to consult an engineer or visit www.dayliff.com for pump sizing tools.
Need More Than One Pump?
Stop being stingy! Your project is big! We all know there are small and big projects this means it will take more than one pump to do a specific job if the project is really large.
There are many applications where more than one pump is required, If the project one is selecting a pump for is particularly large or heavy duty, it is not uncommon for multiple pumps to be the ideal approach and resolution. This may also be the case in the event of certain piping arrangements and pressures.
Those contractors who suspect that their project may require two or more pumps should take their time and make the financial investment in consulting with a professional before moving ahead with the shopping for and purchasing of the pumps.
Consulting with a professional in these matters is, in fact, never discouraged. The insight of a professional is more than capable of paying for itself, as their advice can make a big difference.
Contractors who are involved in the construction industry know well that in many projects across Africa different pumps are needed for specific job and the best way to ensure that they keep on getting the right pump for the right project is through creating good relationship.
Taking the time and care to build customer loyalty with a few well-regarded and well-connected merchants and names in the industry may take an investment of months and even years, but the payoff is the insider advice of an expert when choosing all variety of industrial supplies and equipment, including pumps.
Know How the Pump Should Be Powered
One of the mandatory considerations before purchasing a pump is how the pump should be powered.
That’s to help you know whether the pump is to be placed indoors or outdoors as well as from what variety of materials the pump should be made. For instant if its positioned outdoors, there is the chance the pump and its contents may freeze, so investing in a pump that is made from materials that can withstand any potential temperature or exposure is advised.
The current trend has seen more and more pumps coming into Africa from the East with the traditional pump suppliers in the west loosing significant market share. Cost has been a prime motivator so what are the repercussions for going for cheaper brands? Davis says it is not altogether a bad thing but ensure that the product is fully supported and guaranteed by the supplier in order to mitigate against the risk of product failure.