Pumping terms - explained

Pump buzzwords explained!

Pumping terms glossary

3-A

3-A is a voluntary hygienic design standard and third-party certification program for food processing equipment and systems. The standard is named after the three founding organizations that created it: the International Association of Milk, Food, and Environmental Sanitarians (IAMFES), the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), and the dairy industry’s equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

The 3-A standard specifies requirements for the design and fabrication of equipment and systems that come into contact with food products, such as dairy products, meat, poultry, and processed foods. The goal of the standard is to ensure that equipment and systems are designed and built with hygienic principles in mind, which helps to minimize the risk of contamination and foodborne illness.

3-A certification involves a rigorous review of equipment and system design, materials selection, and manufacturing processes by an independent third-party organization. Only equipment and systems that meet the 3-A standards can display the 3-A symbol, which is recognized by regulatory agencies and food processors as a sign of quality and safety.

Overall, the 3-A standard and certification program plays an important role in promoting and ensuring hygienic design and engineering practices in the food processing industry, which helps to protect public health and safety.

ATEX

ATEX is a European directive that sets standards for equipment and systems that are intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The term ATEX is derived from the French phrase “ATmosph√®res EXplosibles,” which means explosive atmospheres.

In the pump industry, ATEX is particularly relevant for pumps that are used in environments where there is a risk of explosive atmospheres, such as in the chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical industries. ATEX certification is required for pumps that are used in these environments to ensure that they are designed and built to meet strict safety standards.

ATEX certification involves a thorough assessment of the pump’s design, construction, and performance to ensure that it meets the requirements of the ATEX directive. This includes testing for factors such as spark ignition, heat generation, and electrostatic discharge, as well as evaluation of the pump’s materials and components.

Pumps that are ATEX certified are marked with a special symbol that indicates that they are designed and built to meet the requirements of the directive. ATEX certification is recognized throughout the European Union and is often a requirement for pumps used in potentially explosive atmospheres.

Overall, ATEX plays an important role in promoting and ensuring safety in the pump industry and other industries where there is a risk of explosive atmospheres. ATEX certification helps to ensure that equipment and systems are designed and built to the highest safety standards, which helps to protect workers and prevent accidents.

Dry running a pump

A dry running pump is a type of pump that can operate without any fluid in the pump housing or suction line. This can occur unintentionally when a pump is run without sufficient fluid or when the fluid being pumped runs out or is depleted.

Dry running can be very damaging to a pump, as it can cause the pump to overheat and damage the impeller / rotors and other components. This is because the fluid being pumped is typically responsible for cooling and lubricating the pump’s moving parts, and without this fluid, friction and heat can build up quickly.

To prevent dry running, pumps may be equipped with various types of protective measures such as low-level switches or automatic shut-off systems. It can also be possible to install a double mechanical seal with flush which protects the seal faces from overheating. Additionally, it is important to monitor fluid levels and flow rates closely during operation to ensure that the pump is not operating without sufficient fluid.

If a pump is run dry, it is important to inspect the pump for damage and replace any damaged components before operating the pump again. In some cases, a dry running pump may be irreparably damaged and require replacement.

EHEDG

EHEDG stands for European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group, which is a non-profit organization that was established in 1989 to promote hygienic design and engineering in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. EHEDG provides guidance and recommendations on hygienic design principles and practices, and aims to improve the safety and quality of food and pharmaceutical products by reducing the risk of contamination.

EHEDG has developed a series of guidelines and standards for the design, construction, and maintenance of equipment and facilities used in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. These guidelines cover a range of topics, including hygienic design principles, cleaning and disinfection, materials selection, and equipment design.

EHEDG also offers training and certification programs for engineers, designers, and other professionals involved in the design and construction of equipment and facilities in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. EHEDG certification is recognized globally and is often a requirement for equipment and facility design and construction in these industries.

Overall, EHEDG plays an important role in promoting and ensuring hygienic design and engineering practices in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries, which helps to improve the safety and quality of products and protect public health.

FDA

FDA stands for the Food and Drug Administration, which is a regulatory agency of the United States government that is responsible for protecting and promoting public health by regulating food, drugs, medical devices, and other products that come into contact with the human body.

In the pump industry, FDA regulations are particularly relevant for pumps that are used in food, beverage, and pharmaceutical applications, where there is a need for high levels of hygiene and cleanliness. Pumps that are used in these applications must meet FDA standards for materials, construction, and performance to ensure that they do not contaminate the products they are used with.

The FDA has developed a set of guidelines and regulations for equipment and systems that come into contact with food and drugs. These regulations cover a range of topics, including materials selection, design, and cleaning procedures. Pumps that are used in food, beverage, and pharmaceutical applications must comply with these regulations to ensure that they meet FDA standards for hygiene and safety.

Overall, FDA regulations play an important role in ensuring that pumps and other equipment used in food, beverage, and pharmaceutical applications are safe and hygienic. Compliance with FDA regulations helps to protect public health and ensure that products are safe and free from contamination.

Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH)

NPSH stands for Net Positive Suction Head, which is a critical parameter in the pump industry. NPSH refers to the amount of pressure available at the pump’s suction inlet, expressed in terms of head, to prevent cavitation from occurring inside the pump.

NPSH is typically measured in metres and is calculated by subtracting the vapour pressure of the fluid being pumped from the total suction head available at the pump’s inlet. The suction head can be affected by factors such as the pump’s location, the height of the fluid being pumped, and any restrictions or losses in the suction line.

In general, it is important to ensure that the NPSH available (NPSHa) at the pump’s inlet is greater than the NPSH required (NPSHr) by the pump. If the NPSHr is greater than the NPSHa, cavitation can occur, which can lead to damage to the pump and a decrease in pump efficiency.

Pump manufacturers typically provide NPSH curves that show the NPSH required by the pump at different flow rates. This information can be used to select a pump that is appropriate for a particular application and to ensure that the suction line and other components of the pump system are designed to provide sufficient NPSH.

Pump cavitation

Cavitation is a phenomenon that can occur in pumps when the pressure of the fluid being pumped drops below its vapour pressure, causing the formation of vapour bubbles in the fluid. These bubbles then collapse when they move to an area of higher pressure, which can create intense shock waves and cause damage to the pump and surrounding equipment.

Cavitation can occur in any type of pump, including centrifugal, positive displacement, and axial flow pumps. It is typically caused by a combination of factors, including low inlet pressure, high pump speed, and a high fluid viscosity.

Symptoms of cavitation can include a decrease in pump efficiency, increased noise or vibration, and damage to the impeller or other pump components. To prevent cavitation, it is important to maintain proper inlet pressure, avoid excessive pump speeds, and select a pump with a design that is appropriate for the fluid being pumped.

Self Priming

In the pump industry, self-priming refers to a type of pump that is capable of pumping fluid from a level below the pump’s suction port without the need for external priming or filling of the pump’s suction line with fluid.

Self-priming pumps have a special design that allows them to create a vacuum in the suction line and draw fluid into the pump without relying on gravity or external pressure. This is typically achieved through the use of a specialised impeller that can expel air from the suction line and generate the necessary vacuum.

Self-priming pumps are useful in applications where the pump may need to be installed above the fluid level or where there may be air pockets or other obstructions in the suction line. They are commonly used in applications such as sewage pumping, dewatering, and agricultural irrigation.

It is important to note that while self-priming pumps can be very useful in certain applications, they may have limitations in terms of their maximum suction lift, flow rate, and efficiency. Additionally, self-priming pumps may require periodic maintenance to ensure that the impeller and other components remain in good working condition.

Vapour Pressure

Vapour pressure is the pressure exerted by the vapour of a substance when it is in equilibrium with its liquid or solid phase at a given temperature. In the context of the pump industry, vapour pressure is an important parameter to consider because it can influence the occurrence of cavitation.

The vapour pressure of a fluid depends on its chemical composition and temperature. As the temperature of a liquid increases, its vapour pressure also increases. When the vapour pressure of a fluid is equal to the pressure around it, the fluid will begin to boil and turn into a gas.

In the pump industry, it is important to ensure that the pressure inside the pump does not drop below the vapour pressure of the fluid being pumped. If this happens, vapour bubbles can form in the fluid, which can lead to cavitation and damage to the pump. Therefore, it is important to select a pump that is capable of maintaining sufficient pressure to prevent cavitation and to consider the vapour pressure of the fluid being pumped when designing or operating a pump system.