Over the last 10 years, pump end-users have really embraced aftermarket pump repair companies. They’ve come to rely upon companies like Pivotal for their diverse, reverse engineering capabilities. They’ve seen the validity of using laser scanning technologies from a reverse engineering standpoint to replicate complex geometry that can be seen within centrifugal pumps such as impeller vanes, and diffuser veins.
10 years ago, the industry was dominated by the OEM repair facilities. There were some independent aftermarket repair facilities becoming prominent around that time, but they focused on much more conventional repairs, such as replacing conventional, heat-treated components.
Nowadays, aftermarket repair facilities, including Pivotal, do a lot of laser hard facing that provides extended life of the pumps. Customers have really embraced that as a valuable upgrade to be applied to specifically horizontal multistage pumps in high pressure applications.
Jim Aubrey, VP of Pivotal, gives his insight as to where he sees the industry heading:
Moving forward, I see the industry really tracking toward condition monitoring and doing condition-based rebuilding, wherein we would be looking at accelerometer data, thermocouple data as well as the hydraulic performance data of these pumps live as they’re operating in the field and using live real-time data as trigger points for the rebuilding process, rather than going with the standard meantime between failure run hours approach that we saw in the 90’s and the early 00’s.
Also, pumps really like to be run softly and at the appropriate speed and best efficiency point. So the more and more we started utilizing variable speed pumping within industry, I think we’re going to see much better performance and much longer extended lives out of our high energy centrifugal pumps.
Since its origin, Pivotal has always embraced change. The team has been one of the first to implement new technologies, like 3D printing, multi-access machining, material upgrades, and assembly design changes that allow for easier removals and reinstalls in the field. Pivotal has also begun using motion amplification video that can reveal structural issues within a pump system.
Not only is Pivotal equipped to handle state-of-the-art technologies, they also have the facilities and the team to handle any challenge they are presented with. With a large group of mechanical engineers they are capable of providing not only a like-for-like part replacement, but also advanced material upgrades, hydraulic upgrades and anything really that the customer might need. In addition, they’re backed by a large, privately held manufacturing company. They have the engineering support, both from a mechanical engineering standpoint and also an electrical and a controls engineering standpoint to support customers in the field and really adapt with the industry and with the climate as dictated.
Looking ahead to the coming year, Jim Aubrey says:
It’s interesting seeing all these plants still operating very well after basically a year off of not being proactive with maintenance. I think, obviously, in 2021 that needs to change and we need to get back to rebuilding our equipment proactively. Pivotal is very well positioned to satisfy all of your pump rebuilding needs both from a removal, field support, repair, parts replacement, and re-install as well as condition monitoring and troubleshooting services.
We’re really looking forward to meeting more customers continuing to support our existing customers and just continuing great operations and great business in 2021 and beyond.