Mobilepumps improve efficiency, sustainability

South African coal mining operations, particularly in openpit environments, are confronted with the ongoing challenge of managing water levels for seamless operations.

Pumps supplier Mechanical Rotating Solutions (MRS) intends to address this challenge by improving dewatering processes through the construction and refurbishment of mobile diesel pump systems.

The company reduces the number of mobile pumpsets through upgrading existing diesel pump units to move more water in less time, which saves costs and prevents leakage of contaminated water into protected environments.

In December 2023, MRS celebrated the completion of its twentieth mobile diesel pump, which MD Franscois Steenkamp says “underscores the company’s expertise” in providing specialised solutions for the South African coal mining industry, and further advances the company’s “better-than-new philosophy”.

This is evident in progressing pumps through meticulous refurbishment processes, whereby “each pump exceeds original standards and demonstrates a commitment to excellence and cutting-edge solutions”.

Steenkamp adds that this dedication ensures the pumps’ efficiency, cost-effectiveness and safety in openpit mining scenarios, owing to their adaptability and reliability, and swiftness in responding to changing water levels and unexpected flooding.

“Their mobility and optimised performance ensure versatility in addressing diverse depths and locations within the mine, safeguarding productivity and operational continuity. Operating at their best efficiency points minimises environmental impact, reducing fuel consumption and lowering resource consumption over time.”

Steenkamp further emphasises the significance of specifying the correct dewatering pump for each application to enhance productivity, environmental sustainability and worker safety.

Recent projects showcase pumps operating with precision, offering tailored performance optimised for specific mine conditions, he notes, adding that upgrading pump seals using AESSEAL technology and incorporating Belzona-engineered coatings “further extends the pump life span, ensuring reliability in challenging coal mine environments”.

Upgrading pump seals from conventional gland packing to AESSEAL mechanical seals significantly reduces water consumption, as the superior sealing capabilities of mechanical seals minimise leakage, ensuring efficient water management and aligning with environmental sustainability goals.

Further, integrating the latest mobile phone technology with a customised engine control unit enables customers to control water levels effectively, he adds.

The tailored control system enhances pump performance, monitors various parameters and potentially integrates safety features, which, in turn, contribute to efficient dewatering operations and lower energy costs.

However, while initial investment costs may seem high, the long-term cost savings derived from specialised pumps are “undeniable”, declares Steenkamp.

Some of the savings include reduced fuel consumption, reduced downtime and enhanced operational efficiency, which all contribute significantly to cost effectiveness and sustainability of water management and mining operations.

MRS is actively expanding its footprint in sub-Saharan African countries, leveraging its established presence as the African distributor for STRAUB pipe couplings.

The company’s focus on providing specialty products, such as AESSEAL mechanical seals, showcases a commitment to reliability, robustness and long-lasting solutions.

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