Pumping up the mining sector in North Queensland

A pump system is a principal piece of equipment on a mining operation for transferring and metering fluids on site.

A pump system is a principal piece of equipment on a mining operation for transferring and metering fluids on site. The cost of a pump system failure to a mining operation can have a significant impact on a mine site’s operational capacity and impair a site’s ability to keep the production of critical minerals and resources moving along.

For Townsville’s Professional Pump Services (PPS), ensuring mining operations are equipped with reliable pump solutions is a priority for their business.

“The function of pumps in the mining industry varies from pumping clean cold water; transporting and storing of waste or storm water; and ensuring there is pressurised water for dust suppression, moving and separating materials for all mining processes,” according to General Manager, Guy Denmead.

“We work with our mining clients to implement premium quality, reliable, pump solutions from design to installation, to after market services, so operations can have peace of mind with better performance and reduced maintenance on their mining pump applications.”

With over 20 years of industry experience behind them, PPS has established its reputation locally as a provider of premium pump systems, assisting customers in the mining sector with the design and implementation of a host of pump products including submersible pumps, electric pumps, pump stations, centrifugal pumps, helical rotor pumps, turbine pumps, and gear pumps.

As a customer of Motion Australia’s Advanced Industrial Products (AIP), PPS sources components for mining client applications from AIP’s extensive range of hose, valve, and fitting products.

Area Manager for AIP North Queensland, Luke Westwick has been working with Guy and his team at PPS for several years to supply the latest in hose, valve, and fitting technology for the pump systems that they design for clients in the mining segment.

“Our relationship with PPS has been mutually beneficial, and it extends beyond simply selling products. Our team provide technical support to our customers to ensure that they are delivering the best possible system to their customers. We take care to follow up with PPS on how our products perform over the long term,” Luke said.

Most recently, PPS has been sourcing a good quantity of the Mandals Wellman 300 hose from AIP to be integrated into mine site pump applications.

The Wellman hose was designed to be a more versatile and flexible alternative to the tradition method of running rigid piping on sites for submersible pumps and bore holes and has become a popular choice for designing pump solutions.

“In the past, a lot of pump solutions used steel, PVC or polyethylene piping for fluid transfer on site,” explains Luke.

“The challenges with these pump systems were primarily with the installation and retrieval processes. The pipes required a lot of clearance and would need to be hoisted by cranes on installation. Later, when maintenance staff would pull the pumps out for repairs and upkeep, there would be a tremendous amount of time and labour exhausted lifting them out again.”

Using hose instead of piping delivers mine sites a significant advantage when handling fluid materials from both a cost perspective and overall performance, according to Luke.
“Hose allows for simple installation and a quick retrieval process for maintenance and repairs, but it also has very good hydraulic advantages,” he explains. “The tensile strength of a hose is greater than rigid pipe, there is less friction during fluid transfer, and lower risk of damage to the pump system.”

“The Wellman system also has no flanged joints, or moving parts in the stream except for at the headworks,” he continues. “The hose element is positioned alongside the stationary pump housing and compressed from the outside by shoes mounted to a coupling – making the pump construction and operation elegantly simplified.”

“Mandals also offer a hydraulic analysis program for different pump applications. By simply letting us know a few details of the pump we can provide a document to the customer with flow rates, and pressure at the outlet for their specific project.”

“We take in to account all the effects that could alter a pumps performance such as static loss and swell of the hose. This provides the customer with peace of mind knowing that they have selected the correct size hose for the application.”

Additionally, because the hose is moving all the time, there is no corrosion or scale build up inside the walls or the hose or meeting the product stream – making it an ideal pumping solution for the less forgiving substances on mine sites such as abrasive slurries,
Luke explains.

Mining pumps can weigh well over 100 kilos which means the hose will be under constant tension during operations. For this reason, Luke says the Mandals Wellman 300 hose stands out from other hose products on the market because of its unique construction properties.

“The Wellman 300 hose swells up to 15% of its size for increased tensile strength under operational conditions because the hose is reinforced with an innovative woven textile in its design,” he says. “This extends its serviceable life before fatigue and reduces maintenance requirements, which equates to huge cost savings for miners.”

AIP is the preferred supplier of Mandals hose products, importing and distributing it Australia-wide.

“My customers in Northern Queensland know that they can call me up anytime with a request, send me the specs of their pump design, and rely on the team at AIP to supply the hose from our regional warehouse on a short turnaround time,” concludes Luke.

“As one of Australia’s largest suppliers of hose, we are preferred by contractors precisely because we have first contact with so many market‑leading brands.”

Mandals Wellman 300 Hose
• Rapid installation and retrieval of submersible pump
• Made from high-grade polyurethane to resist chemicals, UV, abrasion, and microbes
• Woven textile reinforcement swells up to 15% for increased tensile strength
• No flanges or joints except at the pump headworks
• Low maintenance compared to rigid pipe
• Easy to store and transport
• Superior hydraulic performance
• Zero corrosion or scale build-up

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