Application analysis for a new type of refinery pump

For a manufacturer of pumps for the process industry a strategy for a planned new type of pump for heavy-load process technology – primarily for refinery applications, however not limited to those – was developed. First, the (worldwide!) market volume was defined and the relevant, various processes were described whereas their variety ranges from the utilisation of liquid gas to washing water, from true procedural processes (e.g. hydrotreating) to industry-like processes (e.g. fluid injection).

Media and their temperatures, operating ranges and additional boundary conditions were investigated and embedded into specific instructions on how the product prototype can be exactly tailored to the needs of each customer.

According to their manufacturer and type, the actually operated pumps were classified into pump populations to be replaced, and the pump’s strengths and weaknesses were identified sufficiently precise and in detail, that repeatedly occurring events of damage could be exactly identified. As a result, the substitution process could be directly addressed in the product positioning, whereas the focus lies not only on the technical aspects, as the market volume of the competitors had been examined as well. All results were included in the already mentioned “product positioning” which embodies the quintessence of this application-oriented project for the customer

Furthermore, requirements regarding the product and its component connected to international standards were identified.  In this respect, a detailed analysis of the way to ensure that the newly developed product fulfils these standard requirements and answers on the question how to deal with aspects included in the standards however referring to conventional solutions and products and not being applicable for the new concept were of special importance to the customer. All this was particularly interesting as the new product is designed “cross-divisional” and can be assigned to different fields of standardisation and/or parts of it. Of course, it is not only the API directive that applies, but the ATEX directive is also decisive. For us as well, it was quite interesting to observe how the requirements changed and were restricted by operators and planners as of cost reasons. In part, and in cases where they were not regarded as essential for safety, these requirements were even avoided. There is no need to say that safety and operating reliability stand above everything else, however, a close look has to be put on certain details.

Queries were realised for a large number of pumps in use and compared with the designed operating range of the new pump type. Thus, the different development stages of the programme resulted „automatically“, and the urgent needs for an immediate market access could be identified.

The companies‘ and planners‘ decision maker units, the composition of which depends on local habits, were identified for the most important countries and for potential customers.