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Articles by Larry Bachus

PUMP GUY: Why We’ve Hit a Dead End in Automating Pumping Systems

June 26, 2014

Process pumps need instrumentation. When the velocity, flow, and pressure are not what they should be, the alteration stresses the pump. This is the reason I’ve said before that the instrumentation technician is a better friend to the Pump Reliability Engineer than the vibration analyzer or the CMMS program.

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PUMP GUY MAILBAG: Minimum Acceptable Flow for Effective Pump Operation

June 6, 2014
Larry, Please enlighten me. For a constant speed centrifugal process pump, what is the minimum stable acceptable flow for safe operation?
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PUMP GUY: Life Is Good (Or Is It?)

Challenging pumps to match the pace of change in the modern era
April 4, 2014

If an automatic dish washing machine will take a load of dirty dishes, apply the soap, heat the water, scrub and wash the dishes while grinding and flushing the crumbs, rinse and dry the dishes, then why can’t today’s pump industry design a product that will allow a petroleum company to automate the refining process?

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PUMP GUY: Calculus Gymnastics

Are universities adequately preparing student engineers for jobs in fluid handling?
March 12, 2014

Too many universities are graduating mechanical engineers who can’t build a skateboard and don’t know what happens inside the engine of a car. It’s a problem I observe in many parts of the world.

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PUMP GUY MAILBAG: Lessons Learned

What industrial reliability teams can learn from their counterparts in safety
January 30, 2014

Some reliability and vibration programs are approaching 20 years in existence. Most are doing well. But a few programs are stuck on first base. So, at what point do the faltering programs go off-track and lose focus?

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Understanding the importance of the packing ring ‘break-in’ procedure
January 3, 2014

Packing a pump is an acquired skill, like riding a bicycle. Poor pump packing procedure can lead to a range of negative impacts, such as pump sleeve damage.

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PUMP GUY MAILBAG: Of Variable-Speed Motors & Pump Curves

Why instrumentation is needed to ensure proper pump operation
November 27, 2013
A variable-speed motor (VSM) can be another useful tool for the operator, but only when he/she knows how to use it.
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Nyuk! Nyuk!

How the Pump Guy relates to The Three Stooges
October 31, 2013
When I watch The Three Stooges on TV, I remember my days in the Navy and my two cohorts. Most of the things we did back then served to make me the person I am today in this “Root Cause,” “Six Sigma” world.
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PUMP GUY Mailbag: Considering Check Valve Location

Why, generally speaking, you should not place a check on the suction of your pump
September 26, 2013
A check valve on the suction side of a centrifugal process pump will likely starve the pump of energy. Now having said that, some lift type pumps have what they call a “foot valve” on the suction pipe.
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PUMP GUY MAILBAG: Minimum Flow with Variable Speed

Operating in a world where motor speeds are no longer fixed
July 29, 2013
Dear Pump Guy: I am the pump system specialist at a water and wastewater authority. I need to pick your brain.
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