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Flygt pump reduces downtime for South African farm

Harmony Piggeries, a pig farm just outside Hennenman, South Africa, was having trouble keeping its enclosures clean due to pump failure. Xylem’s distribution partner Imperial Developments suggested installing a Flygt pump to replace the B-frame pump. After eight months of trouble-free pumping, the result was less energy used, reduced downtime and healthier pigs.

Located in South Africa’s Free State province, Harmony Piggeries has no less than 25,000 pigs on the farm at any given time. The pigs stand in enclosures were they are fed, thus leaving the floor full of manure.

The farm uses a process called flushing to remove the manure from the enclosures. The sewage water then runs into a large basin, where it gets pumped away to screens, which separate the water from the manure. The cleaning of the enclosures, however, had become problematic for the farm.

Frequent pump failure and expensive repairs

The farm had a 55kW B-frame pump that pumped the sewage water from the basin to the screens. With the screens being situated 600 meters from the basin, the major problem was that fibrous pig manure caused the pump to break down at regular intervals. This problem was further compounded by the fact that workers also occasionally dropped plastic bottles, wood and rags into the water.

The pump – and a backup bump – broke down as frequently as once every three months, resulting in costly repairs. The removal of the manure and the high maintenance costs were the farm’s major concerns.

A Flygt solution from Xylem

Xylem South Africa suggested installing a Flygt 3153 13.5 kW F-pump to replace the farm’s 55kW B-frame pump. Harmony Piggeries was sceptical that a 13.5 kW pump would be able to last in the basin. After a month of use, though, the Flygt pump withstood the harshest conditions and kept up with production even during the rainy season.

After this initial test, the farm was still sceptical about the pump lasting longer than three months, considering its previous experiences with breakdowns. The farm also requested that the pump be pulled after six months of use to review any wear-and-tear on it. However, after six months had passed, the farm was entering an extremely busy phase. The result was that the pump could only be pulled for review after eight months of use.

Before the pump was pulled it was working its normal cycles. When the pump was placed on dry land, the team found that a piece of wood had been lodged between the feet and the volute casing of the pump.

The piece of wood was actually being worn away by the pump without damaging or even slowing it down. After examining the pump, it became apparent that there was minimal wear-and-tear on the pump, no wear at all on the impeller, minimal wear on the suction plate and no visual damage on the casing.

Healthier pigs and increased profits

By installing the Flygt pump, the farm’s pigs were healthier and less stressed, since the enclosures were not flooding anymore. Power consumption was also reduced, by replacing a 55 kW with a 13.5 kW-pump, and the reduced downtime meant that workers could concentrate on other parts of business.

Harmony Piggeries could also increase its profits by the selling the dried manure, providing a regular cash flow due to uninterupted operations. Due to the durability of the Flygt pump, Harmony Piggeries said that it would only use Xylem pumps moving forward.

by Simon