“It is a huge cost for a mine to maintain its water level, so it is very important for them to choose a reliable, durable pump and service partner,” he said.
Founded in Sweden in 1903, ITT Flygt specializes in fluid technology. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York-based ITT, a supplier of industrial technology products and services. Headquartered in Sundbyberg, Greater Stockholm, its operations span 140 countries, with primary manufacturing performed in Sweden and China. Canada has 24 authorized distributors, 14 branches with full repair capability and one sales office in Thunder Bay.
Since 1976, Sudbury’s ITT Flygt branch has provided sales, service and rentals to a broad base of customers in northeastern Ontario. Ten employees operate out of a 10,000-square foot building. The company offers up to 15 different types of pumps for applications in agriculture, municipal services, construction and mining. It offers 24-hour service, performs turnkey contract services for onsite applications, and offers installation and set up of new equipment.
Bruce McFadden, branch manager and 30-year veteran with ITT Flygt’s Sudbury operation, says it is the only pump supplier in Northern Ontario that will commission equipment to the satis-faction of a client, making it a preferred supplier in the region.
In Sudbury, ITT Flygt’s largest market is the booming mining industry, representing 60 per cent of its business. Spin offs from high metal prices have had a positive impact on the company.
Branch sales are on target to be double compared to what they were three years ago, said McFadden.
As mining activity increases, so has the demand for pumping systems. ITT Flygt provides sump and slurry pumps to underground mines and processing plants.
Its newest six-unit 2600 series has been redesigned to handle the challenges that accompany underground dewatering. Pumps deployed in the harsh environments found in the mining industry must be able to withstand abrasive, high-solid content within the water and run partially submerged, a condition called “snoring.”
“It is a tough application,” said Adams. “You get solids that are just grating away. And when the intake is half in, half out, the pump isn’t pumping to its capacity.”
A myriad of features in the 2600 series have increased the pump’s durability. With 50 per cent fewer parts, there is less to break down and replace, lowering repair costs. A tungsten carbide double-faced plug-in seal is designed for durability. The stainless steel outer casing and strainer makes it more reliable in low pH (acidic) applications. Class H insulation protects the motor up to 180 degrees Celsius, whereas competing pumps have only Class F insulation (up to 155 degrees Celsius). McFadden sees this as an advantage when pumps are running dry or on snore, which is often the case underground.
A single trimming screw used to trim the impeller makes it easier to adjust, reducing maintenance time in the field.
The new hydraulic design consists of a closed impeller made of high-chrome alloy, a hard abrasive-resistant material. The patented Dura-Spin and Spin-out designs help expel particles away from the impeller and shaft seal. The spiral outer design and vanes on the back of the impeller work the material down through a pressure differential, forcing it out and away from the seal. The Dura-Spin expels the heavier material below the impeller.
“That is what it is all about,” McFadden said, “…getting the sand away from the seal and shaft where it can cause damage and wear.”
Tests using 40 per cent solid particles and 100 hours running time showed the pump offering twice the durability under normal operating conditions.
Mike Stewart, planner at CVRD Inco’s North Mine, used a 27 hp 2670 model to pump a 50/50 mixture of cement and water to fill a stope at the 3080-foot level. After unsuccessful attempts with another pump, the 2670 was able to pump 1,500 feet laterally at a 10 per cent rising incline. During its operation, 70 tons of material was pumped 144 hours weekly for up to 55 days. It is still in good working condition.
“We tapped inline from the tank and ended up filling a stope we never thought we’d be able to fill, so it kept us going production-wise,” Stewart said. “We were worried about filling a stope, and this pump did it for us.”
Since June 2006, ITT Flygt has sold 12 units in Northern Ontario, said Adams. As of January 2007, none have been returned for repairs due to pump failure. The new line was released for full production in Sweden in December 2006 with future units planned to provide higher pressure-rated pumps.
In January, an ITT Flygt crew was preparing an Australian-made Supavac for underground. It performs much like a vacuum, but uses compressed air to move heavy sludge material. The primary use is to clean sumps, ponds or transfer thick liquids.
As the 2600 series continues to outperform its predecessor pumps, Adams and McFadden see increased satisfaction and cost-savings to the end user.