Increased profitability is possible either by increasing the system’s capacity or removing the system’s inefficiencies. Any change that can improve profitability should be considered if the risk/reward ratio is sufficient.
- Identifying systems that have significant savings potential
- Developing a method for evaluating the existing system
- Personnel required to run the program
- Instrumentation requirements
- Method of presenting the results
- A means of evaluating proposed system improvements
At first glance, this looks like a major effort, but these items and more are covered in an American National Standard American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) EA-2-2009 Energy Assessment for Pumping System.
The standard discusses the items that must be addressed when starting a pump system improvement program.
Focus on Quality Improvements
Personnel often push back when beginning a new program within a plant, and a pump system improvement program is no exception. Once again, the team leader must demonstrate the value of the program and ease of implementation to plant personnel.
Most industrial plants use a quality program—such as Quality Assurance, Zero Defects, Total Quality Management (TQM), Six Sigma, Toyota Production System (TPS), or Lean Six Sigma. The goal of programs such as these is to continuously improve the quality of products and processes. This is accomplished through a group effort to improve product quality and profitability. The objectives of a pump system improvement program coincide with all plant quality programs.
Rather than create yet another program, simply roll the pump system improvement program into the existing quality program. The only additional task is educating the different members of the pump system improvement team on how to conduct a system assessment as outlined in the ASME EA-2-2009 Energy Assessment for Pumping System standard.
Because gaining a clear picture of total system operation is such an integral part of a pump system improvement program, the May 2014 column will focus on total system operation. A pump system will be broken down into its basic elements to see how they work together, how the system operates, how the energy is used and how much the system costs to operate.