How to pick the best device and maximize its life.
by Jim Artmann
February 20, 2018

Piston Packages

With so many variables at play, application packages preconfigured with the right motor, piston pump, mount, controls and accessories offer operators the greatest flexibility. For end users, pre-assembled and validated application packages eliminate much of the guesswork that comes with choosing the right pump for the job.

Challenging adhesives such as multiple component or glass-filled sealers require stainless or carbon steel piston package options with coated tubes and plunger rods to tackle difficult extrusion and transferring applications. When it comes to new or unique applications, it is recommended to refer to the pump manufacturer’s viscosity and chemical compatibility resources or consult with an expert to properly configure the package.

What’s On the Inside Counts

The way a piston pump is designed and engineered impacts its functionality and performance when in use.

With a simple motor design, universal valve blocks and pump connections, piston pump operators can easily move between motor sizes, create new pump ratios and even upgrade their system without buying a new pump. Other features include:

  • a progressive exhaust motor design to minimize icing
  • adjustable packing seals and optional component coatings to improve pump life
  • quick disassembly for easy maintenance
  • thermal relief kits to prevent over pressurization

All of these characteristics make piston pumps a widely used and multipurpose option for accurately moving fluid.

Maintaining & Extending Piston Pumps

Because it has only a few moving parts, maintaining a piston pump is relatively simple. When cleanliness, cycle rate and other wear factors are monitored and controlled, a piston pump can last for many months or even years between maintenance cycles. For maximum pump and system component life, piston pumps must be protected from contamination.

Proper pump cleaning should align with frequency of use and the fluids being pumped. This is particularly important for corrosive chemicals, in which case it is advisable to flush your pump with a neutralizing solution followed by a clear water rinse after each use.

While features such as coated plunger rods and tubes and PTFE or ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) packing options can extend pump life, packing seals are designed to wear and still require routine monitoring and replacement.

Flow rate, application requirements and fluid type all help predict the frequency of regular maintenance replacements however, indicators such as fluid in the solvent cup, pressure loss or uneven pump cycling also serve as service markers.


Jim Artmann is the global product leader for piston pumps at ARO, a worldwide manufacturer of fluid management products that are expertly engineered to deliver performance and serviceability. For more information, visit

With their flexibility to work across a variety of materials in a number of industrial applications, piston pumps continue to demonstrate their importance as a key component in an effective fluid handling system.