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Process Pumps

What is a process pump?

A wide and versatile category of pumps used in many different industries. They are generally considered any type of stationary, industrial pump designed for a specific industrial process. Process pumps may be centrifugal pumps or positive displacement pumps, and there are many types and construction details that vary widely depending on the process they are used.

Different types

Because process pumps are such a broad category, the exact pump type and construction details can vary widely. Some types are heavy-duty centrifugal pumps primarily designed to move fluids that may be highly volatile, corrosive, or abrasive. Other types may be positive displacement pumps.

They can be made of exotic metallurgy to withstand the corrosive and abrasive liquids to which they are exposed. Or, they may be made completely of plastics for applications in semiconductor manufacturing, and for medical, and scientific research.

Below are descriptions of some of the most common types:

1. ANSI Pumps are a type of single-stage end suction centrifugal pump. This type is designed to the ANSI B73.1 standard, and each size of this type of pump has identical envelope dimensions for all manufacturers (e.g., face of suction flange to end of shaft, centerline of pump to face of discharge flange, bolt circle and size of flange bolts, shaft and keyway dimensions, and feet locations).

This dimensional standard among manufacturers for each size of pump is unique with the ANSI chemical pump, and it allows the users to switch brands without affecting piping location, motor attachment, coupling, or bedplate dimensions. This type comes in a wide range of materials depending on the application. In addition to the chemical industry, the ANSI pump is also used in refineries, paper mills, and many other plant environments.

2. API Pumps are centrifugal pumps that are used in hydrocarbon services in refineries, pipelines, and other hydrocarbon processing plants. Theey are designed to the API 610 standard for pumps in hydrocarbon services. This standard is not a dimensional standard like the ANSI pump standard. The API 610 pump standard covers a number of centrifugal pump types, including: end suction pumps, horizontal split case pumps, multi-stage pumps, vertical turbine pumps, and others. The standard is quite conservative in terms of design requirements for casing thickness, shaft deflection, nozzle loads, bearing life, etc., in consideration of the fact that this pump type is often handling volatile, high temperature, and high pressure hydrocarbons.

3. Hygienic Process Pumps may be centrifugal or positive displacement pumps, depending on the type of liquids they are handling. This pump type is used in process applications in the food processing, beverage, pharmaceutical, biotech, and personal care products industries. Hygienic pumps are usually made of 316 L stainless steel. All parts are highly polished and the pump is designed to eliminate any crevices where bacteria could grow. Often the pumps are designed to be quickly disassembled for manual cleaning, and many can be cleaned in place (CIP) or steamed in place (SIP).

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