Virtually, all industrial machinery requires periodic maintenance for dependable long-term operation. In fact, the very term “maintenance” is defined as keeping machines in the as-designed or as-purchased and manufactured condition. At issue is whether the equipment owner’s profitability objectives are best served by “maintaining only”, or by judiciously combining maintenance and upgrading tasks. Assuming the answer favors combining maintenance and upgrading, the question arises whether an intelligent and well thought-out combination of maintenance and upgrading should be entrusted only to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), or if qualified non-OEMs should be considered also. The co-authors would like to offer their answer to the question. Experience shows that a highly qualified independent rebuild shop with demonstrated capabilities and experienced personnel can offer high-quality upgrades that improve both uptime and efficiency. Such a shop can do so consistent with current system performance requirements. With the considerable consolidations in the pump industry, the distinct possibility exists that the OEM is not able to offer the same engineering competence he previously had and that independent shops should be considered. This presentation deals with a case study and details where such upgrading was being planned, implemented, and verified to have had the desired results. It further explains the role played by competent pump rebuild shops (we chose to call them “CPRS”) in these important endeavors. Our work supports the premise that rebuilding a vintage process pump to original OEM specifications makes no sense, given current pump rebuilding technology and changes to the system performance that occur over time. We find compelling reasons to systematically upgrade the efficiency and potential run length of large centrifugal pumps. Of course, this upgrading must be pre-planned and then carried out during a future maintenance outage.

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