Hima-Sella expansion continues

Hima-Sella managing director Ian Wright comments: Customers rely on Hima-Sella for its expertise in engineering safety, control and automation systems and moving closer geographically brings many benefits.

“Having two new offices in locations nearer to key customers makes good business sense. The efficiency savings we’ll make by cutting travelling time and reducing our carbon footprint are substantial, so everyone gains as a result. Many of our engineers and account managers spend hours travelling to visit customers. We’re looking at new ways that take staff well-being into account yet maintain the service excellence that we know our customers value.”

In Ashby de la Zouch, in Leicestershire, by moving into a brand new, low-energy building on the Ivanhoe Business Park, near to Derby and the rail industry hub, Hima-Sella establishes a convenient East Midlands base, close to all the main rail companies in the UK, easily accessible by road and an hour away from London by train.

The Ashby office is being fitted out this month with plans for staff in the transportation and automated engineering team to be in place by July. With two new office locations, technology such as video conferencing will be used to improve business efficiency and reduce the amount of time spent travelling.

The Hima-Sella office in Aberdeen is located at the Energy Industries Council (EIC) Carden Place premises at the heart of the energy capital of Europe, which hosts Offshore Europe and is home to many oil companies and energy-related contractors, suppliers, agencies, government bodies and research organisations.

Hima-Sella remains 100% committed to its Stockport headquarters, being refurbished over the summer with a new reception area, enhanced office accommodation and improved catering facilities for the 100-strong staff.

Wright adds, “We’re strongly committed to taking Hima-Sella forward as planned this year and these two additional office locations will help us to capitalise on our growing reputation and credibility with key customers. Opening new offices closer to customers, combined with the enhancement of our existing Stockport site gives us the ability to accommodate future expansion.

New range of rubber lined slurry pumps

Back on 30 January this year I reported on the development of Linatex, and this particular type of rubber, that has excellent wear and abrasion resistance. This month the Linatex company, with a UK base near Blackbushe airport in Hampshire, invited the press to see a demonstration of the quick dis-assembly of the latest version of their rubber lined pumps, as would be necessary on site for any inspection of the impeller and shaft seal components. Linatex have manufactured rubber lined pumps for many years, supplying them for slurry, sand and mineral slurry handling across the world: with engineers based in factories and service centres in all continents, they have been on site to see the problems faced and the conditions found in Siberia, in Argentina, in South Africa, Australia and China. This experience has been engineered into the new features of the Linatex G4 pump, and has contributed to achieving the 20 minute turn-round demonstrated this week, for complete disassembly and replacement of impeller and seal. It was suggested that the time for similar disassembly and inspection of these components on a conventional rubber lined slurry pump would be 3-4 hours.

The world slurry pump market is estimated by Linatex at USD800 Million, of which 25% would be rubber lined, and 75% made of hard chrome steel, or other hard metal. Total Linatex turnover this last year has been USD140 Million, but this includes many other styles of rubber product, such as cyclones, pipe bends, valves, sheet, and even safety curtains in firing ranges. In the UK Linatex do have a major share in the UK supply of rubber lined pumps for the sand and gravel market.

The new Linatex G4 pump range comes in rubber lined and hard metal versions, allowing them to offer a solution across the market, for any slurry type and size/shape of particle. Rubber lined pumps tend always to be offered for slurries with mainly particles below 3mm in size, and hard metal pumps for slurries where particles are above 7mm. Other factors are taken into consideration when particles are between 3 and 7mm. Both the pumps are of a similar centrifugal design, and use the same frame. Within the pump head the flow paths and the discharge outlet design have been optimised, over several years, to improve pumping efficiency, which has led to a reduction in the costs of power required on site to meet the pumping volume needed: the lower HP motors used are more economical.

How do you enable such quick on site dismantling?

  1. The impeller can be removed through the wear plate at the pump inlet.
  2. The screw thread onto the motor shaft is fitted with a V-shaped external release collar, that takes all the tension from the impeller screw thread once it is pulled clear, allowing the impeller thread to be undone easily. The photo shows the pump after the removal of the impeller: the Linatex rubber is red in colour.
  3. The standard seal is what I would call a mechanical face seal, acting between a silicon carbide face and a Linatex rubber flat face, but this is also referred to as a gland, since the rubber is tightened down as would happen with a gland. Here the wear resistance of the Linatex is again used to good effect.
  4. The seal faces are aligned and pressurised using a single screw adjustment for the gland pressure, working on a lever principle across two pressure points. This can be adjusted while the motor is running.
  5. All the Linatex linings are moulded components that are loose fits into the pump body, typically trapped at each flange. These have moulded in strengthening where needed, to support the shape.
  6. The pump bodies are relatively standard, but the outlet discharge adaptor is a pipe size and flange adaptor to suit the plant pipework: this is also fitted with a lining, and is designed to reduce turbulence, hence reducing energy losses and wear. Outlet pipework does not need to be removed from the pump for any servicing: the adaptor also has a jacking screw which releases the liner from between the adaptor flanges and the plant pipework, for replacement if needed.

Bruce Cooke, General Manager Europe for Linatex, can be seen explaining the background to the Linatex success story over the last few years, on a video published by the UK Daily Telegraph: see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/business-club-video/7733881/Linatex.html. This video also shows some of the Linatex rubber lined pumps.Service engineers dismantling the Linatex G4 pump