Robert Brown Associates is pleased to announce that it’s SENCILLO ™ model of packaged variable speed booster pump systems have received the UL /cUL – Third Party Certification Stamp by Underwriters Laboratories as a Packaged Pumping System and can be identified with the Listed Mark.
According to the Certificate of Compliance:
“Only those products bearing the UL Listing Mark for the US and Canada should be considered as being covered by UL’s Listing and Follow-Up Service meeting the appropriate requirements for US and Canada.”
Robert Brown Associates’ president, Tom Halley stated, “We decided to pursue 3rd party certification, since it does provide a solid validation to our clients that our product is not just a cheap bit of junk, built in someone’s garage without a comprehensive plan. These systems are a very integral part of a building’s utilities, and our clients need to be assured that they are built with safety and quality in mind. They do operate 24/7, in providing water service to a building, and that’s a pretty important utility on anyone’s gauge.”
The certification program is a comprehensive program whereby UL engineers evaluate the product for compliance to industry standards for packaged pumping systems. To apply for the UL certification, the company prepares written procedures for all aspects of how the pump system is constructed. Drawings and system photographs are provided to complete the documentation.
After reviewing the application, a UL inspector inspected the entire system and components used in building the system. The inspector verifies that everything conforms to the UL requirements. This includes the components, welding procedures, and the devices that are used.
Sample UL Listed Component
Following the initial inspection, a UL inspector conducts regular unannounced visits to the facility to perform inspections. UL as a certifying agency are tasked with ensuring that the product continues to conform to the UL requirements. This is in part, a safety program, and verifies that the product is manufactured using UL approved components (motors, pumps, instrumentation, etc.). If a component is used that is not UL approved, the company can be fined or forfeit the certification.
Control panel fabrication
Samples of our systems have been investigated by UL in accordance with the following standards:
• UL 508 – Industrial Control Equipment
• UL 508A – Industrial Control Panels
• UL 778 – Motor-Operated Water Pumps
• CSA C22.2 No. 14 Industrial Control Equipment
• CSA C22.2 No. 108 – Liquid Pumps
Some purchasers of packaged pump systems require a third party certification label on the products supplied. The purpose of the label is to assure customers of a third party evaluation, inspection program, and a certain level of quality and safety compliance.
There is not a current national requirement for 3rd party certification for packaged booster pump systems. Local state and municipal authorities retain the rights to set their own requirements for what pumping products are acceptable.
UL is a global independent safety science company offering expertise across five key strategic businesses: Product Safety, Environment, Life & Health, Verification Services and Knowledge Services.
With higher demand behind them, Robert Brown Associates industrial fluid pump repair & service company, outgrew their current surroundings and have relocated to a much larger facility. “After 28 years in the same location, we saw the growing need to expand the business and add more capacity to service the entire region,” states company president Tom Halley. “With this new facility, we are poised to provide a greater supply of much-needed repair parts, replacement pumps and entire systems for multiple applications.”
The previous facility was approximately 2,400 square feet of space in an industrial park complex. Now the organization is occupying 10,000 square foot facility with upgrades and process reconfigurations to accommodate more pump systems production and improve overall efficiencies.
Robert Brown Associates New Building
“We have added new equipment including new saws and a pipe racking system to process all the raw materials used in the fabrication process.” Halley comments. “Additionally the crane system has been extended to cover the entire shop area and gives us far more flexibility and usage of the production area. Now we have enough room to separate pump repair from fabrication; this is resulting in a cleaner, faster, and far more efficient approach to servicing our customers.”
The new repair center has been reconfigured and updated to include a new grinding station complete with dust collection. To add the finishing touches for repairs and system builds, a brand new paint booth was designed and constructed in the repair center.
To continue the “segment and focus” approach of the facility, a new control panel assembly shop was designed and implemented for further efficiencies and quality control. Halley elaborates, “We design and build our own Sencillo brand control panels. The new and upgraded assembly area allows us to do wiring from the control panel to the motors as well as complete panel testing.
The company is also a regional supplier for many pump manufacturers from around the country. To keep up with the growing demand the stocking inventory system has been completely upgraded. Halley explains, “We are a stocking distributor with over $100,000 of pump parts on-hand and another $100,000 of pumps in inventory. We have added an automated parts system with a racking numbering system for faster service and real-time inventory controls so we are properly stocked and ready for our customers.”
From the production facility, the new space continues into the office area. The layout features a large conference room designed to accommodate customer meetings and consultations. The employee offices and cubicles are strategically arranged to support each area of the business and foster better communication throughout the company. Halley adds, “In addition to streamlining the office space we have added new software and online technologies. A complete online catalog is available to showcase featured equipment and solutions. A brand new distribution management software system was integrated into the business that speeds up quotes, provides accurate inventory tracking and more fluid business operations.”
The new facility location was chosen for it’s proximity to servicing the Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia regions.
Robert Brown Associates new address: 6-C Mount Pleasant Road Aston PA 19014 1-800-777-6906
About Robert Brown Associates
Robert Brown Associates is a full service industrial fluid pump sales and pump systems package provider. The company has over 30 years of experience in pump installations and systems design. Robert Brown Associates was established in 1982 and utilizes facilities, engineered fluid pump staff, service personnel, service vehicles and an extensive inventory from major industrial fluid pump manufacturers. Learn more atwww.rbapump.com
A Vertical Turbine Pump is a specific design of pumping equipment used in applications where a fluid is in a sump, such as a below ground tank, a reservoir, a pond, a well or a cooling tower sump. Vertical turbines are selected as the right piece of equipment when the fluid is relatively clean, the flow need is constant and the installation is such that a flooded suction to a standard centrifugal pump is not possible. Vertical turbine pumps are a good choice because they are relatively high in hydraulic efficiency, an energy saver, and eliminate the need for priming.
The major components of a vertical turbine are the suction bell, the bowl assembly, the discharge case, the column pipe assembly, discharge head, stuffing box assembly, and motor with motor shaft. All of these components work together to do the work of moving a fluid.
The unique aspect of a vertical turbine is that they are not a “pump in a box”. Each turbine pump is considered a “custom” pump – that is that each pump is designed and built for a specific application and must be defined when purchasing. It is the classic engineered product, and requires a thorough knowledge from a pump professional in order to process.
Duplex Cooling Tower Pumps
The defining characteristics of a vertical turbine are:
– overall length of the pump, from the ground level to the end of the suction bell. (based on the sump depth, distance to the fluid)
- the flow rate and output pressure (based on the system requirements)
- construction of each piece (metallurgy required for the application)
- type of column assembly (open line shaft, enclosed line shaft, etc.)
- type of discharge head (above ground, below ground, etc.)
- Driver type (electric motor, diesel engine, right angle gear, etc.)
The average vertical turbine pump is relatively heavy (700 lbs or more) and long (8 ft or more), which requires the use of rigging equipment, experienced professional technicians and crane equipment to handle for repair. Repairs are not typically done in the field, as many types of shop repair equipment are needed to perform all tasks of a repair job.
Repairs on a vertical turbine are a major undertaking, because of the size and weight, and because of the expertise required to disassemble, inspect and replace/repair worn elements of the unit and reassemble and test. This is not a job for even the most experienced of facilities maintenance technicians.
During disassembly the shafts are inspected for wear near the shaft bearing, bushings and stuffing box area. The bowl assembly and the bottom bushings are measured with a micrometer for wear. Each impeller is inspected for damage, wear and corrosion damage, and noted for suitability to be reused in the unit.
Typically, the column assembly is sanded and ground to bare metal. Any rust is removed and new bearings are installed. Severely damaged, worn or corroded parts are replaced.
Finally a new stuffing box will be installed and any wearing parts are inspected and replaced.
The motor should be completely check out and tested, and any repairs should be done while the unit is in the shop.
After the replacement and refurbishing process, the shafts are checked for straightness then the entire unit is reassembled.
The entire pump is primed and repainted with industrial grade machinery enamel. Other choices for industrial coatings can be selected at the direction of the customer.
At this point the pump and motor are reinstalled and the motor shaft is installed. Impellers clearances are adjusted in the field during start up and testing. Rotation is checked and leak, vibration and flow tests are performed.
Vertical Turbine Pumps can run continuously for many years with a high efficiency and dependability. However, to continue to achieve these efficiency levels maintenance is required.
Typical maintenance checks include:
Check oil level in motors
Vibration checks on the pump
Pressure gauges for output pressure
Check for noise in the equipment
Check amp draw in the motor
Bowl Assembly with Suction Bell
Suction Case Corrosion
Robert Brown Associates offers a complete maintenance agreement for inspecting pumps, rotation, leakage, and more. This is a key aspect to keeping the vertical turbine pumps efficient and running smoothly, especially if there are no mechanics on-site to do the required checks.
The challenge: Replacement of the domestic water system in a high-rise building.
Retrofitting any installation with new equipment can be a large challenge, especially, when there are tight quarters with limited access to the installation. The replacement project must go smoothly, so the building “down time” is kept to a minimum. The key to overcoming the obstacles isn’t just design and equipment selection. It really comes down to collaboration between the customer, mechanical contractor and the pump supplier.
Background: Two Logan Square is a high rise building, owned and operated by Brandywine Realty and located in the city of Philadelphia. The domestic water system consists of a pair of 60 HP two-stage horizontal split-case pumps and a 30 HP jockey pump. The jockey pump ran at full speed with pressure reducing valves on each pump, with the larger pumps running on variable frequency drives, to maintain a constant pressure in the building through a large range of building flow demands.
The client was ready to replace the system with a complete new system, using the latest in pump design, controls, and with technology in an integrated package that saves energy.
The challenge is that the system was tucked into the back of a mechanical room surrounded by other mechanical equipment – getting the old system out and the new system in would be a challenge.
New design through collaboration: After several strategy meetings between Jose Cruz (RBA Systems Manager), Les Moyer (RBA Account Manager) Fluidics (Mechanical Contractor) and Brandywine (owner), the team selected a new ultra-high efficiency variable speed system, using the SENCILLO (pronounced SEN’-see- Oh) Variable Speed Control System.
The new system was to be pre-built and tested at Robert Brown Associates’ facilities in King of Prussia, to ensure that it worked perfectly when it was installed and started up. Then the entire system was to be disassembled and taken to the site in pieces, reassembled, piped and wired, and then brought on-line in a small window of time the building was scheduled to be “down” or with no water service.
Critical Timing: Timing was a critical issue in the project. The team determined the best time frame for a scheduled shutdown was late on a Friday night, at which time the on-site crew would have to demolish the old system, bring in the new system into the building in pieces, re-assemble it in place and wire it. The entire system had to be completely operational by the following Monday morning.
A Tight Fit: The new system had to fit on existing concrete housekeeping pad, where overhead piping was low. This limited the ability to remove the motor to service the pumps. Additionally the suction piping and discharge piping had to match the existing location and clear all the overhead piping. Needless to say, it was a tight fit, and needed detailed planning.
Sizing it up: To get started, the pumps were sized to meet the flow and pressure requirements of the building. Careful measurements were taken and new pumps were selected to meet building demand. The current pumps had sufficient flow and pressure. However, many of the old pumping systems were over-sized, based on old fixtures which used a lot more water than the new high efficiency ones. Building flow demand will often be lower with new fixtures, which results in a smaller pump size. In addition, today’s new high efficiency pumps can often handle flow and pressure demands at a higher efficiency. This resulted in a drop in motor horsepower. The new system selected was a triplex 40 HP unit.
Before & After: The existing system employed an old relay logic constant speed control panel with manual switches and indicating lights. These older panels have lights that are prone to fail, constant speed starters, and old style mechanical circuitry. The horsepower was 60/30, with 3 pumps installed to do the job.
The new control system maintains building pressure using variable frequency drives. A programmable logic controller (PLC) and associates software are used to guide the whole system to maintain the system pressure.
Data from a pressure transducer in the discharge header is compared to a set point pressure input at the panel. All inputs and outputs are shown on a color Human-Man Interface ( HMI) touch screen, which clearly shows the client the status on the system – water running through pipe, pump speed, amperage and run time of pumps. Any alarms show up on this screen. Also, automatic controls to respond to a component failure or a city water main break are handled by the controller. Reports to a building management system are easily incorporated into the controls to let the operator know the condition of the pump package and displays the data in their control room. Every aspect is designed to keep water in all floors of the building.
Out with the old…in with the new: Because of the tight space in the pump room, a pre-packaged and tested pump skid was the perfect choice for this application. The mechanical contractor implemented the change from old to new in a smooth and seamless manner.
The installation started on Friday night at 10pm when the supply line was isolated. It was completed by 4am on Saturday morning. They started up the system on Saturday night at 11pm.
A smooth operation: The entire process took approximately 2 months from start of planning to finished job. The customer is happy with the installation and no problems have been reported. This is a success story, showing how a customer, mechanical contractor and pump supplier can achieve great results through collaboration.
Sewage Lift Stations are, by their very nature, a harsh environment, and the equipment in this type of pumping station takes quite a beating with time. The general nature of sanitary raw sewage is both corrosive and abrasive to all the equipment contained within. Therefore, periodic repair and replacement of equipment is needed.
This is usually brought about by a failure of one of the pumps. That is when you find that the equipment may be old and worn out. To accomplish repairs or standard maintenance there are many factors to consider and guidelines to follow.
We always test the entire system first. This gives us an indicator of the condition of each part of the system.
First, the floats are tested, to see if they operate all functions intended. Namely, on/off operation of the lead pump, duplexing when the lag float is raised, and alternation is tested. The high water alarm is also tested at this point. Also, check the junction box for wires that are loose, dark burnt marks to indicate bad connections, and look to insure that no fluids are entering the inside of the box. This is important because sometimes the tank may overflow into junction box.
Each pump is run as part of the float testing, and you can observe to see if pumps are noisy, vibrating, and also whether they pump down at the same rate.
A swirling turbulent action in the wet well during a pump run can indicate that the check valve on the off-pump has failed, causing recirculation back through the off pump and back into the well.
When a full repair of the system is required, the first step is to clean out the tank. The entire system must be isolated by plugging the inlet piping. The tank is then pumped down to dry level and the tank is cleaned out by a sanitary vacuum truck, sometimes using a disinfectant spray. A pressure washer is also used to spray down the walls, floor and all internal equipment.
In many sewage lift stations, there is a rail system. The rails are used to allow the user to remove pumps from the station without the need to enter the tank. A small boom crane or lifting device is attached to the pump lifting chains, and the pumps are removed by simply pulling straight up. The connection to the piping is a “quick disconnect” type. The pump slides up on the rails and is free when it reaches the top of the tank.
After the inspection of the system, you will generally decide if the metal parts in the rails are deteriorated to the point that it is time to replace the entire guts of the station. This involves cutting the discharge piping off and connecting new piping, valves and rail system inside the tank.
As you can see from the pictures, the rails in this system were completely broken and had to be replaced. Also, the discharge piping was rotted.
Next, the top lid should be inspected for integrity. In many stations, the cover is simply carbon steel, and will rust badly by the continual wet and harsh conditions. Support structures should be inspected, and the lid should be replaced if rust is too severe.
The tank should then be inspected for breach, and repaired. Particular attention should be paid to the bottom corners, for damage.
Finally, the control panel and components should be checked out for loose wires, correct operation, proper amp draw and error-free pump operation.
One point about entering a lift station to do repairs – a lift station is considered a CONFINED SPACE, which requires that confined space safety rules be used. OSHA laws govern confined space entry, and dictate the required safety equipment at the site, number of workers and their roles, and procedures during entry. In confined space, there must be at least three men to do the job – an authorized entrant, authorized attendant, and stand-by safety personnel.
A safety tripod with removal harness must be in place and used, to allow a means of retrieving a disabled worker.
The job also requires the use of a “sniffer”, an air quality analyzer, which is used to check the tank for harmful or dangerous gases. Because of the nature of raw sewage, methane gas, for one, may be present, and can cause a worker to lose consciousness if exposed. For this reason, an evacuation fan is used to continuously pull the air from the tank and bring in fresh air. The tank air checked during work, to insure that the air quality remains safe for the workers.
If the fan cannot bring air quality to standards for safe entry, a self-contained air pack is required.
Sewage Lift station work involves a combination of plumbing skills, electrical skills, controls experience, structural know-how and a good knowledge of safety practices and rules.
This work is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Robert Brown Associates
Robert Brown Associates is pleased to offer a full line and large inventory of ANSI pump aftermarket parts manufactured by Aurora Pump. These parts are a direct replacement fit into the Goulds® Model 3196 family of ANSI pumps. The Aurora 3550 series product offers the same quality product as ANSI B73.1 OEM parts, but at a reduced cost to the end user.
Water is becoming a precious commodity for commercial buildings and factories. The cost of using potable water (water that is treated well enough to drink) to do non-potable tasks (flushing toilets, wash-down tasks, cooling tower makeup, irrigation) has become a large expense.
Build owners pay for water usage and the cost of clean drinking water continues to increase. In some cities, the storm drains and sanitary sewer lines are combined into a single stream, either at the building itself, or in the street. Thus, cities are charged with the task of treating rainwater and sanitary sewage as a single stream. Treatment facilities are being overwhelmed, and the cost to separate the lines is cost-prohibitive.
The quick way to relieve this reality is to look at alternative ways to capture and use rainwater.
Rain run-off from the roof and parking lot is free. The key is to capture rain water for non-potable use.
A rainwater collection system is comprised of a pump system, a series of piping and valves, a tank, a diverter valve and a filtration system for the first capture from the storm drains. The pump is then designed to pull water from the tank and deliver it under pressure to the intended use.One use of rainwater in facilities is for flushing toilets. In this case, the water is pressurized and delivered to a plumbing header dedicated to some or all toilets in the facility.
Another use that is a natural for rainwater is cooling tower makeup. Buildings that employ cooling towers as part of their air conditioning system have a regular demand for makeup water, as the water in the tower evaporates during the general course of the process. This can be a significant amount of water in larger commercial towers, and is a natural for rainwater.
Of course, rainwater is also a natural for irrigation – the watering of building plants, grasses and athletic fields.
Rainwater Harvesting Pump System
A rainwater collection system can also earn points towards earning LEEDS Certification, in that it reduces overall water usage and drainage off of a building site.
To get a rainwater collection system started in the facility, a professional from Robert Brown Associates consults with the engineer or the customer. Many factors are reviewed including where to put the tank(s), what type of material to use (plastic, steel, fiberglass, etc.), system pressure needs, and flow needs based on the usage assigned to the system.
Then the elements of the system are integrated into a single system design, with controls, and a system backup to serve the needs when rainwater supplies run low.
Existing buildings can be retrofitted using a series of tanks, where existing doorways prohibit entry of larger tanks into a building mechanical room. Tanks can be installed underground or in the basement of a building, depending on the facility.
Series of interconnected Rain Collection Tanks in Existing Building with limited doorway width
Screenshot of the Rainwater Control System
A control system including a flow meter tells how much rainwater the facility has used and it will even calculate the savings.Robert Brown Associates can supply all the equipment, write the specifications, and perform the startup and system maintenance on the system. A complete training is conducted with the customer for the system so that everyone understands the mechanics, controls and operations.
Rainwater collection systems have been installed in universities, hospitals food processing plants and many other facilities around the country.
Robert Brown Associates Rainwater Collection System Installations:
University of Miami
Broughal Middle School
Tasty Baking Company
Friends School in Philadelphia
Rainwater Collection System installed at the Friends School in Philadelphia
Pump service is a critical aspect in overall maintenance. Typically, fluid pumps that fall into the normal range of service would be utility style pumps for sewage, boilers, HVAC and more. Through a new affiliation with Fairbanks Morse, Robert Brown Associates is able to tap into the repair services in Kansas City. Now the company has the capabilities to maintain and repair large pumps for a variety of applications. Furthermore, this makes Robert Brown an official distributor in the region.
The new service capabilities would include service and repair for large pumps such as river – low lift pumps, power plant applications like large vertical turbine, split case and flood control pumps.
Typical turnaround time for smaller pumps would be over a couple of days-time. Here a mobile pump service truck would travel to the site and pull the pump for repair and then return to reinstall the pump. Or, the customer will bring pump to the Robert Brown repair facility.
For large pump repairs a coordinated effort is required. These types of pumps may take as long as sixteen to twenty-four weeks to go through the repair process. Typically this requires engineering, balancing, tolerances, and many more service aspects to bring the equipment to operating condition.
Robert Brown Associates handles the logistics and coordination of all the services and repairs to ensure the successful operation of the reinstalled equipment.
New ASME/ANSI Industrial Pump Breaks Into Local Market
King of Prussia, PA – October, 2010 – Fresh from extensive training in Aurora, Illinois, members of Robert Brown Associates are conducting a full-scale product introduction of the new 3500 Series ASME/ANSI pump from Aurora Pumps. “The Aurora 3550 product line is a unique product, in that is covers the majority of the ANSI size range and it has an interchangeable design with several industrial pump manufacturers.” states Robert Brown company president Tom Halley. “For the first time, we are able to use one line of equipment to address the replacement and repair needs of customers who have various pump applications.”
The new line has a broad range of engineered options and upgrades that will support a variety of process requirements and meet most any fluid processing application. The equipment is specifically designed for the tough applications, including abrasives and corrosives. Halley states, “We serve numerous industries and see many harsh environments. The new line will give our customers a more robust solution to handle their needs.”
The ASME/ANSI B73.1M Model 3550 boasts capacities up to 4,200 G.P.M. and heads to 725 feet while performing in temperatures up to 343° C and pressures to 375 PSIG. The 3550 comes in 24 sizes, classified by groupings, namely the 3550-S, 3550-M/L and 3550-XL.
These models were developed with standard features that withstand the most difficult applications and maximize the mean-time-between-failures (MTBF).
The heavy duty casing increases reliability, reduces maintenance effort and allows for maximum life from the ANSI pump. Heavy duty bearings on the 3550 were designed for maximum hydraulic loads with optional duplex (40°/40° angular contact) thrust bearings. Features that help prolong bearing life include an oversized shaft to reduce vibrations, labyrinth oil seals to prevent external contaminants, large capacity oil sump for cooler oil temperatures and better heat transfer and a magnetic drain plug to remove particles.
Robert Brown Associates now has the complete line of pumps in stock and ready for installation. The technicians and staff are fully trained and have the proper equipment, tools and technology for installations in the region.
Aurora (www.aurorapump.com) Founded in 1919, Aurora is a leading pump and system supplier devoted to designing and manufacturing a wide variety of pumps and systems used in an ever expanding variety of markets and applications throughout the world. Aurora is located in North Aurora, Illinois USA with distribution throughout North America and Canada. Aurora is a part of Pentair Pump Group, Inc., a division of Pentair, Inc.
Robert Brown Associates is a factory authorized sales, service and repair company for fluid pumps. The company services Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. Founded in 1982, the company has grown to include a complete repair facility with trained and certified technicians available on a 24/7 basis. The company represents top manufactures from around the world and maintains a complete inventory of pumps, parts and support equipment. www.rbapump.com
Maintaining a proper seal is critical to keeping fluid pumps water-tight and extending the life of pumping equipment.
Robert Brown Associates has the capabilities and facilities to repair and build all types of seals, from single spring seals, to single and dual cartridge seals, welded bellows seals and multiple spring component seals.
The seal repair facility can handle a diverse number of metallurgies to meet strict specifications for application or seal repair. This is a large benefit for reconditioning a seal, which ultimately saves the customer maintenance and repair costs in pump equipment.
The seal repair service includes seal clean-up, replacement of parts, full machine and surface lapping to recapture a “like new” smooth surfaces.
Seal testing, as well as detailed failure analysis is available upon request.
All repair services are guaranteed.
Same day off the shelf deliveries for most standard style seals is provided.