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Testing essential to manufacturing process

TEST WORK RMI Pressure Systems’ meticulous testing regime has been critical in building the company’s quality reputation

TEST CELLS Dedicated test cells at RMI Pressure Systems’ production facility ensures final product quality

24th March 2023

     

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Mines and industry rely on critical high pressure pump technology to keep operations safe and efficient, which makes rigorous testing of this equipment an essential part of the manufacturing process.

Manufacturer of high pressure reciprocating pumps RMI Pressure Systems director of engineering Kathryn Poke says dedicated test cells at the company’s Manchester production facility, in the UK, support a range of technical tests to ensure final product quality.

With a primary manufacturing facility in the UK, the company also has operations in China, the US, India and Australia – supporting equipment in countries globally.

Poke says that RMI Pressure Systems’ quality and testing regime means that new equipment and components can be put through as much as two-million pump cycles – over periods of up to 160 hours – to prove their integrity.

“In robust and continuous applications such as longwall coal mining, our customers rely on our high pressure reciprocating pumps to deliver optimal uptime and safety,” she says, adding that, similarly, the steel industry customers look for quality and reliability in descaling and forging applications.

In these demanding and often hazardous environments, pump pressures can reach 350 to 400 bar – making any leaks or defects potentially disastrous. She further highlights that RMI Pressure Systems’ “meticulous” testing regime has been critical in building the company’s quality reputation for over a century.

“Before delivery, our equipment is put through its paces in our test cells at our facility. “These test cells measure and record temperatures, pressures, speeds and other indicators – generating data that is carefully reviewed and analysed by RMI’s engineering team.”

Poke emphasises that the test cells run alongside the company’s manufacturing processes, which are ISO9001 accredited.

This ensures that the extended periods of testing do not compromise RMI’s production rates. The test facility can accommodate three RMI high pressure pumps at a time.

“Once sent to our customers, the equipment is immediately installed and commissioned. There is no run-in time or bedding down to be done, so the pumps’ contribution to productivity and uptime will be immediate,” says Poke.

The company’s manufacturing quality is also enhanced by its careful selection of suppliers and components; these are chosen based on excellence, while regular quality assurance processes are applied, notes Poke.

Cycle testing of components is also conducted to ensure a quality finished product.

The inspection team tests new components extensively against the conformance criteria before “giving it the thumbs up”, she says.

“Staying up to date with technology allows RMI to improve designs, software and materials of construction wherever possible; each improvement needs to be thoroughly tested before we introduce it to the market.”

Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features

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