Capability Spotlight: Optimize Energy Efficiency

It’s estimated that 85% of pumps are not optimized to their systems, costing end users both efficiency and reliability. To achieve operational excellence and reduce environmental impact, assessing and improving our systems is essential.

Many OEMs focus on the initial pump design and providing a higher peak efficiency. While this can provide energy savings, it misses some of the greatest gains available. With our history in developing solutions for the aftermarket, Hydro approaches energy efficiency differently. Our unique experience as a brand-agnostic company focused on end users’ existing installed equipment has provided us with insight into improving equipment performance by understanding how it operates as a part of the greater system. This has allowed us to provide significant energy savings for our partners, as shown in successful cases such as this case study published in World Pumps magazine.

Hydro’s Energy Edge program takes advantage of our in-house engineering, field testing, remanufacturing, and parts capabilities to provide an end-to-end solution to improve energy usage and reliability. The process starts with getting the necessary design and operation data to perform a comprehensive analysis of current performance and identify opportunities for improvement. Depending on the findings, solutions can range from system operations recommendations to hydraulic modifications to a completely redesigned drop-in replacement. By providing a custom solution instead of an off-the-shelf replacement, Hydro not only optimizes performance, but minimizes cost, lead time, and risk by ensuring that the solutions fits into the existing equipment footprint.

Some of the aspects of an energy optimization project may include:

  • Energy Savings Audit: Field performance testing provides a performance baseline and identifies areas where improvements can be made
  • System Analysis: Using system design experience and AFT Fathom hydraulic analysis software, Hydro’s engineers model and simulate fluid flow through the system to accurately predict system behavior and optimize performance.
  • Hydraulic Modification: Modification to existing hydraulic components or design of new components provides hydraulic performance optimized to meet system needs. Our hydraulic specialists use both design knowledge and CFD analysis to provide the best fit design for the application
  • Equipment Remanufacturing and Parts Supply: Modifications are implemented through Hydro’s service center network, ensuring oversight and communication with the engineering design team. New cast parts are provided by our Parts Solutions division, ensuring control over parts quality and lead time.
  • Performance Testing: Testing in our HI-certified performance test lab validates new hydraulics and provides a new certified performance curve. Post-modification field testing can also be performed to provide data on field performance.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Using Hydro’s Centaur condition monitoring solution, equipment mechanical performance can be continuously monitored to provide better insight into equipment health into the future.

Want to learn more about energy efficiency and pump performance? Watch Bob Jennings’ presentation on the subject during Empowering Pumps 2024 Maintenance and Reliability Summit or read our co-authored eBook with Plant Services magazine.

Capability Spotlight: Adopt a Higher Standard

Improving performance and life isn’t always about making big changes to design and operation. Small improvements to the standards and processes that are used during refurbishment and assembly can result in outsized benefits.

Hydro specifies machining and fit-up tolerances that often exceed the required industry standards and are best-in-class for the pump industry. Taking the extra time to meet more stringent tolerances ensures better concentricity and parallelism of critical components, reducing the risk of contact between the rotating and stationary elements during operation. Reducing component contact will result in reduced vibration and reduce the rate of wear for close clearance components. Maintaining design clearances greatly contributes to longer mean-time-between-repairs by providing greater stiffness and damping to the rotating assembly and reducing internal recirculation, which in turn affects performance and efficiency. To learn more about the importance of maintaining design clearances, read our Hydro Learning Hub white paper on the subject.

Another improvement that is standard at Hydro for repairs of multistage barrel (BB5) pumps is a dimensional analysis to identify relative centerlines of all impellers to their respective diffusers. This process and the resulting actions to ensure centerline compatibility at each stage are essential in prolonging equipment life and counteracting latent failure mechanisms.

By adhering to stricter tolerances, requiring robust process documentation, and never cutting corners, Hydro’s rebuild process results in greater reliability and increased mean-time-between-repairs. This level of quality ensures a safer work environment for our end user customers, reduces waste by decreasing the frequency of maintenance cycles, and lowers overall cost of ownership.

Learn more about the importance of axial centerline compatibility in multi-stage pumps in this case study.

Find your local Hydro Service Center and ensure high quality equipment rebuilds.

Innovative Vertical Pump Sealing Solutions

Upgrade in Action: HydroSeal 

Vertical pumps have reliability and maintenance considerations unique to their design and application. One of these considerations is the pump seal design. Many vertical pumps rely on packing in lieu of mechanical seals. While it is a less sophisticated design, packing has benefits for vertical pumps, including greater ability to handle fluid with particulates, less sensitivity to misalignment, and greater stiffness and damping provided at the seal location. However, packing also has multiple disadvantages, foremost of which is the need to continuously adjust the packing gland to maintain the desired leakage rate and the requirement that some fluid must leak to the atmosphere. The cost associated with replacing worn components in the packing area is another notable drawback.


In cases where any of the disadvantages associated with packing or a mechanical seal noticeably impact reliability or the cost of operation, upgrading to a seal casing design is an attractive alternative. This is the decision that a pulp and paper mill in the Southeastern US made when experiencing reliability and environmental concerns in their River Water pump system. Faced with the need to install a new sealing device, they decided that the ability to avoid aboveground leakage and eliminate time-consuming periodic maintenance justified the investment in a vertical pump seal casing.

Read the full case study in World Pumps March/April 2024 edition.

Learn more about Hydro’s Hydro South service center and Hydro’s Engineering Services.

Capability Spotlight: High Capacity Pumps

From lifting massive weights, to reverse engineering components with expansive surface areas, to troubleshooting vibration in machines susceptible to resonance problems, large vertical pumps have unique challenges. Fortunately, Hydro has cultivated specialized capabilities to meet these challenges.

The first challenge is gathering dimensional data and providing reliable, quality parts supply. Large pumps are expensive to ship off-site and often run without a spare. Being able to capture precision measurements of critical parts on-site reduces both cost and risk. Hydro’s reverse engineering team is experienced in how to efficiently and accurately reverse engineer large components.

The field portion of the reverse engineering process for a large part can usually be accomplished in less than a day. After the measurements are taken, the pump can be returned to service while the model is completed and the part is manufactured.

Taking the initial component data is only the first step in Hydro’s reverse engineering process. Using their experience in the failure modes and upgrades of large pump designs, the reverse engineering team will recommend component upgrades or improved metallurgy to extend the life of the part. Where appropriate, they will also identify methods of refurbishment that can return a large part to reliable service in place of supplying a new component.

Another challenge when working on large pumps is that they require a shop with the appropriate tooling and lifting capacity. It also requires a team dedicated to providing a higher standard of repair. Because vertical pumps are made of several stacked components, maintaining tight tolerances and best-in-class fit-ups is critical for reliable operation. Hydro’s standards are more stringent than those required by any industry body. This translates to longer life, better performance, and safer operation.

Take a tour of Hydro’s Hydro East facility in the Philadelphia metro area, who have a special focus on large vertical pumps.

Introducing: Hydro East from Hydro, Inc. on Vimeo.


Learn more about our capabilities that support high capacity vertical pumps or contact us for more information.

Navigating Resonance Challenges

A Case Study in Diagnostic Testing and Innovative Solutions

Some services are inherently difficult due to factors such as fluid quality or multiple disparate operating points.  These factors are an inherent part of the process and cannot be changed to improve reliability. Harsh applications can be a costly prospect, both in overhaul costs and in the time and labor required for frequent servicing. Many times we become caught in the perception that there is no improvement to be had for these services. A short mean-time-between-failures (MTBF) becomes routine and expected, and maintenance activities and parts procurement are built around this expectation.  

When equipment is sent out for refurbishment, the expectation is that mechanical and hydraulic performance upon reinstallation will be better than what was experienced in the worn condition. This assumption holds true in most cases; however, sometimes unexpected behavior can occur after a pump is remanufactured and reinstalled. While it is easy to jump to the conclusion that these performance changes were caused by errors made during the repair or installation of the equipment, sometimes the problem is more complex and related to latent weaknesses in the design that had lain dormant until refurbishment.

This scenario was experienced by a power utility in the Southeastern US when they ran into significant vibration increases after one of their boiler feed pumps was refurbished by a local repair shop. Concerned by the level of vibration, the utility reached out to Hydro South, who have extensive experience in this application and model. From there, Hydro Reliability Services was called on to collect data on the problematic equipment and use advanced modeling tools to understand the nature of the vibration. The field testing and analysis revealed that pump had been operating with a very small margin between a structural resonance and one of the pump forcing frequencies. Armed with this information, solutions were developed to increase this margin and return to stable operation.

Read the full case study in Pumps & Systems March 2024 edition.

Learn more about Hydro Reliability Services and how they support field testing, vibration troubleshooting, and advanced system studies.