• Thursday March 1, 2018

    Explore our case study about working in the UK kaolin mining industry

    Maximising Mean Time Between Repairs (MTBR) and removing the risk of obsolescence for a UK mining company.

    Our latest case study discusses our work in Kaolin mining with pump refurbishment specialists, GT Jones.

    Since its peak in 1988 (at 3.3mT/yr), kaolin production declined to about half in 2008, and further since. So one of the over-riding priorities was to maximise energy efficiency and MTBR of the current asset base.

    GT Jones asked us to complete pre and post refurbishment tests to assess the success of their work and to be able to report findings back to their client, the UK’s largest kaolin and white mineral mining company. Using our FREEFLOW thermodynamic pump testing system, we’ve since carried out accurate pump performance measurements to complement the innovative and reliable refurbishment work undertaken by the GT Jones team.

    The work, at one of the client’s most significant sites, involved testing the quarry’s four
    pressure pumps (duty: 120m @ 818m3/hr; 355kW) which are used in the kaolin wet mining process. The pumps themselves are situated in a highly challenging environment subjected to the elements outside, and prone to both chemical and mechanical attack on the wetted parts inside. Relative to many other pumping applications, these conditions result in extremely high wear rates and rapid reduction in performance.


    • Data enabled reliable prediction of next economic repair
    • Reliable refurbishment methods mean pumps can be kept in service indefinitely or until the duty changes
    • Hydraulic efficiency improved from 63% to 82% (pump 4)
    • Removes the notion of obsolescence for pumps of this type

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