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Centrifugal pump design process


The design of centrifugal-rotor water pumps has undergone considerable changes thanks to new applications of simulator or 3D programs and the need to reduce the time-to-market for new products.

In the last 20 years, the design and subsequent manufacturing processes of all kinds of goods have undergone significant changes: on the one hand, product manufacturing cycles need to be increasingly short, that is, the time from conceiving the idea to placing the final product on sale is shorter and shorter. Meanwhile, modern quality requirements are much stricter than they were a few decades ago.
In addition, over the last few years, European legislation has begun to take into account criteria which not long ago were secondary considerations, such as sustainability, carbon footprint, product recycling, etc.

The European Commission, in its Energy Efficiency Plan 2011 (1), is attempting to achieve a primary energy reduction of 20% by 2020. To achieve this goal, one of the actions is to establish minimum energy efficiency levels for all equipment that consumes energy intensively, promoting labelling similar to that currently used for household appliances and even removing goods with efficiency below certain thresholds from the market.

These factors are combined with the fact that, over the last few years, the performance of simulation tools has improved to a degree unthinkable until very recently, in line with the rising capacity and speed of computers and the relatively low price of hardware.

The main consequence of all this has been that, in multiple industrial applications, process simulation has gone from being the exception to being essential in order to offer products that meet current market requirements.

The manufacture of turbo-machinery and, specifically, water pumps, currently needs these tools in order to be able to offer competitive products. This article briefly reviews the process ESPA follows when designing a rotor, using simulation tools and producing prototypes for validation.


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