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Pumps that cut the costs of construction materials

The evolution of sand, gravel, cement and water into concrete, as the Romans discovered, is one of the key foundations of civilisation. Without it we would be living in slab huts or freestone crofters.

It may be a gift of nature but concrete batch plant operators know cost control has a direct impact on profitability. Brand and reliability play a big part, but the ability to deliver concrete on time, and at the right price, is critical for survival in the industry.

The market is used to a very high standard of product produced by an industry that is famous for its professionalism.

It starts in the quarry

The story starts in the quarry, where the raw material for the product has its origins. Australian Pump represents Tsurumi, the world’s largest manufacturer of electro-submersible pumps. With its origins in Osaka, Tsurumi played a key role in producing pumps for the rebuilding of Japan after the Second World War. Since then, the company has branched out with plants and offices around the world, and become an expert in electro-submersible dewatering and drainage pumps.

Tsurumi Pump started out with a concept of producing pumps that are suitable for the toughest, most abrasive and difficult dewatering or drainage applications. The result of 70 years of research and development and application experience, the range is available in Australia through Australian Pumps. The range now includes sand pumps with capacities up to 13,000 litres per minute, dredger pumps, high head dewatering pumps and even portable single-phase units.

“Our latest offering to the market is a single-phase portable slurry pump with integrated agitator,” Aussie Pumps product manager Neil Bennett said. “That pump can be an invaluable tool in a batch plant with an emergency situation and concrete to deliver.”

Dewatering pumps for quarries and sand pits extend from low head sand or slurry pumps through to high head dewatering products. The submersible pumps use insulated motors as powerful as 110kW and deliver heads as high as 200 metres.

The pumps are used in a wide range of quarrying applications, keeping them operational or bringing them back into operation after heavy rainfall in the shortest possible time.

The electro-submersibles provide a number of significant advantages over their equivalent diesel-drive pumps. They can operate autonomously 24 hours per day, seven days per week, without needing to be refuelled, have their oil changed regularly or their fuel filter checked.

{{image2-a:r-w:200}}Tsurumi’s submersible sand and dredger pumps are an ideal solution for quarry or sandpit dewatering. The company has developed an engineered product range for this application, built around feedback from users.

Tsurumi’s engineers tackled motor failure through water ingress by eliminating the problem of water wicking through a broken or damaged cable into the motor. They achieved this with a unique anti-wicking cable entry at the cable end.

In the seal department of the pump, the double stainless steel silicone carbide mechanical seal, protected by its unique design, operates in an oil bath with a patented “oil lifter” designed to keep the seals continually lubricated.

Tsurumi’s impellers are not only designed for maximum efficiency but also made from the highest quality high chrome iron. The pump bodies are either of cast iron or, in some more recent models, cast 316 stainless steel.

Batch plant action

If it’s important to have reliability for dewatering at the quarry or sandpit, then it’s even more so at the plant. Batch plants that can’t pump water are unable to deliver concrete.

Australian Pump has analysed each function in the batch plant and selected the correct pump in terms of construction, model and application for that particular function.

For example, the new slump stand pump, a high head heavy-duty dewatering submersible, has enough pressure to act as a lift pump and a wash down pump as well.

As a submersible, the pump is out of sight, more compact and far less troublesome than surface-mounted equivalents.

Australian Pump is the first company to publish a pump selection chart that makes choosing the right pump for each plant function easy.

“We have found pumps in batch plants all over the country that were never designed for the application they are operating in,” Bennett said.

“We have even pulled sewerage cutter pumps out of batch plants where, they have been misapplied. You can imagine the short life and high cost of a misapplication like that.”


The chart makes it easy for the batch plant manager to make a selection and source products promptly as required.

Australian Pump has also developed a batch plant support program that has enabled batch plant operators to cut costs.

“Getting the right product on time from a local supplier means plants don’t have to compromise by putting in a product that isn’t going to do the job,” Bennett said.

The delivery time for a replacement pump can be critical.

“The temptation to buy an incorrect pump in an emergency can be eliminated, and that is one major risk averted,” Bennett said.

Australian Pump’s batch plant support depot program is locating stocking points across the country that can offer fast delivery of the world’s best batch plant pump.

Tsurumi’s KTZ series is the most reliable product of its kind in the world and features a three-year warranty. Users, not only in Australia and south-east Asia but also in Europe, have standardised on this product range.

Warwick Lorenz is the managing director of Australian Pump Industries.

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