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Winning the game for underground dewatering

Underground Dewatering

The Australian designed Godwin NC80 rig pump from Xylem will be fitting into more mining drill rigs this year, with Xylem launching new variations into the market. 

For years, the Godwin NC80 self-priming rig pump from Xylem has been a staple for drilling and shotcreting applications in underground mining. Products such as Sandvik’s DD421 jumbo have even opted to include this pump as an option in their original equipment manufacturer (OEM) package for sale to customers. Many others eventually retrofit the NC80 to their existing rigs, taking support from Xylem where necessary.

This year, Xylem is launching a new version of the Godwin NC80, with a 15-kilowatt (kW) motor. Earlier models had a 22kW motor. The new launch, as Xylem’s product and applications manager for the Godwin range, Jordan Thomson-Larkins explained, will make the pump applicable to a broader range of drills, including those manufactured by Epiroc. 

Xylem has been manufacturing the Godwin pump locally, with a propelling technology borrowed from its flagship Flygt range of submersible pumps. Flygt’s innovative N-Technology features a semi-open N-impeller and a relief groove that work together to achieve self-cleaning ability. The shape of the impeller also means it’s well suited to passing of stringy and muddy water typical of drilling and shotcreting operations.

“The N-impeller and the insert ring allow stringy fibers to be passed through. We had originally designed this product for the wastewater market, but it was later adapted to mining where we see a lot of similarities at a fundamental level. It’s perfect for pumping the shotcreting fibres, as it can chop the fibres in the process as well,” Thomson-Larkins explained.

Higher specifications

According to Thomson-Larkins, Flygt’s N-Technology enables users to achieve substantial energy savings, often a minimum of 25 per cent compared to a conventional channel impeller pump.

The NC80 pump features fully automatic priming from dry to 8.5 metres suction lift. As a continuously operated venturi air ejector priming device, the pump also requires no periodic adjustment or control.

When compared with other models in its class, Thomson-Larkins said the NC80 also provided higher specifications, a better priming system, a better mechanical seal and a completely rebuildable wet end.

“Other products in the market generally do not include wear plates in their wet ends. Subsequently, they are basically thrown away. The NC80 is designed so that it can be rebuilt, thus extending the pump’s life, and reducing capital expenditure,” he explained. 

A front and rear wear plate in the NC80 pump means the entire casing does not need to be replaced when servicing the pump. The mechanical seal in the standard NC80 pump is a silicon carbide dry-running high pressure oil bath mechanical seal, which according to Thomson-Larkins is abrasion resistant and more durable than a tungsten seal.

“The silicon carbide has superior hardness, thermal conductivity and corrosion resistance compared to tungsten,” he explained.

Xylem’s customisations

Being a locally manufactured product, Thomson-Larkins said Xylem can offer customisation options where required. While the original pump comes with a hard iron wet end, other options such as cast iron and stainless steel are also available. 

“We can also supply the unit in various kilowatts and with impeller diameters to suit the specified performance requirements,” Thomson-Larkins said.

Xylem’s in-house capabilities also mean the company can provide complete dewatering solutions to mines and quarries, beyond servicing and rebuilds. 

“Xylem’s experience with dewatering solutions covers the entire water cycle. As such, we can guide customers on the product that best fits their needs,” said Thomson-Larkins.

Xylem will be launching the new 15KW Godwin NC80 Dri-Prime pump during the first quarter of 2023.

“This is a product that customers have been requesting for some time and we are very pleased to now be able to provide a solution that meets this requirement. They can trust us to back it up with our support and customisation capabilities to help them fit it onto their drill rigs,” Thomson-Larkins concluded.

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