Is water the new oil?

Sept. 22, 2015

Lessons learned and equipment exhibited during the 2015 Pump and Turbomachinery Symposia.

Oil is often a major industry focus of many attendees of the Pump and Turbomachinery Symposia. However, at this year’s event, a major topic of conversation was water, or its scarcity, and this was not simply because I work on a water magazine.

With drought conditions in many locations globally, sourcing clean water is becoming more difficult and more expensive. With oil and gas prices remaining low and many experts predicting that the price has not reached its bottom, many in the pump industry are researching how they can become more involved in the water industry.

The discussions we had concerned sourcing and treating, including reuse and desalination. Of course, pumps and their system components and controls are critical equipment in these processes — including moving fluid from the source, through treatment facilities, to consumers and then transporting wastewater from consumers to wastewater treatment plants. Of course, in industrial applications, zero liquid discharge goals and effluent regulations compel facilities to reuse as much water as possible. Moving this water through facilities also requires pumping systems.

Some of the equipment presented at the event is detailed below.

CFturbo Software & Engineering GmbH

CFturbo Software & Engineering GmBH, a German engineering company specializing in software development, consulting and prototyping for turbomachinery components featured a new software version of its turbomachinery design system CFturbo during the exhibit. The new version, CFturbo® 10.0 featured in the exhibition, can be used to design axial, radial and mixed-flow pumps, blowers, compressors, turbines, diffusers, stators, return channels and volutes. Newly developed modules are available to create axial fans, axial turbines and axial pumps, and inducers will allow a wider range of applications than the previous version.

Compressor Controls Corporation

Compressor Controls Corporation focuses on purpose-built total turbomachinery control, monitoring and safety systems. During the event it featured its expanded product offerings, which include anti-surge valves, DCS integration and improved plant historian interfaces.


Contec specializes in solutions in the fields of filtration and liquid level measurement technology. The company featured its customized solutions that optimize processes and help protect the environment. Contec’s develops air and gas filters, oil mist separators, liquid filters, and liquid level measurement technology.

Softwater Cradle Co.

Software Cradle Co. presented SmartBlades, which automates the generation of fan geometry and flow analysis and processes. With this solution, engineers can generate blade geometry by setting a minimum number of parameters. They can also generate blade shape by dragging graph lines to adjust rake angles, skew angles, thickness and other parameters.

Dickow Pump Company

During the show, Dickow featured its GML/GMB gear pump, which combines the Dickow Pumpen magnet coupling design and Tuthill GlobalGear®. These pumps are designed for plant and personnel safety, especially when handling toxic, explosive or other dangerous liquids that react on contact with the atmosphere.

The Hilliard Corporation

The Hilliard Corporation celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2015. During the event, it presented its products for applications in power generation, emission control systems, oil refining, and fluid transfer. Star Filters is Hilliard’s plate and frame filtration product line. Hilliard’s Engine Starter division produces equipment for power generation, turbines, reciprocating engines, cogeneration, and industrial engines.

Ingersoll Rand

Ingersoll Rand debuted TURBO-AIR NX 8000 integrally geared centrifugal compressor during the Pump and Turbomachinery Symposia. The control, lubrication and cooling systems on this compressor optimize flow and operational efficiency, resulting in low total life-cycle costs. Built on a robust platform, the TURBO-AIR NX 8000 is rated for powers from 750 kilowatts to

1,700 kilowatts (1,000 to 2,250 horsepower) with flows from 142 to 283 cubic meters per minute (5,000 to 10,000 cubic feet per minute) and pressures from 3.5 to 14.5 barg (50 to 210 psig).

Kinetic Traction Systems

Kinetic Traction Systems, Inc., (KTSi) showcased its Turbo Aerator KTF 5000 and will introduce it at the 88th Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. The Kinetic Turbo Aerator is the latest product designed and developed by KTSi and offers efficient, compact, cost-effective aeration solutions for industries that require high quality air processing, such as wastewater treatment, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and chemical processing. Unlike conventional compressors with lubricated gearboxes, the Kinetic Turbo Aerator uses a single shaft coupling the impeller and direct drive high-speed permanent magnet motor eliminating oil carryover contaminates in the air compression process to comply with. Digitally controlled, active magnetic bearings and rotordynamics allow the turbo aerator to operate in a safe, controlled manner with small impeller clearances.

MagnaDrive Corporation

MagnaDrive replaces the physical connection between a motor and a load with a gap of air. The interaction between permanent magnets and non-ferrous conductors smoothly transmits torque across the air gap and sets the load spinning. The smaller the air gap, the greater the torque transfer. This air gap is the cornerstone of MagnaDrive’s technology. This equipment is used in the water/wastewater, power generation, pulp and paper, mining and cement, oil and gas, HVAC, irrigation, and maritime industries.

National Instruments

National Instruments (NI) featured its NI InsightCM Enterprise, a new software solution that helps companies gain insight into the health of their capital equipment for machine maintenance and operations. With more than 15 years of experience in condition monitoring, NI developed NI InsightCM Enterprise as its first end-to-end software solution that addresses Big Analog Data challenges and builds on the industrial Internet of Things. Using NI InsightCM Enterprise, companies can cost-effectively monitor both critical and ancillary rotating machinery, which helps them gain a more holistic view of their fleets and manage operational risk while maintaining profitability and production efficiency. The enterprise solution solves the data management, data analysis and systems management challenges that are common in Big Analog Data applications. It acquires and analyzes sensory information, generates alarms and allows maintenance specialists to remotely diagnose machine faults. Ready-to-run condition monitoring systems based on the CompactRIO hardware platform can be acquired from a wide range of sensors for improved fault diagnoses.


SKF featured its products that improve the performance of assets in harsh oil and gas environments. The exhibited solutions original equipment manufacturers and end users to improve asset reliability, minimize machine downtime and cut maintenance costs. SKF’s magnetic bearings were displayed as well as the benefits of the E300V2 control cabinet, which can be used with a wide range of turbomachinery. The new E300V2 is a digital electronic control cabinet that replaces an earlier version; 650 units of which have been installed at different sites around the world. The E300V2 is a modular system for improved reliability and maintenance and incorporates a number of new features. These include remote monitoring and diagnostics, redundancy of key components, backup UPS, and a high-resolution data acquisition system.

Pump & Turbomachinery Symposia 2016

Next year’s symposia will again be held in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Sept. 12-15. The Process Flow Network and Water Technology magazine will see you there.

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