High quality products backed up by impeccable customer service are the tenets that have contributed to the ongoing success of Integrated Pump Rental (IPR).

Now IPR has added a new range of hydraulic submersible pumps to its rental offering.

GERARD PETER spoke to LEE VINE, MD of Integrated Pump Rental and product manager RUAAN VENTER to find out more.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 6, 2019
Read the full digimag here or subscribe to receive a print copy here

The latest addition to IPR’s pump solutions is the Quax Pumps range of hydraulic submersibles. Quax Pumps hails from the UK and boasts 20 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of water pumps.

Its submersible range has earned a reputation for providing high performance and durability in arduous and demanding environments. Ranging from 2- to 6 inches, the pumps are available in aluminium, steel and stainless steel.

According to Venter, Quax pumps are ideal for applications where there is no power available and where a normal diesel unit cannot handle suction lift, especially in difficult to reach areas.

The first units arrived at the end of May this year and IPR is currently rolling out a campaign to demo the pumps to potential customers.

“The Quax range closes the gap in our product range,” adds Vine. “We already have a comprehensive rental fleet of Grindex submersible pumps for applications where electricity is readily available as well as the Sykes range of diesel pumps.

“However, the latter is restricted and only has a suction lift of 7 m. In contrast, Quax pumps don’t require power and can reach depths of 60 m and you don’t have any issues with suction lift.”

Vine adds that a Quax unit has a power pack that stands on a trailer and the user simply takes the submersible with its hydraulic hoses where it is needed, making it ideal for use in tighter applications.

Full service solution provider

As with the Sykes diesel driven pumps it represents,  IPR will offer the Quax range for sale and for hire. Vine adds that the company’s rental offering has been very successful since it was established four and a half years ago and has grown significantly during this time. In fact, the company currently has about 200 units out for rent on different sites.

He attributes this success to the fact that IPR offers hassle free dewatering. “We are a full service solutions provider – we will come in, install, provide training if required and even operate the equipment if needed. It’s not just about renting our pumps – we are there to assist you with every aspect of the project,” he adds.

Venter adds that rental is a viable option for customers who don’t have the capex to purchase a new pump.

“Instead of spending R600 000 on a new pump, you can spend between R10 000 and 20 000 for that one application to get the job done, thereby saving a considerable amount the money.”

Rolls Royce products

What’s more, as part of its rental offering, IPR also offers servicing of all equipment at no cost and assigns team members to visit sites to ensure that all in on track.

According to Vine, rental is a part of the company’s business model that in addition to providing quick dewatering solutions often sees customers transition  to sales.

“We are firm believers that rentals create sales and vice versa. We encourage companies to rent our pumps for a period of time before they decide to purchase outright,” he states.

He adds that there are a lot of sub-standards pumps, however, IPR only represents the “Rolls Royce” of pumps, where all products of a superior quality and of a high standard.

It is for this reason that the company has the confidence to allow people to rent before they purchase.

When an enquiry comes from a mine site, the company sends an experienced engineer out to assess the application and ensure the right pump is specified.

According to Vine, traditionally, the mindset has been simply to replace what has broken. Venter explains, “If a 30 kW pump has broken down, then the decision would be to replace it with a similar pump. However, at IPR we analyse the issue and then suggest a solution. Also, the beauty of rental is that you can try different solutions before deciding on a final product choice.”

Settlement dam desilting

Vine states that the company has seen an increase in the use of its equipment for the desilting of settlement ponds on mines. He is honest in his answer and puts this down to lack of maintenance of these ponds.

“In the last 10 years, mining companies only search for a solution when something is broken. For example, in a process water pond, it is only when the slurry starts protruding out of the water, when the dam is 90% full, that there is a call to action to clean the dam. Such incidences can easily be avoided by using our SlurrySuckers and dredging equipment to maintain the dams.”

Vine explains that the SlurrySucker was developed as a type of “kreepy krauly’ for process water plants. Granted, they can clean dams when they are full and overloaded but the cost involved in cleaning the dam at that stage compared to IPR visiting a plant once a year to clean out the bottom is vastly considerable.

Vine adds that IPR will continue to look for more high-quality products to add to its pump range, but states it is not just a pump supplier.

“Moving water is our game. We also have a full range of accessories that we offer such as the hose, hose floats and panels. If you need to move water or slurry or clean ponds, we’ve got it,” he concludes.