Case Study: How to modify pumps and optimise overhaul to save energy

Ray Beebe, Sessional Lecture, Federation University


After motors, centrifugal pumps are arguably the most common machine in power and process industry, and major consumers of energy. Sometimes, pumps are oversized and throttled in service, wasting energy. Ray shows how pumps can be modified to reduce waste energy. If deterioration in performance of a pump causes a drop in plant production, overhaul is usually readily justified. When the effect is only to increase power consumption, the time to overhaul for minimum cost can be calculated from condition monitoring test results. Some basic condition monitoring tests for pumps are described.
1.  How to identify oversized  pumps.
2.  How to estimate power savings from modifying a pump.
3.  How to use condition monitoring to find the optimum time to overhaul a pump.


Ray had 28 years in power generation in Australia and the UK, on plant investigations and condition monitoring development and application for pumps, steam turbines, heat exchangers, boilers and associated plant. His first book MACHINE CONDITION MONITORING (ISBN 0 646 25088 4) was written during that time. In 1992, Ray joined Monash University at its Gippsland Campus (part of Federation University since 2014). He was a Senior Lecturer and Co-ordinator of the postgraduate distance learning programs in maintenance management and reliability engineering from 1996 until retiring in 2010. He continued teaching the condition monitoring subject up to 2016, and continues as adviser for some postgraduate projects. Ray has a passion for sharing what he learnt and has written over 80 papers for conferences with many in journals world-wide. His second book, PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE OF PUMPS USING CONDITION MONITORING , (ISBN 1865174085), published by Elsevier, gained Ray the George Julius Medal of Engineers Australia for the best publication in mechanical engineering in 2004. His third book, published by, is STEAM TURBINE PERFORMANCE AND CONDITION MONITORING (ISBN 978-0-9853619-8-3). Ray’s consulting activity has served over 35 customers in Australia and overseas. Ray is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia; a Chartered Professional Engineer (retired) and a Lifetime Member of Asset Management Council.