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The Indus is the longest river on the Indian subcontinent and flows into the Arabian Sea.
5 min read

Reverse engineering used in the repair of pumping stations in world’s largest irrigation system

A number of pumping stations in an antiquated irrigation system in the Punjab region of Pakistan required a complete overhaul – the perfect job for KSB SupremeServ!

A number of pumping stations in an antiquated irrigation system in the Punjab region of Pakistan required a complete overhaul – the perfect job for KSB SupremeServ!

The challenge:

Complete overhaul of up to 70-year-old pumping stations

Punjab is the largest province of Pakistan with a population of around 110 million, about half of whom work in agriculture. Around 14 million hectares of the region is used for agriculture, 70 % of which is irrigated by water channels – making it the largest contiguous irrigation system in the world. 

In many areas, pumping stations have been installed to transfer the water into channels to irrigate higher elevation fields. These stations were usually maintained at an extremely low price by very small local service providers – with the result that, over the years, the system has become increasingly susceptible to failure. The decision was therefore taken to undertake a comprehensive rehabilitation of several pumping stations – by a company that can ensure long-term, trouble-free operation with optimum pumping system performance.

The project would include the complete overhaul and reburbishment of large pumps from both KSB and competitors. The pumps were between 25 and 70 years old and in extremely poor condition. The entire electrical system was antiquated and highly failure-prone. In addition, the piping was dilapidated and leaks or blockages often occurred in the suction line foot valves.

In addition to the scope of the project, the real challenge lay in the extremely tight schedule: for the first project in 2017, a deadline of just six months had been set for the entire refurbishment, including the demanding reverse engineering for large parts of the old pumps as well as the timely import of motors and voltage transformers. It all had to be implemented as quickly as possible to meet the deadline.

Old pump system for irrigation of agricultural land in the Indus Basin, Pakistan

Old, failure-prone pump system for irrigation of agricultural land in the Indus Basin, Pakistan

Parts of the dismantled pumps for the irrigation system in Punjab, Pakistan

Many of the pump components were in very poor condition and had to be replaced.

The solution:

Reverse engineering of components by KSB SupremeServ

All of the above challenges were resolved by KSB SupremeServ’s comprehensive service: from component production using reverse engineering to renovation of the electronics and replacement of piping.

  • The customer did consider the alternative option of replacing all pumps with new, imported pumps. However, installation of non-identical replacement pumps would have been much more expensive, more time consuming and would have necessitated many structural changes. Also, the original manufacturer of the competitor pumps was not available.
  • Dimensional drawings or patterns of individual components were not available.
  • Reverse engineering was used to manufacture replacement impellers, shafts, shaft protecting sleeves, wear rings, bearing covers, gland followers and impeller nuts.
  • The pump casings were repaired.
  • KSB successfully completed the repair of the first six large pumps with a total flow rate of 4 m3/s before the set deadline. The customer was highly satisfied and the repaired pumps have been running smoothly around the clock since 2018.
  • KSB was the only company that could offer all the services required for the pump repair from a single source; including an engineering team with modern 3D scanner and the latest software, its own foundry for quality castings, state-of-the-art equipment for machining and pump testing facilities on its own premises.
3D scan of the impeller with affixed reference points

3D scan of an impeller to measure the geometry

Assembled and painted pump – still without drive

Assembled and painted pump – still without drive

The result:

Reliable water supply for the entire region’s agriculture

A comprehensive pump test was carried out prior to reinstallation of the pumps and the refurbishment of the piping and electronic components. The result: H/Q data meet the local requirements and demonstrate 89 % efficiency!

And: following the Punjab irrigation department’s satisfaction with the pump repair in 2017/2018, it contacted KSB again and commissioned KSB SupremeServ with the repair of another twelve old pumps. 

Pump room with repaired pumps and new piping

Pump room with repaired pumps and new piping

Figures | Data | Facts

Pump repair including 

  • reverse engineering of spare parts, 
  • new piping and 
  • replacement of electronics and control equipment 

for a total of 18 pumps with a flow rate of 15 m3/s

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