Case Study: Redesign of Vacuum Pump

The Problem

A reputed North American manufacturer of vacuum pumps for oilfield equipment was faced with loss of sales and market share due to his Pump design being old and inferior in comparison to his competitors and faced regular quality problems with parts leading to higher maintenance costs

Lodestar’s Solution

  • Lodestar team worked closely with the customer’s team to understand operating conditions and identify key parameters such as flow-rate and exhaust heat where improvement is needed.
    • Customer also identified a major problem caused by liquid entering Pump, resulting in catastrophic Pump failures, a problem none of the manufacturers in the industry have solved effectively
  • Lodestar performed both theoretical and experimental analysis of the existing Pump and its competitors using the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) model to identify and implement design improvement needed to the Pump.
  • Lodestar also developed innovative manufacturing solutions to address major quality problems and is manufacturing and supplying to the customer all cast, machined and fabricated parts for the Pump to the customer which being delivered onsite. The customer can now just focus simply on pump assembly, sales and services.

Results:

  • The design improvements performed by Lodestar increased Pump performance as measured by flow-rate by over 30%.
  • Lowered exhaust temperature by over 20% by increasing heat dissipation area by over 39% resulting in lower exhaust temperature.
  • Lodestar developed an innovative design which would prevent catastrophic failure of the Pump in case of liquid entering Pump housing. It enables the customer pump to be the only one with a fail-safe mechanism.
  • Enabled customer to focus on growing Sales and capturing market share given the confidence that he now has the best performing pump in the market, that is not only fail-safe but also has the highest quality of parts.