SAM Engineering, the manufacturer of SAMCO pumps in South Africa, delivers a variety of chemical and corrosion resistant pumps that are custom made to suit the harsh conditions of the minerals processing, mining and petrochemical industries as well as the demands of process applications involving, food, chemicals, pulp and paper and fertiliser. MechChem Africa talks to Danny Lubbe, the company’s sales manager.
SAM Engineering’s history dates back to the 1970s, to a company called Sandock Austral, which had the license to locally manufacture Allis Chalmers pumps. “But in the 70s, Sandock Austral withdrew from South Africa, leading to a buy-out by the local manufacturing director, who bought the casting patterns and secured the rights to continue to manufacture the pumps here in South Africa,” Lubbe begins.
“When ITT purchased Allis Chalmers, the licensing agreement was extended, but ITT soon acquired the Gould pumps brand instead, leaving the Allis Chalmers installed base across Africa unsupported. So the SAMCO pump brand was born,” he relates.
Over the years, notable changes were made to suit the harsh local requirements. “We added wear plates to the designs, for example, so that the pumps could be refurbished more often and more economically, giving them a longer life and reducing the ownership costs,” he explains.
Most notably, though, the SAM Engineering name is an acronym of ‘Specialist Alloy Manufacturer’, which reflects a deliberate strategy to be as flexible as possible when it comes to alloy choices and material combination for the SAMCO pump range. “Our motto is ‘customised pump solutions’ and we live up to that motto by manufacturing our impellers, volutes, wear plates and bearing frames in the material or alloy that best suits the actual application,” Lubbe notes, adding: “We can offer any combination of 11 standard alloys and we have complete flexibility with respect to novel materials of manufacture.
“We were the first company to agree to manufacture skids, bearing frames and the power-end of our pumps from stainless steel. This is a big no-no from global OEMs, which all tend to standardise on their frame materials. Very few will agree to custom manufacturing,” Lubbe suggests.
“Up in places such as the Copper Belt, the conditions are often terribly harsh and pumps fail regularly. By supplying stainless steel frames and customised wet-end alloys, our pumps are far better protected, so they last longer and are more reliable,” he explains.
“Our wet-ends are manufactured in all kinds of materials: CD-4 wear plates, a wear and corrosion resistant duplex alloy; impellers and volutes from materials such as 316, duplex and super duplex stainless steels; or Alloy 20, a nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy that is ideal for sulphuric acid applications. We strive to offer the highest corrosion resistance possible for the media being pumped,” Lubbe advises.