Dredge Pump Provides Agility for Harbor Excavation
Because of the strong current of the Mississippi River, a self-propelled dredge was not working effectively to dredge a harbor in Granite City, Illinois, located just across the water from St. Louis, Missouri. Two years ago, Budrovich, a St. Louis-based construction company, began using a 10-inch EDDY dredge pump with an excavator pump attachment to efficiently extract river material, which includes a mixture of sand, silt, wood and other materials—the concentration and density of which varies.
The Mississippi River is one of the world’s major river systems in size, habitat diversity, and biological productivity. Barges and their tows move approximately 175 million tons of freight each year on the upper Mississippi through a system of 29 locks and dams. At the headwaters of the Mississippi, the average surface speed is about 1.2 miles per hour—roughly one-half as fast as people walk.
“Before we installed the EDDY pump, our customer was using a self-propelled dredge, which was not appropriate for the application,” said Budrovich Marine Division Manager Mindy Brundick. “A self-propelled dredge shouldn’t be used in a body of water that has current, so it was unsafe to use it in the Mississippi River. We were looking for a different solution for the customer, and that’s when we started researching EDDY Pumps.”
The EDDY Pump Solution
The EDDY pump and excavator attachment were installed on a Caterpillar 350 material handler. “The cutter head goes on the end of the boom, and we use a 700 horsepower power pack to power the effort,” Brundick explained. “We average anywhere from 180 to 200 cubic yards per hour.”
Using the equipment for about two years, the company has faced only minor issues.
“We’ve had some challenges, for example, with the seals,” she said. “But the EDDY pump team is very good on the service end of things and helped to identify and troubleshoot the problem. They asked a lot of questions about our application and about the dredge pipe, so they really know how to take a very informative effort to ensure that their equipment is right for the customer.”
Brundick said the agility of the equipment is its best feature.
“I like that because it’s on the boom of an excavator you have some room to play with the pump placement,” she explained. “You can also hook it to a crane. The EDDY pump can go into areas where a large dredge could not fit. In order for it to be effective, it always needs to have a constant source of water. If you are dredging in a pond, you just have to make sure you keep a constant source of water. We don’t have this issue while dredging a river.”
This application also includes a density meter that helps to monitor problematic materials. “Between the density meter and the EDDY pump we are really able to stay in tune with any potential issues,” Brundick said. “If there is an obstruction coming up, hopefully, the cutterhead will stop it. The density meter will tell us if our pressure changes and the operator can react quickly to pull it out of the water and observe and act quickly if something is caught.”
The EDDY system can be attached to different types of equipment and maneuver into smaller, tighter areas where larger dredges cannot fit. “The EDDY Pump team is also working with us to reinforce our bearings to help us customize the equipment based on the application in which we are using it to help us improve production even greater,” Brundick added.
How EDDY Pump Technology Works
The EDDY Pump Excavator Dredge Pump Attachment is a state-of-the-art dredging system that is unique to the market and improves the process for high solids pumping while using the hydraulic power of the existing excavator. This technology easily pins into the existing bucket linkage and is powered off of the excavators’ auxiliary hydraulics.
The pump and equipment are both built and designed by EDDY Pump Corporation, ensuring the perfect fit along with maintenance support. The technology can be used for hydraulic barge unloading, mining tailings ponds, slurry ponds, liner safe dredging, heavy construction, dewatering, railcar offload and other applications.
Using a cutterhead or high-pressure water jetting rings (depending on the dredging application), the patented pump technology outperforms all centrifugal, vortex, and positive displacement pumps in a variety of the most difficult pumping applications.
The pump and cutterhead suction dredge work in conjunction to make this the optimal dredging system for handling compact material, highly viscous materials, and for pumping high solids. This pumping system can easily pump slurries up to 4,500-feet without the need for a booster pump.
For large rocks and distances of more than 2,000-feet, an HPU (Hydraulic Power Unit) is recommended for max production. All EDDY Pump suction dredges and excavator cutterheads are powered by field-proven, U.S.A.-built, industrial slurry pumps.
The core of this design is the patented EDDY Pump technology and redefines the pumping industry by being the only pump that utilizes the principles of a tornado to create a synchronized eddy current. This pump is not a centrifugal, positive displacement, or vortex pump, but instead the most efficient high solids and high specific gravity pump on the market. This translates to the ability to pump higher percent solids of material with less water. The American-built pump excavator attachment can be attached and deployed the same day and uses a single operator from land or a floating barge. Any excavator operator can be trained to operate the pump in just a couple hours.
A 10-inch excavator attachment on a floating barge can pump sand at a distance of close to a mile with 80-ft of elevation, without the use of a booster pump. The pump and cutter head are powered by a hydraulic power unit sitting on the barge. It can achieve production rates up to 400 cubic yards of material per hour at solids rates of up to 70%.
Watch the video below to see the EDDY Pump Excavator Attachment being used during the Budrovich dredging project.
The EDDY Pump consists of:
(1) energy generating rotor attached to the end of a
(2) drive shaft and placed within a
(4) adjoining intake chamber. At normal operating speed, this spinning fluid is forced down, into the hollow center of the intake chamber where it creates a high speed, swirling synchronized column of fluid
(5) which agitates the material
(6) to be pumped (sludge, sand, clay etc.) This swirling column of fluid creates a peripheral
(7) “eddy” effect which causes the agitated material to travel by reverse flow, up along the sides of the intake chamber, into the
(8) discharge pipe.
Brundick said she recommends the EDDY Pump equipment to others who have similar applications. “I’ve talked to other potential customers who are researching the EDDY Pump to get some insight from someone who is using it,” she said. “For power companies who want to clean out fly ash ponds and things of that nature, the EDDY Pump is a great solution. It can be trucked anywhere. The agility is its biggest advantage.”
Once it is running, Brundick said she has found the production to be consistent and is used at his harbor about six months of the year.
EDDY Pump Corporation, founded in 1984, is a dredge equipment and slurry pump manufacturer, along with being an engineering company. We are committed to providing the most innovative solids-handling pump technology and service to fit the needs of our clients worldwide.
Budrovich is a St. Louis based construction business providing superior service with a commitment to safety, excellence, and teamwork. Sam Budrovich began the company in 1945, shortly after trading his mule for a grading tractor to use on the family farm. Sam was being hired by friends and family alike, to level land and dig ditches. The steady growth of the family business mirrored the construction boom of the post-war 1950s. In the 1960s, having purchased one of the first large cranes in the St. Louis market, Budrovich established itself as a market leader by providing the most modern and productive equipment available.
About EDDY Pump Corporation
Founded in 1984, Eddy Pump Corporation provides its clients with the most breakthrough technology and service the industry has to offer. Serving various industries including the U.S.
Navy, oil & gas, mining, wastewater, paper/pulp, dredging, fracking, chemical, and others, the core of the company is the patented EDDY Pump technology. The EDDY Pump is not a centrifugal, vortex or positive displacement pump. Instead, it is a patented design built to harness the power of a tornado into fluid dynamics, creating a synchronized eddy current. This design enables the EDDY Pump to handle material once deemed impossible or cost prohibitive. The EDDY Pump does not have an impeller, but instead a geometrically designed spinning rotor that creates an eddy current. Based on this design, higher suction is created without being restricted by the critical tolerances needed by other pumps.
For more information, visit https://eddypump.com.
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