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Case Studies

Innovative Sliding Vane Positive Displacement Pump Technology Leads to Greater Energy Savings

October 30 2017

Reducing energy consumption and optimising performance are always goals with pump usage. Running efficiently and productively allows organisations to run lean and cut energy costs.

In the manufacturing sector, pumps represent 27 percent of electricity used by industrial systems. That’s over a quarter of their electricity. While they are a drain, they are also a necessity. To reduce this drain, the perspective on how the technology worked needed to shift.

To reduce and control energy consumption, efficiency needs to be approached not from individual components but looking at the system as a whole. The performance of all parts has to considered. Thus, the challenge became how to innovate positive displacement pumps.


Although the operating principles of positive displacement and centrifugal pumps differ, they can be used for the same applications in many cases.  Positive displacement pumps can improve processes and therefore productivity in addition to reducing maintenance and energy costs. They require less Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) than centrifugal. They can offer additional advantages like flexibility in pressure and flow requirements of continuous-type processes. Higher efficiency by a positive displacement is accomplished through the viscosity range. It’s high mechanical efficiency can mean it’s a more energy efficiency choice than a centrifugal pump.

However, not all positive displacement pumps are comparable to one another. There are a wide variety of differences. Types include internal gear, external gear, lobe, one screw, two screw, three screw, peristaltic and sliding vane pumps.


Sliding vane pumps have a number of vanes that are free to slide into or out of slots in the pump rotor. When the pump driver turns the rotor, centrifugal force, rods, and/or pressurized fluid causes the vanes to move outward in their slots and bear against the inner bore of the pump casing forming pumping chambers. This “sliding” is what allows for less wear and tear and better efficiencies.

The sliding vane technology has advanced optimising performance and provides a clear benefit.  By design, sliding vane pumps operate with high volumetric efficiency and low slippage. This operation allows their use in applications at substantially lower viscosity than other positive displacement pump types can handle. They are quieter, have a longer life and require less maintenance. This all leads to a better running system and often less energy consumption.

Whereas, gear, lobe and screw-type pumps gradually diminish in efficiency as clearances increase due to the wear of the metal parts. This then causes slipping and volumetric inconsistency.

How efficient is your pump?

Degradation of efficiency can degrade to as much as 25 percent before replacement, and efficiencies of 50 percent to 60 percent are common. Understanding you pump’s efficiency is key to reducing energy and costs. With low initial costs, easy installation and the future energy cost savings, considering sliding vane pumps is crucial to solve your pumping system efficiency issues. Learn more about the Blackmer Rotary Vane Pump today.

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