With Pandemic taking over the world in year 2020, everything was at standstill & it had paramount impact on business world especially manufacturing sector. As the months passed, some industries recovered quickly, while others had difficulty to adapt to the new normalcy due to the pandemic.
There were few which did not let go easily & prepared themselves to tackle new challenges. KSB Ltd. was one of them, which not only recovered but accelerated itself to newer heights. Leader in pump manufacturing, it delivered the indigenously developed Main Boiler Feed Water Pump-BFP (RHD-350) & Booster Pump-BP (YNK 350-620) for Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL). It marked a milestone for the company in developing the pump for 700 MW Indian Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) & adding a new product to its product line which already boast of a range of pumps for nuclear application, including Primary Pressurising Pump, Shutdown Cooling Pump, Aux. Boiler Feed Pump.
On 13th Mar 2021, these pumps moved out from KSB, Shirwal, a state of art new facility for pump assembly & testing. KSB Ltd. turned out to be the first company in India to manufacture fully indigenously developed BFP & BP for 700 MW Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).
The has always been a renowned Supplier for critical application pumps and has been associated with NPCIL for supply of pumps for various applications, including indigenous Boiler Feed water Pumps for 220 MW at Kaiga nuclear power plants. KSB has been supplying some more critical Pumps to NPCIL with certain imported components from KSB Germany.
NPCIL is poised for major growth in installed capacity of NPPs with launch of fleet mode 700 MWe PHWRs, in addition to existing PHWR plants of 220 MWe, 540 MWe and 700 MWe capacity. The need to develop indigenous pumps for 700 MWe power plants was always on priority for NPCIL & the development proposal was initiated in year 2015 for the same.
Though NPCIL tenders were in public tender mode with expression of interest, KSB Ltd. retained as a key NPCIL Partner for the developing pumps indigenously for last 4 decades.
In October 2017, KSB received the order for development of the Main BFP & BP with a complete package of supply including Electric motor, Gear box & lube oil plant.
Boiler Feed water Pump being an important pump in the NPP, NPCIL demanded a robust design & very high reliable service life span of 40 years. The Pumps with KSB’s in-house design were to be analysed, tested & validated for performance on various design parameters such as Seismic
Analysis, stress analysis, rotor dynamics, critical speed analysis etc. including the seal designs & selection. The pressure parts like Pump Casing, Seal Housing were designed to qualify in accordance with ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code Section VIII Div.1/ ANSI-B31.1 Power Piping. The Pumps foundation structures were designed to withstand seismic analysis in addition to its static & dynamic loadings. The design also included development of new hydraulic checks for Impeller, Pump Casing etc. with CFD analyses. The design also facilitates the rapid replacement of rotor without disturbing the setup at site.
With a strong and reliable pump design back up, it was time to put it into reality. It was only the beginning of new challenges at the beginning of the execution phase. The execution involved development & manufacturing of critical components like Volute Casing, Impeller, right from drawings and design stage, pattern designs to development of sound castings & forgings. Even with strong Vendor network & KSB’s expertise in the field, it was still a challenge in getting parts proved in first attempt meeting the stringent quality norms laid by NPCIL.
KSB’s state of art of manufacturing facility at Chinchwad plant, with its advanced manufacturing capability accelerated the progress in development. New processes developments in special coatings & modern machining processes involving latest manufacturing technology paved the way for new learning & experience, building the confidence to move ahead. Being a new development & non-symmetrical designed pump, new tooling was designed & developed for assembly of pump. Special tools & set up helped assemble more quickly & precisely saving precious time.
In spite of the detailed design & analyses carried out, assembly of Pumps was only through half way mark of development, as the biggest challenge was to successfully test the pump through the toughest set of test parameters ensuring the pumps perform at site in case of all postulated eventualities. A special test loop was designed & set up capable of carrying out all the tests without the need to change set up, as tests also involved continuous integrated operation of the pumps.
The Main pump as well as the Booster pumps were put through series of test conditions first for establishing the performance. These tests included NPSH Test (3% and 1% head drop), Visual Cavitation Test carried out for booster pump to obtain the value of suction pressure at first bubble, Pressure Pulsation Test (where the peak to peak pulsation measured during performance test), Hot Water Test (Test carried out at 170 o C for 8 hours at min. flow, rated flow & max. flow), Thermal Shock Test at end of Hot Water Test, Cold water injection test (shock test) etc.. Subsequently, final integrated test was carried out simulating the site set up with Pumps, Motor, Gear box, Lube oil system etc. at the new KSB facility at Shirwal, Maharashtra.
Commenting on this achievement, Rajeev Jain, Regional Executive Officer, KSB West Asia and Managing Director KSB Limited, India said “KSB’s core strength in design, supported with modern manufacturing capability has made it possible to develop a key product for India’s premier power generation organisation NPCIL. KSB’s strong leadership qualities, decision-making, technical expertise & great team work were witnessed during the various phases of the development. Riding high on this success of BFP & BP, KSB Ltd is now set to replicate this success in indigenizing the Primary Coolant Pumps (PCP), for the first time for NPCIL, further enhancing its commitment to the nation’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ program.”
Acknowledging the significant achievement by M/s. KSB Limited, India, S.K. Sharma, CMD, NPCIL said, “It is a tribute to the joint efforts of NPCIL and Indian industry towards the realisation of our cherished goal of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. He added that Indian Industry has a vital role to play in coming years in developing and ensuring timely deliveries of equipment for the planned nuclear power expansion programme.”