Xylem hails breakthrough Flygt Biboα dewatering mining pump which can adapt in real time to conditions, following testing by Boliden – International Mining

Global water technology company, Xylem has today unveiled Flygt Biboα – a “breakthrough” dewatering pump that it says dramatically reduces energy, wear and tear, and maintenance costs. As the latest addition to Xylem’s portfolio of smart solutions, Flygt Biboα “is set to revolutionise drainage operations and pioneer the next generation of smart pumps by bringing built-in intelligence to industrial dewatering.”
Applying Decision Intelligence, Flygt Biboα automatically adapts to its environment and only operates when needed, delivering energy savings of up to 60% when compared to traditional dewatering pumps. Operational wear and tear is also reduced by up to 70% as instances of snoring and dry running are minimised, leading to as much as a 50% reduction in repair and maintenance costs. Additionally, due to its unique, compact and stable design, Biboα breaks the mould of traditional dewatering pumps with 30% fewer components, reducing the amount of inventory needed.
Commenting on the launch, Anders Casselbrant, Global Product Manager, Submersible Dewatering Products at Xylem said: “At Xylem, we work with customers and communities across the world to bring digital transformation to the water sector. That includes the delivery of digital solutions that can optimise business processes to create more efficient and sustainable operations. As the latest addition to our arsenal of smart pumps, Flygt Biboα is set to transform dewatering practices across the mining and construction industries.”
He adds: “By bringing this new, innovative technology to market, we can offer our customers an extremely reliable, compact and easy to use pump. The pump’s plug-and-play capability means no configuration is needed — the pump can easily slot into existing operations. Additionally, by adapting its speed and performance, the pump creates a future standard of flexibility and improved asset management. That intelligence together with the pump’s robust design will allow our customers to enjoy uninterrupted pumping so that they can focus on their key operations.”
Flygt Biboα has cutting-edge capabilities, offering two different running modes which can be easily interchanged depending on the application and operating environment. Adaptive mode is typically used when there is a requirement to maintain a constant low water level in the sump – the pump will never stop running, though it will regulate its speed after inflow. If snoring is detected, the pump will slow down to reduce wear, but when water re-enters the sump, the pump will increase its speed until the water level is low again.
By letting the pump run continuously, there is no need for any additional sensor. The incoming water triggers the pump to run, so it will always be ready to respond to changeable conditions in the field. Level mode consists of two pre-set levels, a start level that is controlled with a built-in-pressure sensor to detect water levels, and a stop level that is triggered when the pump detects snoring. As the pump only operates when needed, for example, when water is above the set level, it optimises efficiency and reduces both energy consumption and operational wear.
Built on the same integrated power electronics and systems platform as Xylem’s renowned wastewater pump, Flygt Concertor, the new Flygt Biboα automatically adapts to the speed and performance in a field instead of a static curve, meaning that the compact 8 kW pump can deliver QH-performance that spans the range of a 2kW standard pump, right up to a 10 kW standard pump. As one of the most robust and reliable pumps now on the market, Flygt Biboα has a life-span that is up to four times longer than traditional dewatering pumps.
The launch of Flygt Biboα follows rigorous field testing at the Renström mine in Sweden, one of Europe’s deepest mines. After three years of continuous collaboration and testing with mine operator New Boliden, Flygt Biboα has delivered product and repair savings of 40% and New Boliden has reduced the cost of its dewatering processes by almost 30%.
Commenting on the partnership, Mats Isaksson, Senior Development Engineer at New Boliden said: “Xylem’s Flygt Biboα has provided New Boliden with access to a pumping system that can automatically adapt to its environment, accommodating in real-time as conditions change in the field. This new approach to dewatering has transformed our operations, allowing our mining processes to continue without interruption. Having worked with New Boliden for more than thirty years, I have watched the mining network evolve into one of the world’s busiest mining operations. The move towards becoming fully autonomous is no mean feat, but with trusted partners like Xylem who bring innovative solutions to the table, we are well positioned to reach our goal of becoming the world’s first autonomous mine.”
The field test at Renström has been so successful that New Boliden has placed a sizable order for more Flygt Biboα pumps, to advance its goal of developing the world’s first fully autonomous mine. Flygt Biboα is now available for purchase or rent in the Netherlands, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Africa. The pump is expected to be available to customers globally later this year.
International Mining
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