Short lead with 3D printing

Faster fit and finish pump guards

Sulzer developed a guard for a slurry pump using 3D printing techniques to replace a stainless steel part that was often misplaced. Replacement parts from the OEM were labor intensive to produce and could take 6-8 weeks to procure.

3D scan of a centrifugal pump

The challenge

Mining operations are particularly challenging for all kinds of equipment and Sulzer provides a pump repair service that includes slurry pumps from other OEMs.

  • The original stainless steel guards are manually TIG welded and painted
  • Making new parts took a skilled fabricator 4-6 hours
  • OEM lead times could be 6-8 weeks
  • Downtime for the mining operation needed to be minimized
We are always looking for ways to improve our service to pump operators, and this was a solution that increased the speed of repair and offered excellent performance. The original parts are often missing when these pumps come in for repair and we wanted to minimize the turnaround time using an alternative, high-quality solution. Adam Sampson, Project Engineer for Sulzer
The first prototype was checked for fit and finish

The solution

Sulzer created a 3D scan of the original components and developed a set of prototype parts to check for fit and finish. The design was optimized for additive manufacturing and put into production.

The new components were manufactured using Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA) material:

  • Parts manufactured in yellow – no painting required
  • Superior corrosion resistance to stainless steel
  • Impact resistance and toughness suitable for the application
  • Improved fit and consistency compared to hand-made OEM parts
  • Reduced lead time for parts
New components installed into a blue pump
The new components installed and ready for shipping

Customer benefit

The main benefit for these additive manufactured guards is reduced lead time allowing a “faster and better” service to the customer. The AM process also allows optimization of the design for improved performance, fit and finish than would be possible with handmade stainless steel parts. The benefits achieved by the first customer will be appreciated by all others that are operating this model of pump.



Perth Service Center

Phone: +61 8 9303 1777


Sulzer Australia Pty Ltd

57 Competition Way

6065 Wangara, WA

Australia