What is a Factory Test?
A factory test is a pump test coordinated and performed by the pump manufacturer at the pump manufacturer’s testing facility.
Formal acceptance of most custom-engineered centrifugal pumps by the purchaser is on the basis of the satisfactory completion and approval of pump tests conducted by the pump manufacturer at the manufacturer’s factory. Some factory tests are witnessed by the purchaser, but in most cases they are unwitnessed and the results are certified as accurate by the pump manufacturer’s engineering department – also called a factory-certified test.
Types of tests that may be performed at the factory include:
- Hydrostatic pressure: Virtually every centrifugal pump receives a factory-certified hydrostatic pressure test. In this test, the integrity of the pump casing is verified by pressurizing the pump casing beyond the maximum operating pressure.
- Mechanical: A mechanical test involves operating the pump to verify that vibration levels, bearing temperatures, and noise levels exhibited by the pump are appropriate and reasonable.
- Performance: In a performance test the head and flow generated by the pump are measured at several different operating points. In addition, the input power to the pump is also measured and used to make a determination of pump efficiency.
- NPSH: An NPSH test involves reducing the suction pressure to a pump in order to verify that the NPSH required by the pump is comparable to the NPSH values shown on previously submitted and approved pump curves.
Factory test requirements are typically far more stringent that field test requirements since all operation variables can be controlled during a factory test. The nature of the uncertainty surrounding a field test means that field tests are typically much simpler affairs than factory tests.