Shortly after founding White Star Pump Co. in 2002, Shaun White had a realization about the standard mud pumps offered by his and other companies to clients in the on- and offshore oil and gas drilling industries. At the time he started the company, White solely designed and manufactured three-piston – or triplex – pumps with interchangeable parts.
“[White] noted that all triplex pumps have the same design flaws,” says Bruce Suggs, vice president of sales and marketing for the Waller, Texas-based company. “He also realized that just about everything in the drilling industry and on rigs had changed in the last 50 years except for one thing – the mud pump.”
White set out in late 2003 to design a pump that did not have any of the flaws commonly found in triplex pumps. These flaws included unsupported crankshafts that bent and cracked, frames that stretched under load, fluid modules that were difficult to replace, rough fluid discharges with large pulses as opposed to a smooth even flow, and their weight and width made transport difficult.
The company in 2006 introduced the White Star Quatro, a four-piston, or quadraplex, mud pump it describes as a revolutionary step forward in technology. “We are the new guys suddenly getting a lot of attention in the industry,” Suggs says of the interest in the product, particularly among smaller oil and gas providers. “We think once companies try it, they will go completely Quatro.”
The Quatro pump features a number of design elements Suggs says distinguish it from the standard triplex pump. One of the main differences is the placement of bearings. In the triplex pump, the bearings are placed on the outside of the frame, with the all of the cylinders in the middle of the pump between the bearings. This design leaves a great deal of space or bending movement between the center piston and the supportive bearings. This generates a great deal of pressure on the pump’s crankshaft as the middle cylinder is firing, and creates a bend in the crankshaft on every rotation, eventually leading to a cracked crankshaft, Suggs says.
In the Quatro pump, the bearing is correctly placed in-between the cylinders, which reduces the load on the frame and crankshaft. This increases the life of the crankshaft exponentially and the bearings by as much as three times that of those in a triplex pump.
Other advantages of the Quatro pump include: lighter weight and a width, two-thirds that of a triplex pump; the ability for operators to replace fluid modules in 25 minutes versus six to 12 hours; the option to add a worm drive, which eliminates the need for belts, chains, right-angle drive and other moving parts; an optional two-cylinder shutdown system, which eliminates the need for a gear box; and a much smoother fluid discharge than triplex pumps.
Many of White Star’s pumps are powered by electric motors manufactured and supplied by Joliet Equipment Corp., an industrial motor and motor repair company headquartered in Joliet, Ill. “They’re a very good company to work with and very responsive to our requests,” Suggs says. “Joliet Equipment is a large company represented all over the world, but they’re just as responsive and supportive as a smaller player. They make a superior product and can get us the motors faster than many larger companies.”
White Star Pump Co. backs up its products with replacement parts and exemplary service. As an example, Shaun White is often on the phone in the middle of the night with new customers, helping them set up pumps and solving any problems they may have, Suggs says.
The company also offers a 10-year crankshaft warranty and a money-back guarantee. “We feel so strongly about the Quatro’s capabilities that we will offer customers their money back within the first six months,” he explains. EMI