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How Foundex Fell in Love with the KF40

posted by the Epiroc Exploration & OreBody Solutions team

January 29, 2020

Our technical team spends a lot of time visiting drill sites where they answer questions, fix problems and suggest equipment. I love when I hear that a customer was happy with a recommendation and got good results. That’s what happened with Foundex, a Canadian, employee-owned company headquartered in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Foundex had been working on a drilling project in Alaska that was accessible only by helicopter making the size of the drilling equipment an important factor to consider. The project ran for about seven months – from the time the ground thawed to the time it froze again. The company had four drill rigs running and was using a smaller pump to draw water from nearby water sources, such as ponds. The smaller pump was a ball required regular maintenance.

Then the regulations changed requiring drilling companies to draw their water from specially designated water sources. These sources were one and a half miles to two and a half miles away, sometimes even further. Foundex knew that larger supply pumps would have to be purchased to keep on drilling.

The Epiroc office in British Columbia was quick with advice. The technical representative recommended an Elepump KF 40 pump, a compact and lightweight pressure pump that is ideal for heliportable jobs.  Foundex bought two of the KF 40s and today, eleven years later, the pumps are still pumping. The Shop and Yard Manager tells us that he hasn’t had to touch a thing, other than changing the oil. That is pretty remarkable since a lot of debris can become trapped between the valve and valve seat and cause the pump to lose its prime and start acting erratically. In the eleven years since Foundex purchased their KF 40s, they have performed no maintenance at all, other than changing the oil. He called the pump “bullet-proof”.

The Shop and Yard manager told us that the pump ran for seven months, every day for 24 hours and it never skipped a beat. What’s more, no parts had to be replaced. He assures us that he still has the original seats, rings and valves along with the original packaging and spare parts kit. The engine was replaced when it reached 14,000 hours but the pump is still going strong.

We all know that drillers can be tough on equipment. Foundex ran the pump for 2.5 miles at an elevation of 800 feet and still managed to get twelve gallons per minute. They were so happy with the pump that they decided to get a KF50, a more powerful version that can handle slurries with bentonite, concrete and more.

Foundex and any other drilling companies know that not having to change parts or perform maintenance means that downtime is avoided, operations do not stop, productivity increases and performance improves. You can contact our technical team if you have any questions about pumps and you can read more about this case here. Our goal is to improve drilling performance- one drill site at a time and accelerate the transformation of our industry.

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