Drive Pump Performance With Package Curves

Franklin Electric

August 25, 2021

As emission regulations change worldwide to accommodate environmental conditions, engine owners and pump operators are faced with new challenges in terms of learning how to run, maintain and maximize pump performance with diesel engines – and correctly sizing the engine is a big part of this. In fact, correctly sizing a Final Tier IV engine for the job can help alleviate issues down the road, including unplanned service, regeneration cycles and downtime.

Traditional pump curves illustrate the performance range of the pump end regardless of the engine or motor powering it. Now with Final Tier IV engines becoming more common and their regulations leading to more complex exhaust aftertreatment designs. Package curves deliver this point of view, helping owners and operators select a properly sized Final Tier IV engine to meet their specific pump application needs.


Package curves eliminate the need for extensive technical knowledge. They specifically show what size engine will run most efficiently with a pump, while still delivering optimum performance. These curves are meant to provide the right information in the simplest way possible and do not require a Final Tier IV expert to understand them. Package curves use color coded zones to illustrate boundaries of operation for the pump and engine:

  • The green zone is the continuous operation zone. This area is the ideal operating range for an engine and indicates that there should be no issues with running the pump in that zone.
  • The yellow zone indicates more limited operation. The pump can run in this zone but only for a limited time. This zone is fine for occasional use.
  • The red zone indicates restricted operation. If the engine operates in this zone for any extended period of time, the engine will experience loading outside the allowable range.




Today’s Final Tier IV engines are more expensive and harder to repair than previous versions. Technicians are still learning about these engines, adding to uptime and reliability issues. It is more important than ever to run the engine in a way that maximizes its performance and lifespan. If an engine runs at low speed for an extended period of time, it can create problems with the engine, including shortened life, emergency service requirements, inefficient diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) or fuel consumption, and other issues.

In fact, if a Tier IV engine isn’t used properly it can enter into an unplanned regeneration cycle. These engines are hard coded to shut down and run an automatic maintenance cycle if too many particulates are being released. If you’re running a critical infrastructure pump—a sewer bypass, for example— downtime is unacceptable. Pump curves help owners and operators avoid the dangers associated with underloading a diesel engine.

In terms of efficiency, the benefits go beyond operating and life span: package curves help users invest in the right-sized engine from the start. When following the package curves, users can get a correctly sized engine for the pump, which improves fuel efficiency and DEF consumption rates.

Package curves help owners and end users operate pump packages within a safe zone—ensuring longer life, reduced maintenance costs and lower cost of ownership. They can also help personnel in the field feel more confident with Final Tier IV engines by illustrating exactly where they can and cannot operate the pump. The changes brought on by EPA regulations for Final Tier IV have created new challenges, and by extension added time and cost into operations. These specialized package curves provide a clean and simple way to reduce uncertainty and improve performance and longevity of the product.

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