Reciprocating, multiplex pumps typically found on drilling installations consist of a familiar configuration, primarily differing only in size according to the rig's circulation requirements. This paper explores a radically new approach to mud pump design, the "Hex Pump" that represents a departure from traditional machines. The design of this new pump offers numerous improvements in performance, reliability, flexibility, and economic savings for the operator. A brief discussion of traditional mud pumps will be presented along with thier associated shortcomings. The basis for developing a new pump will be discussed including the criteria for necessary performance improvements. Drawing from extensive experience and knowledge of the mud pump industry, this paper will explore the impact of enhanced operating characteristics and reliability issues for the operator. This paper will review the technical aspects of this new pump design and the experience gained from experimenting with the new approach. Various test results including pulsation, vibration, and valve operating characteristics will be presented and compared with traditional systems. A summary of the new pump's comprehensive test program will be included. Conclusions will be drawn based on the experience gained during development, design, building, and testing the prototype of this new pumping system. Performance results from prototype tests will also be summarized along with their positive effects on the drilling operation.

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