Pump Monitoring

How to Rectify Any Pump Inefficiency Before It Becomes a Problem

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Low-cost Solution for Control system

Siemens sets an example with the monitoring module “Pump Mon” for the Simatic PCS7 process control system: Pump Mon is used to warn of damages to centrifugal pump under unfavorable operating conditions, for early detection of imminent pump failures and in the long term to optimize pump design by statistical analysis of the collected operating data of the load spectrum. The module can be used for electrically driven centrifugal pumps with constant and with variable speed.

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Dr. Thomas Müller-Heinzerling, Manager Chemical Industry Technology & Concepts, Siemens: “The basic idea behind developing our Pump Mon was to be able to offer a very low-cost diagnostic system for centrifugal pumps. To this end, known data from the process — power consumption, flow rate and pressure across the pump — is used in the process control system. By evaluating this information with a special software, the operator can determine whether their pump is healthy or not. If the relevant sensors are already installed in the process, the operator needs only to install the appropriate software. The licensing costs are well below € 200, a fraction of the costs of a typical hardware solution.”

Complex Monitoring of Positive Displacement Pumps

Even with a technically advanced positive displacement pump, like the Feluwa Multisafe, operators would regularly use additional, high-quality monitoring equipment, Daniel Hagnbuchner, Regional Sales Manager Africa, North and South America reports: “We offer various systems for early fault detection in our pump systems, for example an acoustic system indicating the wear and tear on conveying valves. Important is also a system signaling possible damage to the membrane before a conveyed medium can penetrate the pump’s hydraulic area. Because our pumps are usually operated in sensitive production areas, many customers use these fault detection systems — with an estimated more than 4000 installations by now.”

Generally, customers are operating processes that can’t be stopped without causing major problems, like carburetor feeding in coal gasification, or when a mining operator must convey solid slurry over several kilometers — if a pump stops unexpectedly, the entire pipeline is at risk. According to Hagnbuchner, an early fault detection would enable operators to do without the additional security of a redundant pump installation.

The most probable sources of interference in case of process diaphragm pumps are, depending on their application, fluid valves, vibrant seals (like piston seals) in the hydraulic part of the pump head and of course the membrane itself. Especially in cases of great capacity, high-pressure of more than 150 bar and high costs of plant downtimes, monitoring and early fault detection are particularly important for plant operators.