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How Online Condition Monitoring Can Benefit Pumps

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Nearly every production floor has pumps, typically running at a very high duty cycles. They can be used to supply ingredients, chemicals, or raw materials to a larger process. They can also support the facility by providing essential utilities such as cooling water, compressed air, or preheated water to feed a boiler.

Boiler feed pumps can be a particular problem to operations. They take time to come up to speed. The process of stopping them for maintenance and then restarting is both time-consuming and arduous. Meanwhile, the processes that depend on the steam will be stopped.

Depending on the number of pumps and their location, route-based monitoring can be potentially unsafe and labor-intensive. The bigger issue with route-based monitoring is that there is no guarantee that a problem might not arise within moments of a reading. If a pump is operating in a medium-starved condition, this can trigger cavitation. Operating in cavitation mode can generate heat intensive enough to vaporize the fan veins.

Case Study: Facility Monitors Troubled Pump to Prevent Catastrophic Downtime  See how remote condition monitoring allows a facility to monitor troubled pump  while safely operating until scheduled maintenance Download Now

To detect cavitation and other potential issues after the technician is gone, continuous online condition monitoring is ideal but has typically been limited to super critical assets or only larger pumps. Today’s newer classes of cloud-based affordable condition-monitoring systems can provide 24/7 monitoring, sending data and alerts to reliability experts and management to take action at a much lower cost than traditional local server-based systems making them ideal to cover any number of pumps.

Some facilities use a backup pump to provide redundancy in the case of primary pump failure However, the facility could discover the hard way that the backup won't operate when needed. Organizations frequently make the mistake of not monitoring backup pumps, thinking that problems won’t rise at low duty cycles. If the operation of an asset is essential, then monitoring that asset is essential also, and today’s affordable online condition monitoring systems make that possible.