Benefits of RealiteQ - iCex Monitoring for Pumping System Reliability
The RealiteQ IOW - iCexM (integrated Cellular and ethernet eXplorer Monitoring) Solution, will drive improved Process Reliability, through a more holistic view of Pump System health.
This White Paper will focus on advanced online Wireless Condition Monitoring Techniques for Pump Systems, because Pumps are the most prevalent Equipment in an Industrial Process Application. Pumps are essential to the daily operation of Industrial Processes and as the workhorses of the Plant, they need constant Maintenance to ensure their availability when required. Since Pumps like other Mechanical Equipment, begin to degrade after start up, the challenge is to know when and how to intervene, before Pumps contribute to a critical Plant ShutDown, thereby affecting the Company's bottom line. A critical Pump failure can cost thousands of dollars, as a result Plant DownTime!
Pump Systems that are deemed as critical to Plant Operation, may have wired conditional based Monitoring in place. These Pumping Systems minimize unnecessary Maintenance SlowDown common with Preventive Maintenance, while avoiding catastrophic failures, that can lead to expensive ShutDown Repairs, or even Electrical Fires and other event related Plant DownTime.
In a typical Process Plant, critical Pumping System may account for approximately 10%, but that leaves about 90% of Pumps subject to manualy scheduled inspection by a Service Technician or Electrician, in order to acquire Data and to assess Pump condition, which would dictate the need for Preventive Maintenance tasks, before the Pump fails.
It is estimated that Pumps account for at least 10% of the total Maintenance Cost of a Plant and that Pump failure Expenses are at least twice or three times that percentage and more, in lost Production Revenues!
NOTE: These avoidable DownTime Costs could be significantly reduced if the Pumps had online Wireless Condition Monitoring.
To decide where to begin applying online Wireless Condition Monitoring, look at those Pump Systems that are at risk to cause Processing Upsets and DownTime, which often takes hours or days to recover or get back to normal Plant operation.
Basic Pump Maintenance is usually performed either through manual rounds for visual Condition based Monitoring . The goal is to prevent failures that require expensive repairs and cause Process SlowDowns or ShutDowns. Manual Monitoring is typically very expensive, but unfortunately, Preventive Maintenance is not always enough to identify degrading Pump Performance in time to take corrective action. Most Pumps do not operate at optimal efficiency, as Processes are not always Designed for the Pump to run at its "Best Efficiency". Some Pumps may be over-sized to accommodate Design contingencies and planned increases in throughput capacity, or have been stretched beyond their Design and capacity limits due to Production demands. This introduces higher stress on Pump System Components, leading to higher Maintenance requirements. Historically, the expense of dedicated Monitoring, by installing wired Inputs to PLC's has prevented conditional Monitoring from being expanded beyond the most Critical Pumping Systems.
With the relative ease of adding online Wireless Pump Condition Monitoring with today's Technology, targeted services can now include:
Pumps with repeat failures
Pumps without spares
Pumps that can cause an Electrical Fire or Chemical environmental incident
Pumps that can lead to a significant Process disturbance, Process Shutdown or slowdown
Pumps that previously were not considered critical enough to have wired Monitoring Systems in place
Plants may not have initially invested in wired conditional Monitoring for Pumps that have an installed spare or Redundant Pump System. But the reason for including an installed spare is because it is anticipated that the Pump will need Maintenance before the next Plant maintenance turnaround. If the operating Pump is allowed to "run-to-failure", which typically makes matters worse by increasing Maintenance time and cost to repair the damage. The spare Pump may have a delayed start up, which can inhibit a “bumpless” transfer and could create a Process Upset from which hours or even days are required to return to normal operation, in addition to the costs of repairing the Pump that was run-to-failure. Furthermore, it is much more difficult to take a failed Pump out of service and commission the spare Pump, if the failed Pump is leaking process material, or the Motor is burning.
Many Pump failures can be predicted using modern online Wireless Condition Monitoring Techniques. New innovative Reliability centered practices for Pump Monitoring are covered in this paper, specifically: Pump Seal leaks, Cavitation and Vibration related failures.
By using traditional and well proven Predictive Maintenance techniques, customers can minimize environmental and business impacts.
Innovative ways to improve Pumping System Reliability
The following are three innovative methods for increasing Pump availability and Reliability using Predictive Technologies and Maintenance Procedures:
- Seal Monitoring The latest edition of API Standard 682 now shows a preference for level and pressure transmitters instead of level and pressure switches in order to provide the signal to Annunciate the level or pressure alarms. The use of transmitters provides an improved view of Pump Seal Pressure. A level signal also allows for Monitoring the rate of change of a reservoir for earlier indication of potential Seal failure.
- Cavitation Monitoring of discharge flow and pressure for high head multistage Pumps that cannot tolerate Cavitation. The integrity of the level instrument on the suction vessel, and Monitoring the differential pressure across the suction strainer, can help to prevent Cavitation from occurring.
- Vibration Monitoring allows for the detection of the presence of any one of many common causes of Pump failure, such as worn bearings, worn shaft coupling, misalignment, impeller damage, Pump &/or Motor mounting frame or base degradation.
Prediction of fault conditions through Monitoring
The most frequent fault conditions of Pumps and the measurements that can give early warning or indication of failure, are: Seal fluid level and pressure. Pump discharge pressure and peak demand measurements are the “early warning signs” for Pump Seal leaks and Cavitation. Vibration and temperature indicates failure and is useful for root cause analysis. Modern Pumping System health Monitoring Solutions are able to observe the overall health of a Pump, using a combination of both Process and machine Data, which are a critical component of a Predictive Maintenance Program.
Measurements that are brought online to detect Pump System fault conditions, according to Plant Engineer's Handbook for Predictive Maintenance,results in:
Reduced Maintenance costs and Spare Parts Inventory
Minimizes Unexpected Failures
Decreases Repair Time
Improved Machinery MTBF
Process Data can be used to give the earliest warning, like “pre-Cavitation” alerts, that can be easily understood by operators and Maintenance, like:
- Discharge and suction pressure
- Strainer differential pressure
- Vibration Data
- Pump Bearing temperature
- Pump &/or Motor speed RPM
- VFD AMP indication
An advanced Pumping Control System with RealiteQ IOW - iCexMonitoring Solution offers a pre-determined combination of Process and Equipment Data to Report asset health.
The RealiteQ IOW - iCexMonitoring Solution can, and should, be customized to a particular Process environment and Pump design. RealiteQ is fully scaleable, ranging anywhere from simple condition based Monitoring of a single variable, to advanced alarming across a range of Pump status and operating ranges. The challenge with condition Monitoring is providing the diverse needs of both operations and Reliability teams with the correct Data to enable strategic interpretation and actionable information. Operators may require alarming on serious conditions like; Seal Leaks or Cavitation &/or Vibration in order to prevent fast occurring and severe Pump damage.
Reliability teams often have enough visibility for longer term planning including ordering parts to reduce spare inventory and "just-in-time" work order management for Maintenance.
Predictive Maintenance is essential to enabling lean Reliability programs.
Wireless "Cloud" Technology is the key enabler for Pumping System Monitoring
Every measurement Solution described above can be accomplished either wired or Wireless Technology. The challenges with retrofitting wired Analog or Fieldbus Protocol Solutions are their complexity, installation difficulty and significant cost. Some Pumps are located in Hazardous or difficult to reach areas. In many of these cases, using wired transmitters may be too expensive to be feasible, but advances in Wireless Technologies have led to a growing alternative to wired Sensors. Wireless Technology has advanced to meet the rigors of the Industrial sector, and has enabled Plants to greatly expand the number of online measurements economically. The primary advantages of Wireless Systems is that they are easy to add and install virtually anywhere in an efficient, timely and cost-effective manner.
Serious issues caused by Pump failures are costly but avoidable!
The challenge is to perform the correct Maintenance at the right time, in order to prevent hazardous Chemical leaks, Electrical fires, expensive Repairs, or even Process upsets, and DownTime, while at the same time also preventing any unnecessary repairs. This cannot be done with Preventive Maintenance and manual rounds alone. Online condition based Monitoring is required for Pump Systems in most Facilities.
Predictive Maintenance Solutions including Wireless Technologies such as RealiteQ - iCexMonitoring are changing the landscape of Pumping System health Monitoring, making online condition based Monitoring available to virtually any Pump in an Industrial Plant!
Predictive Maintenance using online condition Monitoring reduces maintenance costs and catastrophic Pump failures associated with infrequent manual rounds by enabling Pump repair instead of replacement. It also prevents unnecessary Preventive Maintenance activities, saving man-hours that can be spent on Pumps and other assets that need attention. A critical factor in a highly effective Pump Monitoring program may hinge on the choice of SCADA Software used to analyze Pump health. The measured variables of the Application and timely, meaningful, actionable information is a must.
By focusing on Automated Pump health Monitoring, the End User can get information to the right people at the right time to significantly reduce unplanned Production losses and Maintenance costs, while improving safety and mitigating incidents.
For more Application information contact;
Ray W Zimbal Jr.
Automation System Application Engineering & Sales
Motors, Drives & Gears plus Controls LLC
Avoid "square peg in round hole" Designs !
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