Condition monitoring of pumps in Germany
The Perlenbach water supply association supplies fresh drinking water to roughly 50,000 residents in seven municipalities in the Eifel region in Germany each day. Around 2.4 m3 of water, which has been filtered and treated using complex methods until it meets the high requirements defined in the German drinking water regulations, is supplied in the area each year.
The Perlenbach water supply association is now using Schaeffler’s FAG SmartQB condition monitoring, which can identify problems in advance and recommend preventive actions. The preconfigured plug-and-play SmartQB unit, which has just been released in Australia, provides information about the condition of up to six machines or assemblies using plain text messages.
As part of a pilot project at the Perlenbach water supply association, two centrifugal pumps were equipped with two FAG SmartQB sensors each and linked with the FAG SmartQB. In the event of irregularities, the FAG SmartLamp installed next to the FAG SmartQB illuminates red and the system generates a message. With only two additional clicks on the touch display, the maintenance technician can view more detailed information about the fault and specific recommended actions.
The system has proven to be reliable after only a short period. The maintenance personnel were able to react quickly and in a targeted manner thanks to the information and specific fault assessment provided at an early stage about the onset of bearing damage. Both bearings in the 8-stage centrifugal pump were replaced by the maintenance personnel in a short period of time, thereby preventing severe damage to the facility. Unplanned downtimes of up to several weeks in combination with considerable damage amounting to several thousands of euros could be prevented this way.
Increased vibrations and noise on the centrifugal pumps are often due to bearing defects. These irregularities may cause the centrifugal pumps to fail and thus pose a threat to the supply of water. To prevent this, the Perlenbach water supply association decided to change from a temporary pump monitoring system to a continuous pump monitoring system. The objective was to generate long advanced warning times.
“The technology used by the Perlenbach water supply association is readily available across Australasia, and is our easiest to use condition monitoring device,” said Mark Ciechanowicz, industrial services manager, Schaeffler Australia.
“It’s designed to generate plain text messages on its screen, so that any in-house technician can operate the unit without additional knowledge of vibration technology.”
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