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Condition monitoring of pumps

Keep an eye on pumps with these 4 solutions

Condition Monitoring of Pumps

Know what's going to happen before it happens – that is the expectation for condition monitoring in a nutshell. The magic word is preventative maintenance: Condition monitoring of pumps should offer system operators the opportunity to detect damage to units early on so that unplanned shutdowns are a thing of the past.


Preventative maintenance: Pump under observation

Whether bearing damage, cavitation or defective seal: Intelligent condition monitoring systems can predict a pump malfunction before it happens and does significant damage. By recording physical variables such as vibrations and oscillation, position, and temperature regularly or even all the time, the system detects irregularities in the operating condition right away.

With this type of condition monitoring, pumps’ security and machine efficiency increase. If foreseeable damage presents too great a risk, the system can even trigger an emergency shutdown. More interesting with regard to improving operating efficiency, however, is early warning.


Condition monitoring: Retrofitting for various manufacturers

Whether chemical production, sewage treatment plant or pharma & food: As a dedicated predictive maintenance system or connected to the control system, condition monitoring is a basic requirement for the digitalization of industry. Thanks to the extensive networking of individual system components with a central monitoring system, the vision of Industry 4.0 can become reality.

In order to reach Pump 4.0 with predictive maintenance, many pump manufacturers are offering condition monitoring for their models as an option. However, monitoring is also available for existing pumps. By retrofitting older pumps, it is possible to breathe new life into them. Motor manufacturers have solutions, but so do providers of process automation. Here's an overview of some of the products that are currently available:


Keep an eye on the drive: WEG’s Motor Scan

As a manufacturer of motors and transmissions, WEG is aiming squarely at the drive unit with its Motor Scan solution. WEG regards this system as an opportunity to check the performance of system components: A constantly high performance level should be ensured by monitoring the system’s electric motors in real time.

The motor sensor is available for monitoring transmissions, pumps, compressors, and other machines that are driven by an electric motor. The data collected with Motor Scan is sent to the cloud and can be visualized in an app.


Cost-effective and chic: Schaeffler’s Optime

With Optime, Schaeffler has focused on the cost-effectiveness of the concept. Here, the individual adapters don’t have to be hidden away: They have even won an industrial design prize. The offerings include cable-free sensors, a gateway for transmitting the collected data to the cloud, and a digital service for error evaluation and analysis.

Schaeffler promises that hundreds of units can be equipped with its solution in just a few hours. The system should detect “potential damage, imbalances, and incorrect alignments” on all rotating machines and warn operators early on. Control of the components is handled on the computer or via app, which makes this solution suitable for both people who are new to digitalization and for advanced users.


Especially for pumps and motors: Phoenix Contact’s PumpMonitor

With its PumpMonitor, the process automation provider Phoenix Contact focuses not only on maintenance, but also on energy management. This solution should help monitor all pumps and motors comprehensively by monitoring mechanical, electrical, and hydrodynamic indicators.

PumpMonitor bears the fingerprints of a process automation provider: It is available as a solution for the switch cabinet and can be incorporated into a control system via Profinet or OPC.
Phoenix Contact promises users of its solution less maintenance work, increased system availability, and reduced energy consumption since it calculates the overall efficiency of the system.


Many indicators, stand-alone or integrated: Turck's extensive product range

Turck is another specialist in plant and process automation that offers a retrofit system for condition monitoring. Since Turck tends to industries such as logistics, among others, the monitoring of other indicators is available, including fill level and humidity. But Turck also offers sensors for pump motors.

Like Schaeffler, this automation provider appreciates quick retrofitting. In contrast to Phoenix Contact, Turck believes that there is an advantage to a stand-alone system that acts independently of the control system: This way it is possible to retrofit without intervening in ongoing processes. In addition to incorporation into cloud solutions such as AWS and Azure, a connection to the control system is also possible. In order to assist with easy installation and simple operation, this sensor's solutions are wireless.


Condition monitoring: Connect pumps easily and away you go

Thanks to the variety of retrofitting solutions, monitoring pumps in ongoing operation is becoming easier – and so in the future, it will be increasingly easy to check the proper condition of units. Easy retrofitting offers operators clear benefits: They can continue to use existing units, and if necessary, installation of the solution is possible without interrupting existing processes. Operation via app also gives users who are taking their first steps with Industry 4.0 and digitalization the opportunity to test out with minimal risk what the benefits of condition monitoring are for pumps and entire systems.


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