Centrifugal pumps become damaged for a number of reasons. Some faults are isolated to one or two components, while others could cause faults that have machines unable to operate for days – if not weeks. Delays of this variety can’t happen in the high-stakes industrial environment, which is why an investment in preventative measures like pump monitoring is such a great idea. In this article we’re answering the question: can pump monitoring in the drive increase machine life? Let’s find out:

What is pump monitoring?

Pump monitoring involves the use of sensors to detect certain conditions relating to pumps and motors. Determining pump utilization in real-time offers multiple benefits – one of which is the prevention of premature pump failure. Baumüller, leading manufacturers of drive and automation systems, explains the need for pump monitoring:

“In servo-hydraulic applications, a thermal overload can occur in the machine cycle with long holding times of high pressures and low flow rates. This increases wear and can lead to premature pump failure.”

Baumüller’s pump monitoring system determines and monitors pump conditions and utilization, using a dynamic calculation method. These calculations take place within extremely short cycle times of 1ms.

“Utilization is calculated using the speed, pressure and, if available, the oil tank temperature directly in the servo converter.”

Benefits of monitoring pumps

  • Prevent overheating

The number one cause of pump failure and pump-related machine breakdowns is overheating. Pump monitoring ensures that temperatures throughout the machine are closely monitored, which is especially necessary where the most heat is created.

  • Early warning signs

A huge advantage of monitoring pumps in the drive is the pushing of instant notifications should something transpire requiring human attention. It’s like having someone closely monitoring the machine and its operating condition 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Instant intervention

Added to the early warnings, which can prevent pump wear and damage preemptively, certain pump monitoring systems can also take decisive action when faced with calamity. For example, shutting the system down automatically when certain issues are picked up.

Monitoring and machine life

Monitoring of pumps will increase the machine’s life, there’s no doubt about it. It also helps to reduce energy consumption, which brings down energy bills, and reduces the cost of maintenance throughout the system’s lifetime. Monitoring systems can also quantify energy efficiency in specific pumps, providing detailed reports.

Did you know that a whopping 85% of the total cost of a pump throughout its service life goes to electricity? Only 10% will go towards maintenance, with the initial purchase only making up 5%. This makes pump monitoring an intervention with instant eco-friendly and cost-saving potential.

Pump monitoring solutions in South Africa

Motion Tronic is the sole seller and repair centre for Baumüller products and components in Southern Africa. We offer on-site fault finding and immediate delivery of exchange units. In the rare case where this is not possible, three-day express delivery is guaranteed. We are also product agents for automation industry leaders like Ivertek, Microsonic, Servomold, Panasonic, and Inovance.