New Monitoring Program Tracks Pump Problems

A new program that provides continuous monitoring and diagnostic support for pumps is designed to keep them operating at peak performance with minimum repairs and downtime. The remote system also features an alarm function that can warn operators of impending problems with enough lead time to avoid catastrophic pump failures.

A new program that provides continuous monitoring and diagnostic support for pumps is designed to keep them operating at peak performance with minimum repairs and downtime. The remote system also features an alarm function that can warn operators of impending problems with enough lead time to avoid catastrophic pump failures.

The PumpTrac program from Ingersoll Dresser Pump Co. (IDP) is designed to interface with sensors that communicate variables such as pressure, flow, level, temperature, vibration, motor current, etc. The program accepts a wide variety of input signals, and can interface with dataloggers and other system-wide process monitoring and control systems.

The basic PumpTrac 1 is a “do-it-yourself” monitoring system designed to operate on a laptop or desktop computer. It consists of a telemetry unit and software that assembles data captured by the sensors into a database that can be used for historical trending and report generation for review and analysis.

Levels II and III offer more sophisticated services, including a direct communication link with Ingersoll-Dresser Pumps, where pump performance can be analyzed and reviewed by IDP engineers and a support network. The engineers will analyze output data generated by the Pumptrac Software, provide assistance in making maintenance decisions to reduce operating costs, and monitor data gathered by pump-mounted sensors to provide insight into the health of the pump.

The system can be used to monitor a variety of variables that can affect pump performance, including hydraulic performance, bearing temperatures, lube oil pressure and temperature and vibration levels (overall and frequency discrete).

Analysis of the complex motion or vibration of an operating pump is similar to a heart EKG on a human patient. All movement radiates energy at specific frequencies. It is the analysis of those frequencies that provide the pump diagnostician with insight as to a pumps “health.”

Because there is more than one type of movement happening when a pump is in operation, many different frequencies of movement take place during a given measurement period. Upon demand, PumpTrac takes a “snapshot” of a specified period and captures a Time Record Waveform. Coupled with a detailed knowledge of pump design and IDPs empirical database, a pump engineer can use the information to isolate the root causes of vibration, including imbalance, pressure pulsation, blade passing frequency, resonance and off-peak operation.

The program has eight general-purpose input channels and can accept a variety of signal types in any combination, including: 0-5 vDC; 4-20 mA; 10K ohm thermistor, and normally opened or closed. Three outputs can switch loads of up to 3 amps. In manual mode, outputs are remotely toggled. In automatic mode, each output responds to control setpoints on its corresponding input channel.

A front panel RS-232 port allows any ASCII terminal device to access the system. The port also doubles as a printer port. A datalogger can record 2,000 events, which include a time/date stamp plus the values of all inputs, outputs and alarm flags. All parameters are stored in a non-volatile EEPROM 32K memory.

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