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Condition monitoring helps prevent unplanned downtime

23 July 2019

A drinking water treatment company in Asia is preventing unplanned downtime of critical equipment across its pumping stations following the successful installation of a condition monitoring solution from Schaeffler.

The customer operates a drinking water treatment facility where each day, 200 million litres of water can be treated, filtered, chlorinated and – after a recent site expansion – ozonised and biologically activated. As the operator is responsible for ensuring a reliable supply of high quality drinking water for the region, protecting the relevant facilities against failure is a key priority.

The customer was looking for an intelligent condition monitoring (CM) system to reliably prevent failures in its pumping stations. After expanding its facilities by installing the latest technologies and processes for water treatment, the company wanted to implement a high performance, fully integrated CM system solution.

The Schaeffler solution comprises a custom designed CM system based on SmartCheck sensors. In total, 84 SmartChecks are fully integrated into the customer’s infrastructure via a PLC (programmable logic controller), which monitor the critical items of equipment across 15 pumping stations. Equipment monitored includes bearings on pumps and motors, as well as pump vanes/impellers. The SmartChecks monitor vibration, temperature and speed, as well as shaft alignment and balancing.

The data can be viewed individually at each pumping station or centrally in the control room. The system also allows the implementation of automated routines such as the triggering of alarms and the emergency shut-off of equipment.

Customer Benefits

With the help of the CM system that is fully integrated via the PLC, the customer can almost completely prevent unplanned system downtime, ensuring that high quality drinking water can be supplied to the region at all times. In addition, damage to equipment can result in high costs amounting to several thousand euros. This risk has also been practically eliminated.

The customer-specific implemented CM solution provides very detailed information about vibration, temperature and other parameters for each item of equipment, which can be visualised in a complete, easy-to-understand way in the customer’s system. The high level of detail provides the perfect basis for ensuring operational reliability and predictive maintenance. This means the user does not require special knowledge of vibration diagnosis on-site.

The combination of high precision condition monitoring and simple handling totally convinced the customer in practice, who is now planning to implement similar solutions in other applications at various locations.