Schaeffler CM solution helps prevent unplanned downtime


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 200,000,000 ℓ of water can be treated, filtered, chlorinated and, after a recent site expansion, ozonised and biologically activated each day. As the operator is responsible for ensuring a reliable supply of high-quality drinking water to the region, protecting the relevant facilities against failure is a key priority.

The customer was looking for an intelligent condition monitoring (CM) system that could 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 have been fully integrated into the customer’s infrastructure via a programmable logic controller (PLC) and 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 for the implementation of automated routines, such as the triggering of alarms and the emergency shut-off of equipment.

With the help of the CM system, which 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 be costly, amounting to several thousand euros. This risk has also been practically eliminated.

The CM solution, which is implemened on a customer-specific basis, 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 that the user does not require special knowledge of vibration diagnosis on site.

The combination of high-precision condition monitoring and simple handling impressed the customer and they are now planning to implement similar solutions in other applications at various locations.