Remote Pump Monitoring System

Problem Statement

The client is a US-based Pump Manufacturing company. “80% of their pumps were coming back with warranty claims within a year of sale”. This in spite of the highest level of product quality, reliability, and testing of all pump assemblies prior to shipment.

Since Client did not have a validation system to detect and prove misuse of remote equipment by the user they were spending billions annually as Support Cost.

Problem faced by client due to lack of Authentication technologies to prevent warranty Fraud are:


revenue loss
Revenue Loss:

Without visibility into how the damage happened company was paying out of revenue for almost all warranty claims.

loss of brand value
Loss of Brand Value:

Since brand had a strong reputation and high-quality guarantees they were at higher risk.

product recall
Product Recall/ Removal/ Dumping:

In many cases, the extent of damage demanded product recall and replacement.

time consumption
Time consumption:

Time-consuming physical auditing of every warranty claim led to frustration and poor service experience for genuine warranty claimants.

Some of the common warranty claims due to mishandling

Motor Burning due to Voltage Fluctuations:

Often in case of submersible pumps or underground pumps users were unable to identify whether the pump is functioning. As a result, users tend to switch it on and off frequently causing voltage fluctuations. Such constant voltage fluctuations led to quick burnout of motor.

Casting Erosion:

This occurs when pumped chemical attacks the cast iron housing. The cast material is removed from the inside surfaces of the pump resulting in thin spots and leaks. Often the first signs are a typical leak at one of the pipe plugs followed by larger fissures on the pump casing.

Pulley Misalignment and Slippage of Belt:

These are two common problems of belt driven Centrifugal Pumps for which users tend to claim warranty. These mainly arise out of rough handling and poor maintenance such as lack of greasing of idler arm and not performing periodic alignment.

Pressure Spikes:

The pump should always be turned off by moving the lever to the Float position to prevent pressure spikes. When moved to Float, the oil supply valve is shut but the return valve stays open. Failing to do so can cause system pressure spikes which damage the shaft seal and cause leakage. Spikes in the 3000-5000 psi range may result from improperly synchronized hydraulic valves or quick couplers coming unplugged during operation.

Run Dry Seal Failure:

Occurs when the pump is operated without enough liquid to lubricate and cool the seal faces. These failures can be avoided by mounting the pump low on equipment. This will cause a flooded suction, venting trapped air from the pump, and not emptying the spray tanks completely.

All the above problems arise due to mishandling and user ignorance. The manufacturer/ Rental should not have had to bear the cost of such neglect. However, without an authentic validation system, it was against business ethics to deny warranty coverage to pump users

Solution

To ensure that the Pump Manufacturer only paid for genuine warranty claims which were covered under the Warranty Contract we developed an IoT remote Monitoring System. Every device was fitted with an IoT unit comprising of sensors and energy meter to detect voltage fluctuations. Frequent fluctuations beyond a threshold is an indication of frequent switching on and off. Further pumps can be fitted with chemical sensors, pressure sensors, temperature sensors and more. Data collected from these sensors reflect how the pump is being used. This monitoring solution enables temperature monitoring, Energy consumption, flow rate and more through remote monitoring.

iiot software

Technology Solution

  1. Sensors are integrated into the pumps for data logging.

  2. Sensors transmit collected data to the Gateway/Network Coordinator through Bluetooth/ Wired or cellular network connection depending on the location of the pump.

  3. The Gateway/Network Coordinator connects to the internet through GSM Network or cellular connectivity. It relays the collected data to the internet.

  4. Now the data gets routed to the server through a router where information is processed by a Remote Information Management System.

  5. Through Real Time analytics and Predictive algorithms, information is then presented on the web interface in remote locations through alarm notifications.

The Remote Pump Monitoring System consists broadly of two parts which can record the following data:


  1. Logging
  • Pump current
  • Temp
  • Run. time
  • Number of starts
  1. Admin. info
  • Pump id
  • Service report
  • Customer data
  • Rental data

Benefits of Pump Monitoring System

The benefits of this IoT enabled remote pump monitoring system are as follows:

  1. It can be integrated inside a pump that will make it easy to keep track of individual pump performance & health.

  2. Reduce the number of major breakdowns (motor failure). Today 80% of rental pumps in mining come back with motor failures (XAUS).

  3. Reduce risk of interruptions in the mining/industrial process due to pump failure.

  4. Will provide operational data to enable charging the client for rental of pumps based on actual running hours.

  5. Will enable us to use pump memory data as a basis for negotiation about service contracts and warranty claims.

  6. Pump current variation reading.

  7. Number of starts.

  8. Running Time.

  9. Temperature in the Junction Box.