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Condition monitoring for oil transfer pumps: a case study

Read how SAM4 spotted coupling, vane and foundation issues in time to avoid pump failure for this tank storage customer.

Failure mode

A worn jaw coupling spider, stuck vanes and a loose foundation.

How SAM4 helped

SAM4 flagged an increase at multiple harmonics of the pump’s rotational frequency, as well as an increased noise floor. We notified the customer and put the pump on orange alert, for close tracking by our data science team. The customer found three degraded components upon inspection a month later: the spider in the jaw coupling was worn out, the pump’s vanes were stuck, and its foundation had come completely loose, causing the pump to hang against the piping for support. They repaired all three problems and the pump returned to normal operation.

Outcome

“This result is one of a dozen that have helped our engineers trust that when SAM4 says something’s wrong, something really is wrong. We’re starting to move from ‘let’s see if it works’ to actually planning our inspections based on SAM4’s alerts.”

 

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The jaw coupling’s spider (red) was in bad shape.

 

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A heat map showing the pump’s current frequency spectrum over time (from oldest at the top to newest at the bottom). The horizontal axis is frequency, with blue representing low intensity and red representing high intensity. Note how the rise in magnitude at harmonics of the pump’s rotational frequency disappeared after the faulty components were replaced. (The lower but still visible peak at -2x is caused by an unrelated electrical frequency introduced by the VFD or power grid, which does not adversely affect the motor.) The noise floor—the intensity between the harmonics—also decreased after the repairs.

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