Early belt degradation is typically difficult to spot through vibration measurements and manual inspections. But not for SAM4 Health, which helped a water utility spot issues in inlet screws early, saving close to a million in total.
Early belt degradation is typically difficult to spot through vibration measurements and manual inspections, but late-stage detection runs the risk that there may not be enough time to conduct maintenance before the belt ruptures. If that happens at the wrong time, fluid that should be transported away starts to build up and flood the surrounding area. Many water utilities therefore rely on SAM4 Health to detect belt degradation at an early stage. In two particular cases, the system has been installed on a setup of four wastewater inlet screws that lift and filter the flow coming in to a large treatment plant.
The solution: Samotics’ SAM4 Health uncovered beginning belt issues and a sudden change in data in two of the inlet screws
SAM4 Health detected an increase in spectral energy at two belt-related frequencies. The customer sent an engineer to inspect the screw pump and he determined that the belts were incorrectly tensioned. While the engineer was there, he took the opportunity to inspect the complete drivetrain and noticed there were some loose bolts as well as a bearing issue at the inlet of the gearbox. The customer created a planned work order to performed the required maintenance on the belts, clutch and gearbox. After maintenance was performed, SAM4 Health confirmed the screw pump had returned to healthy behavior.
SAM4 Health detected a sudden increase in spectral energy at the motor’s rotational frequency, which is an indicator for mechanical unbalance. We advised the customer to check the motor bearings and belt system. The customer inspected the screw pump and found that the belts were slightly loose. Based on the sudden change in data, it looked like some external event had initially triggered this looseness, after which the belts continued to slowly degrade. The customer scheduled tensioning of the belts at a convenient time. After this maintenance, SAM4 Health confirmed the screw pump had returned to healthy behavior.
The customer had not been aware of any issues with the Archimedes screws and noted that this early warning saved them € 720K in emergency mitigation costs and € 120K in post-failure repairs, for both of the inlet screws. They also valued the ability to plan the required maintenance at a convenient time, when the other inlet screws were able to handle all the incoming flow.