Industrial Maintenance

A good understanding of Pump Cavitation in a Gas distribution System following collaboration with an OEM Partner

Wi-care wireless vibration and temperature condition monitoring system


There are many advantages wireless vibration has when we compare hard-wired and wireless online vibration systems. Some of them are obvious, such as reduced installation, travel and measurement costs but some others are not so obvious. Current studies demonstrate that the safety and reliability of vibration data transmission is higher using a wireless system compared to a classic one. Another advantage of an online wireless vibration system is safety during data collection. All these facets and characteristics of a wireless vibration monitoring system make it easier to install, and offer the facility of instantaneous online trouble shooting.

The following case study describes and explains a specific troubleshooting exercise on pump cavitation. The detection, surveillance and deep understanding of cavitation parameters were set up in collaboration with the pump OEM in a very effective way for the Customer, OEM and the Wi-care analyst:

For the Customer: Easy detection, fast diagnosis and monitoring of the defect until planned shutdown with low upfront investment and lower costs than manual/traditional monitoring.

For the OEM: High Performance troubleshooting system, easy to install at low cost collecting data over a long period of time taking into consideration various production parameters. No need for an after sales team to attend on site.

For the analyst: Early detection, instant trend data and 24/7 protection, higher confidence in action delay without any travel or measurement time spent

Equipment, plant overview, Context

The Gas Storage and Distribution plant is located in Western Europe. The Machine Train in question is a single stage pump with a double suction. Pump operating in a distribution network. There are others pumps with various flow/pressure parameters also connected to this network. The suspect pump exhibits cavitation issues in some production configurations. The Pump OEM agrees to collaborate with I-CARE and install Wi-Care vibration and temperature wireless condition monitoring equipment to record and trend the evolution of this pump cavitation in a standard production regime.


Analyst diagnosis and spectrum: A better understanding of Cavitation

The Wi-care system is set up with one sensor on the electrical drive, and two sensors on the pump bearings.

Outlined below is the standard spectrum collected with the Wi-care wireless monitoring system at one of the pump bearings. Display is in acceleration units G PK. The spectrum demonstrates high level of random noise with dominant frequency and harmonics at vane pass frequency.

Wi-care data from 05 June 2014.


Seen below is the data trend table grouping data from the bearing measurement point over the last measurement sample.


Analyst observations on Wi-care spectrum trending

Trend data indicate a high level of cavitation throughout the same production parameters. However, increased levels of cavitation are identified on this pump when different pumping configurations are used. The analysis of vibration trend data and the comparasion of spectrum over time allows us to easily identify the precise critical configuration causing the excessive cavitation issue. Collaboration with the OEM contribute to many improvements in the pumping configuration. Wi-Care measurement allows the OEM technical team to check continously, (and remotely) the benefit of every configuration change in order to validate it.


ROI and time frame

Impellor delivery delay 240 hours
Impellor replacement delay 16 hours
Impellor replacement cost 3000 €
Production loss >30 000 €
Defect previous occurrence 1,5 times/year
Wi-care system +install+ close monitoring + expertise diagnosis + reporting < 10 k€

Wi-care product and remote diagnosis overview

What it is?

The Wi-careTM system is the latest wireless condition monitoring system from I-Care. The system has been designed to detect, measure and analyse the root causes of excessive levels of vibration and temperature. The Wi-care system is a cost-effective tool used to report any vibration or temperature deviation in a short time. The I-CARE team of engineers using the data from Wi-care are able to give you a condition monitoring remote diagnosis at any time 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The condition based maintenance partnership has been created to give you the chance to correct a potential problem before it occurs.

The solution developed in the Wi-care system is based on a receiver connected on the internet and able to manage up to 144 transmitters, each transmitter sending vibration and temperature data. In order to reach long distance data transfer and remote locations, the WI- care involves a range extender in its network. Using a web-based portal to manage the system avoids any extra cost and any difficulties linked to software. We all know how
frustrating it is when you are waiting for your data analysis and you can’t take any quick condition based maintenance decision due to software issues.


Added value?

Online monitoring based on permanent wired sensors can be expensive applications. Monitoring with vibration sensors improves the reliability of difficult-to-monitor assets with a quick and cost effective installation. Wireless vibration monitoring lends added value with a more flexible system, cutting expense and labour costs on installation and maintenance of the old wired vibration and temperature sensors. You attach the sensors using extra-strong magnets where you need them and in minutes they create a large network of real time data transmission to the gateway data manger in tandem with the range extenders. The solution created by Wi-care is very flexible and cost effective because it allows the reuse of existing piezoelectric vibration sensors and turns them into wireless vibration sensors with the single action of plugging the sensor into the wireless transmitter.

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