A pump is a machine or device for raising or transferring fluids. All pumps do basically the same thing, the pump best suited for your needs depends on how far, how fast, and how much fluid needs to be transferred. Pumps are very critical to a facility as a whole and unwanted downtime can cause production to cease. There are many manufacturers of pumps such as Goulds, Sulzer, and Sundyne to name a few. Monitoring a pump with a handheld vibration data collector, VIBXPERT® or VIBSCANNER®, or using an online condition monitoring system, VIBNODE® or VIBROWEB® enables a facility to save money and unplanned downtime. Many different mechanical issues can occur on a pump that can lead to failure. The machine data is stored in the OMNITREND® software which provides additional capabilities for programming, trending, evaluation, and archiving of the machinery condition. Vibration monitoring allows for many things to be recorded such as:

  • Looseness
  • Misalignment
  • Bearing Defects
  • Imbalance
  • Pump Cavitation
  • Temperature
  • Flow
  • Pressure

One of the most important things to remember about a pump is the size needed for the application. Too many facilities have either oversized or undersized pumps. Not having the proper size pump in place can cause the pump to either run above or below its ideal pumping curve. The pump characteristic is normally described graphically by the manufacturer as a pump performance curve. The pump curve describes the relation between flow rate and head. A pump running off its intended curve can cause damage and result in poor performance.

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by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL