New Remote Diagnostic Performance-Monitoring Technology Optimizes the Preventative-Maintenance Programs for AODD Pumps

For some managers of manufacturing and processing facilities, “run to failure” is their go-to approach for the operation of heavy machinery. They simply plug in a machine, such as a pump, turn it on and let it run until it can’t anymore, then replace it with a new model. However, this mindset is starting to change as it becomes more and more harmful to the processing operation to intentionally allow pumps to fail.

Processing plants are beginning to implement what is known as “preventative maintenance,” which revolves around the creation of a schedule for periodically inspecting industrial equipment. During these regularly scheduled inspections, the operator is looking for any signs that the overall piece of equipment or any of its components are beginning to wear to a point that they may soon fail and cause a breakdown.

The creation and refinement of preventative maintenance routines has been a benefit for plant operators as they have become able to get a better view of how their pumps are operating and take the necessary steps to thwart a pending breakdown. Oddly though, one type of pump technology – air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) – is typically not the subject of a preventative maintenance plan.

Instead, in many instances AODD pumps are allowed to run until failure, with the operator hoping nothing bad happens – product leakage that leads to costly cleanup, safety hazards, and loss of product and, by extension, revenue – before the pump actually stops operating. Or, the plant operator may decide that the AODD pump’s wear components (diaphragms, gaskets, balls, ball seats) will be replaced after a certain period of time – say, 12 months – no matter how they are performing. In this case, the wear components may still have many more months of life in them, so replacing them at this time can result in excessive maintenance costs, downtime and product loss, and an oversupply of parts.

Adding to the challenge for the operator is the fact that there may not be a good, reliable record of the AODD pump’s operational history. This includes how long the pump has been in operation and when maintenance was last performed. The operator may also not have visibility into how the pump has been operating, i.e. whether its performance has been at, above or below expectations. 

That, however, has changed as Wilden® has created a simple diagnostic and monitoring technology for its lines of AODD pumps. Called Wilden SafeGuard, it enables the quick identification of operational inefficiencies within the pump’s performance sooner and more reliably, creating real-time operational transparency and significant cost savings for the operator through continuous 24/7/365 Cloud connectivity.

Image provided by Wilden. Used with permission.Wilden SafeGuard is an all-inclusive pump-monitoring system that tracks, records and alerts customers to key performance indicators of AODD pumps at all times of operation via cellular access. The Wilden SafeGuard system consists of a battery-powered stroke sensor and transmitter (called an Edge device) that is installed on the pump. The sensor collects and analyzes pump performance data in real-time and transmits it to a central gateway for encryption and transmission to the Cloud. Once stored on the Cloud, real-time and historic operational information can be accessed by the user anywhere in the world through a secure smartphone app or an online portal.

The design and operation of the Wilden SafeGuard system allows for complete monitoring and real-time alerts related to a number of critical performance parameters for the pump (diaphragms, balls, seats). These readings can show the user such things as: 

  • Leak detection to indicate diaphragm leaks and failures, preventing product loss and safety hazards 
  • Stroke rates to monitor changes to highlight performance abnormalities 
  • Stroke count for batching and setting maintenance schedules 
  • Real-time alerts via SMS or email to indicate any noteworthy change in operation that may be a precursor to pump or component failure

To learn more about Wilden SafeGuard, click here to download the new white paper.

This content is sponsored by Wilden. Sponsored content is authorized by the client and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Processing editorial team.