Book Review

Predictive Maintenance of Pumps using Condition Monitoring
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Predictive Maintenance of Pumps using Condition Monitoring

By: Ray Beebe


Hardcover : 192 pages
Published by: Elsevier Science
Publication Date: (1st edition) - April 2004
Dimensions (in inches): 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.6
ISBN: 1856174085


  • Chapter 1 - Condition Monitoring and its Part in Maintenance
  • Chapter 2 - Pump Performance and the Effect of Wear
  • Chapter 3 - Performance Analysis and Testing of Pumps for Condition Monitoring
  • Chapter 4 - Performance Analysis and its Application to Optimise Time for Overhaul
  • Chapter 5 - Other Methods of Performance Analysis for Pump Condition Monitoring
  • Chapter 6 - Vibration Analysis of Pumps - Basic
  • Chapter 7 - Vibration Analysis of Pumps - Advanced Methods
  • Chapter 8 - Other Uses of Condition Monitoring Information
  • Chapter 9 - Other Condition Monitoring Methods
  • Chapter 10 - Positive Displacement Pumps
  • Chapter 11 - Case Studies in Condition Monitoring of Pumps

Our Review

This compact book is densely packed with valuable information for those wishing to establish a Condition and Performance Monitoring program for pumps. Ray Beebe is the coordinator of Postgraduate programs in Maintenance and Reliability Engineering at Australia's Monash University - but he has a background in the Power Generation industry before his entry into academia, and the results of this combination are on show in this book. Although well-researched and referenced, the book has an overwhelmingly practical flavour to it, and would be an ideal reference for any pump specialist, or any reliability engineer who is responsible for monitoring and maintaining pumps in their workplace.

The first chapter offers an overview of the role of Condition Monitoring throughout the pump life cycle. It describes the various stages of the bathtup curve, defines Condition Monitoring and outlines various techniques that are available for Condition Monitoring.

Chapter 2 introduces some key pump performance concepts, including a very brief outline of the Head-Flow curve, and the concept of the Best Efficiency Point. It should be pointed out that this book is not a primer for those not familiar with pumps - a certain level of knowledge regarding pump types, configuration and design is required before reading this book. However the book does contain references to other papers and books that can help "fill in the gaps". This chapter also discusses the different types of wear that can occur within pumps - impeller wear, internal wear, and so forth. It is often easy to overlook the fact that it is not just the impeller vanes that can wear, causing deterioration in pump performance, and this point is well made in this chapter.

An excellent discussion of the key concepts and considerations required when considering establishing a Pump Performance monitoring program is contained in Chapter 3. Once again, intensely practical in nature, this chapter discusses the impact of temperature on pump performance, and how to measure temperature. Similarly, the practical difficulties in accurately measuring pressures, flows, speeds and power for various pump types and configurations are described, and solutions recommended, based on practical experience. Many will find this chapter to be worth the purchase price of the book on its own. Case studies round out the chapter to illustrate the points made earlier.

Chapter 4 discusses two alternative methods for analysing pump performance - calculating the Head-Flow at the duty point, and the Shut-Off Head method. Once again, this chapter is full of practical advice, and provides a worked example for using this information to determine the optimal time at which the pump should be overhauled.

Other methods for pump performance monitoring are discussed in Chapter 5. These range from simple parameters (such as monitoring pump running hours, where pumps automatically cut in and out on demand) to an extensive discussion of measuring balance leak-off flow in multistage pumps. The possibility of measuring temperature differences across the pump in order to determine pump efficiency is also discussed, as is use of the Head-Power curve.

An outline of the basics of Vibration Analysis is contained in Chapter 6. Of particular value in this chapter is an excellent summary of the various official, and not-so-official standards that exist for determining acceptable levels of vibration. The standards discussed include ISO 101816 and ISO 3945 standards, API 610, Europump and Hydraulics Institute, and the Canadian Government. Of particular note is the reference to Ray Buscarello's often overlooked article in Reliability Magazine in 1999, which related the overall vibration level of pumps to the direct costs of pump maintenance. In this article, he demonstrated, for a large pump and paper mill, that there was a strong correlation between these two parameters - an increase in overall vibration leads to a significant increase in annual maintenance costs. He suggested that plant owners should do their own analysis to determine the correlation within their own plants - sound advice indeed.

Chapter 7 considers Vibration Analysis, and particularly as it relates to pumps, in more detail. While this is not intended to be a fully-fledged reference book for Vibration Analysis, this chapter covers all of the aspects that an experienced vibration analyst would need to consider when monitoring pumps. It also would be a valuable reference for Reliability Engineers who are involved in pump condition monitoring. The key failure modes that can be detected using vibration analysis are covered in this chapter, and the book outlines how these failure modes may be diagnosed. This chapter also contains an excellent table, based on the results of work by Berry, that outlines the recommended monitoring frequency bands and vibration velocity alarm levels for pumps.

Other uses for pump condition and performance monitoring data are discussed in Chapter 8. In particular, the use of pump condition and performance monitoring data to optimise pump efficiency is discussed in detail. Worked examples are given that illustrate how to use data collected to determine the optimum impeller size. Various authorities have estimated that pumps may operate at as low as 40% efficiency, and that as mush as 20% efficiency gains may be obtained. With the current drive to reduce energy usage, and reduce greenhouse emissions, there is much food for thought for reliability engineers and plant managers in this chapter.

Chapter 9 covers other Condition Monitoring methods. Amongst those discussed are NDT methods (Thermography and Ultrasonic Thickness testing), Visual Inspections and Lubrication wear analysis. With the exception of wear debris analysis, the coverage of these techniques is fairly limited - perhaps an opportunity for expansion in a future issue of the book.

The specifics of condition monitoring for positive displacement pumps are covered in Chapter 10. The different types of positive displacement pumps are mentioned (vane pumps, piston pumps etc.), as well as their typical operating performance characteristics. Vibration Analysis and Perfomance Analysis considerations are also briefly covered in this chapter.

Finally, Chapter 11 contains many, brief, case studies and war stories related to pump condition monitoring, and according to the author have been included "with the aim of inspiring pump condition monitoring practitioners". It succeeds in not only achieving this aim, but also in providing additional information to guide these practitioners to successful pump condition monitoring diagnoses.

This book does an excellent job of covering Pump Condition Monitoring. A worthy winner of Engineers Australia's Book of the Year award, it is a "must have" reference guide for all pump specialists and Reliability Engineers who deal with pumps.

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