Corn Processor Employs Predictive Condition Monitoring
Canadian corn processor Casco Inc. employed ProSmart, a technology for maintaining uptime on rotating equipment from ITT Industries, White Plains, N.Y., to improve the predictive monitoring of the pumps used in its operation.
Casco's primary product is high fructose corn syrup, which is used as a sweetener in consumer food products such as dairy, carbonated beverages, breads, cakes and low-calorie products. Other Casco syrups are used in brewing beer and providing functionality to candy and ice cream. The company also provides dextrose products used by the pharmaceutical industry as well as starches for industrial applications such as adhesives, papermaking, plastics, water filtration and oil and gas drilling. Three manufacturing plants in Ontario run year-round.
With a predictive condition monitoring (PCM) system, a problem such as a worn bearing can be picked up by vibration and temperature sensors to avoid a system shutdown. The repairs can be scheduled at a convenient time to minimize downtime and lost production.
ProSmart continuously monitors, analyzes (to pre-selected parameters) and triggers an alarm when critical criteria are not met. It identifies and diagnoses equipment problems before they have a chance to manifest into unexpected downtime or failure. The system is powered by locally available power or self-powered. It continually monitors for changes in bearing vibration, temperature, speed, cavitation, etc. The monitored information is fed via wireless transmitter through a protected wide area network to the system's central computing server, where the data is analyzed and compared to the diagnostic-rules-based program for the particular piece of equipment. Failures can be predicted based on the analyzed information.
Alerts are sent when problems are detected and preset parameters are exceeded. The conditions can include high vibration, high temperature, high/low oil level, seal leakage or seal flush stoppage. Problems might include abnormal flow (high, low or shut-off). Bearing distress is detected by the rates of change in vibration and temperature levels.
Casco is presently using the predictive monitoring system in three different areas of the plant. Jeff Benson, maintenance coordinator at Casco notes that, “Results to date have been excellent. The fact that we can go online at any time to check readings is a real plus. And, it has delivered peace of mind to both our maintenance and operations people.”
For more information, visit www.gouldspumps.com.