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The KSB Guard monitoring service shows you all your data, on screen at any time
10 min read

Keeping an eye on crucial data: Smart monitoring offers many benefits.

In many cases, energy monitoring provides the drive behind saving energy. When this is combined with intelligence, high savings potentials can be realised. However, Intelligent monitoring solutions offer even more: comprehensive transparency, better operating reliability, greater availability and optimised maintenance, for example.

In many cases, energy monitoring provides the drive behind saving energy. When this is combined with intelligence, high savings potentials can be realised. However, Intelligent monitoring solutions offer even more: comprehensive transparency, better operating reliability, greater availability and optimised maintenance, for example.

Monitoring solutions are unquestionably an important tool paving the way toward a digitalised system, optimised maintenance and energy-efficient processes. To this end, basic data such as vibrations, temperatures, operating hours and information on the operating point are key to success. These data first must be available, as well as correctly analysed and interpreted. The overriding objectives are clear: Identify incorrectly operated components and predict signs of wear and damage to avoid cost-intensive downtime and reduce energy costs. In this context, the question remains as to how digital solutions can facilitate analysis and interpretation, and how data can be optimally used.

Converting data into information

The magic word here is anomaly detection. The objective is to be able to make forecasts (predictions) about anomalies based on current operating parameters, allowing precautions to be taken before an unscheduled downtime occurs. This method is also known as predictive maintenance. Existing machine data are then linked and evaluated using statistical models and intelligent algorithms. So how do operators realise intelligent and solid predictive maintenance at the same time? Reliable, centrally collected digital status data on the machinery in operation are first required. Once these data have been obtained, they are evaluated and visualised – ideally in automated fashion.

After the evaluation has been made, key information can be derived. Trends can already be recognised based on vibration patterns which can, in turn, point to a potential problem with a pump even before actual damage occurs. Gradually elevated vibrations over the course of a few weeks or months indicate that there is a technical problem with a pump. This is of course not noticeable to the observer because the pump is running “well”. Suboptimal pump operation cannot be hidden from an intelligent algorithm, however. This basic example alone makes it clear that digitalisation brings about sizeable benefits and, thus, also optimises or can even transform maintenance management. Operators can now benefit from transparency, operating reliability and availability. What is the first step, however?

Easy entry

Studies conducted by the VDMA (German Mechanical and Plant Engineering Industry Association) have shown that 70 % of unscheduled system downtimes can be detected in advance and ultimately avoided by leveraging monitoring solutions. KSB as well offers operators just such a smart solution with KSB Guard. This solution is not simply a piece of hardware that you affix to equipment but is much more: KSB Guard is a digital all-round service that allows operators to optimise their maintenance management as well as receive targeted support from experienced experts. Getting started with intelligent predictive monitoring of pumps is actually quite easy. The user or KSB simply affixes a sensor unit to the pump or other rotating equipment. The sensor unit then records vibrations and temperatures and sends them to the KSB Cloud. The data collected are then analysed using patented algorithms and subsequently visualised on the web portal or in the app.

These interfaces provide the user with an overview of his or her pumps on a clearly laid out dashboard available at any time from anywhere. The user also receives a great deal of ancillary information on temperatures, vibrations, operating hours and load conditions/profiles. Documentation on the pumps can also be viewed, and a history of all maintenance activities can be configured. This, then, establishes a comprehensive history file for the pump. Anyone who needs a reminder for bearing replacement or lubrication can also define this accordingly.

Should a deviation from normal operation be detected, the operator will be provided with a corresponding notification in the form of a warning or alert. Even the notifications themselves are now intelligent, i.e. the KSB Guard algorithm sets dynamic limits based on the individual pump’s vibration behaviour and output. While the static limit values of a DIN standard were used previously, now the limits are carefully balanced in line with the algorithm.

The data path: from the pump to the KSB Guard web portal or app via the cloud

The data path: from the sensor module (the black box attached to the pump) via the cloud to the KSB Guard web portal or, as shown here, the KSB Guard app

A digital service

The combination of sensors, smart algorithms that analyse data and visualise them on a web portal or in the app and KSB’s expert knowledge make it possible to detect signs of wear at an earlier point, for example, or avoid possible consequential damage as a result of maintenance measures that have not been performed. Unscheduled system downtime can thus be avoided. Maintenance work can also be better prepared as maintenance schedules can be created for each machine. This also makes it possible to do a more efficient job of spare parts stocking. All of this translates to better operating reliability and greater availability as well as considerable cost savings.

Adding to this is the KSB Guard Monitoring Centre with its experienced and certified vibration experts who additionally monitor and analyse the data stream at in-depth levels for the user. The team identifies changing trends in the measurement data at an early stage, examines them in detail if so required and recommends repair and maintenance measures. This is not always about damage that may or may not have occurred, but also efficient pump operation.

Experience has shown that 20 % of the pumps fitted with KSB Guard have been checked or repaired as required based on these measurement data. And those who maintain that their pump is running smoothly should keep in mind that as many as five percent of the pumps featuring KSB Guard revealed anomalies from the very first measurement. 

It is also worth mentioning that particular focus was likewise placed on IT security as the KSB Guard solution was under development. Since KSB Guard operates completely autonomously and independently of the customer’s actual network, an intrusion into the customer’s network is impossible. KSB is also careful to ensure maximum security in the handling of the data themselves: Sensor data are sent to the KSB Guard Gateway via the MQTT-SN application protocol, initially over a secure radio channel. From here, the data are encrypted with TLS 1.2 and forwarded to the KSB Cloud via the mobile network.

Connecting data silos quickly

Should an evaluation or visualisation tool already be installed on a customer network, the monitoring solution allows the user to synchronise KSB Guard data with these systems using a standardised REST API data interface. Via the KSB Guard data interface, you can conveniently integrate all information generated by the monitoring solution into your company’s existing solutions, independently of the KSB Guard app or web portal. This, in turn, makes it possible to use and manage data centrally as well as combine them with other data.

Minimising the carbon footprint

KSB Guard not only facilitates maintenance management but also provides information on energy efficiency. After all, 75 % of all pumps are still not run at their optimum operating point. Pumps therefore consume much more energy than necessary. This not only leads to very high costs, which will continue to increase in the years to come, but also directly conflicts with the defined EU target of becoming climate neutral by the year 2050. It is in this context that KSB Guard also helps identify the energy guzzlers among fixed-speed pumps in a system as valuable information on potentials for optimisation is provided.

This, in turn, is based on the patented algorithm for determining the operating point. The load profile identifies the load range in which the pump is currently being run: part load, optimum, or overload – or whether the pump is currently out of operation. This helps to detect inefficiencies and, consequently, identify potential energy or CO2 savings.

By the way, KSB is also helping to minimise the carbon footprint. As of 2022, KSB has been actively offsetting emissions attributed to the production, use and waste disposal of KSB Guard. Another major step towards sustainable system operation!

Suitable products

KSB Guard

KSB Guard

The smart and comprehensive monitoring service for pumps and other rotating machinery, available 24/7 and also for non-KSB pumps. Benefit from predictive maintenance with KSB: comprehensive transparency, increased availability, enhanced operating reliability and efficient operation (of fixed-speed pumps). Important operating data such as vibrations, temperature, operating hours and load condition (of fixed-speed pumps) can be accessed via KSB Guard, anytime and from anywhere. In addition, deviations from normal operation trigger immediate notifications via the KSB Guard web portal and/or app. The experts at the KSB Monitoring Centre also provide support in analysing causes.

Related services

Pump monitoring (KSB-Guard)

Pump Monitoring from Specialists

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