Service expert Bernhard Salamon from KSB
6 min read

The service detective always helps

Bernhard Salamon packs tools and equipment into a company vehicle.

A helicopter to work

For pump system operators, nothing is more important than the smooth operation of their system. By providing a precise analysis, KSB SupremeServ helps to identify problems and potential for improvement. Bernhard Salamon is one of the service experts who inspects systems on site, even if travelling there may sometimes take a little longer.

 It’s just as well that Bernhard Salamon is not afraid of flying, especially when his job can require him to travel more than 100 kilometres away from the mainland, as was recently the case. The 36-year-old service engineer had to board a helicopter as a passenger to fly to an offshore platform far out in the North Sea. His mission: to analyse the pump system because the cooling water supply had been experiencing failures.

Via the platform, the system operator feeds wind energy into the German power grid. Difficulties with the cooling water were causing the power transmission levels to drop – a real problem. To identify the cause, Salamon spent eight days investigating the system, which in addition to the pumps also includes the piping, valves and control electronics. To make matters even more challenging, the submersible borehole pumps are installed 20 metres below sea level.

Air pockets were the culprit

 The KSB SupremeServ expert conducted extensive measurements and identified the fault. Air pockets in the piping system were determined as the main cause. After the problem had been quickly identified, opening the drain tap provided a short-term remedy.

For a long-term solution, however, Salamon had to develop suitable proposals. He recommended modifying the piping and installing an individual monitoring unit – tailor-made by KSB engineers for this special application case. The customer was delighted and so was the service engineer.

“That was a particularly unusual mission,” says Bernhard Salamon. Normally, the family man’s daily work is rather less spectacular, although his task is still the same. “My colleagues at KSB SupremeServ and I analyse the ways in which systems can be potentially optimised in detail.” More specifically, that means reducing the consumption of energy in systems or identifying and eliminating the causes of damage.

To achieve the best possible energy efficiency and trouble-free operation, the system operator needs to ensure that all the components are perfectly matched. This is where KSB can help. Sometimes an analysis is only necessary if a system’s operating data changes, for example due to increased production output. System Efficiency Service, as the analysis is called, provides specific recommendations for modifying the equipment.

Bernhard Salamon schließt ein Messgerät an eine Pumpe an.
Bernhard Salamon during a team meeting

Data logger helps with detective work

 The service specialists travel to customers all over the world, often working on assignments in power plants, industrial and chemical plants, pumping stations and waterworks. Every job always begins with a thorough system analysis. “To obtain the necessary data, we install our measuring equipment in our customers’ systems,” Salamon explains.

A data logger then measures a range of data for up to two weeks. “By visiting the customer on location, we are able to familiarise ourselves with the site conditions in which the system is installed, which is helpful later on when we are devising solutions.” The service professionals also talk with their customers in depth to find out everything they need to know about the operating conditions.

After the measurement equipment has been dismantled, the collected data is then evaluated, which sometimes involves real detective work. “I have to get into details and understand what’s happening in the system and – if necessary – why something is going wrong,” Salamon says. Besides his many years of service experience, Salamon has the advantage of being able to draw on his broad knowledge of numerous products and applications. This is helpful because every system has different paramaters such as temperatures and pressures.

Salamon is not a solo operator, however. Once he has evaluated the complex data, he discusses it with numerous colleagues to find the best solution for the customer’s system. Employees from Sales, Product Management and Service share their expertise with each other. This expertise then flows into the report that the customer receives. 

New challenges with every assignment

During his presentation, the service expert provides specific recommendations to maximise energy efficiency and ensure that pumps and systems run economically. His recommendations usually relate to the system infrastructure, which can be significantly improved through modifications. For example, by installing new components for controlling and monitoring the equipment.

The members of the System Efficiency Service team are talented all-rounders. In addition to measuring and evaluating data, they also prepare quotations and present their services in person when visiting customers or at events – always in coordination with field sales colleagues. Preparing for an assignment also takes time, including setting up the measuring equipment, packing the service vehicle and familiarising themselves with the operating data and field of application. Only then do they go to see the customer on site.

“I enjoy tackling a problem, solving it and making the customer happy,” Salamon says. Especially when it comes to acute system problems, system operators are always pleased to receive help quickly. “I have one of the most diverse roles at KSB,” says the service specialist. “Every assignment involves new challenges for which I have to find individual solutions.” Just the job for a service detective.

Bernhard Salamon in conversation with a customer