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Electronic ear listens for pump leaks

01 February, 2005

Electronic ear listens for pump leaks

Siemens has developed a system which, it claims, can detect the smallest leaks from oscillating positive-displacement pumps. An acoustic sensor mounted on the pump listens for cavitation noise generated at the leakage point, and the signals are analysed continuously by a diagnostic device located up to 20m away.

According to Siemens, leakage losses as low as 2% can be detected and displayed locally or transmitted to a control room via Profibus.

Such leakages represent a significant loss in efficiency in the pump and can lead to costly downtime. Siemens says that previous techniques for sensing leaks have been costly and unreliable. For critical pumps, this has meant that experienced personnel have had to visit the pumps regularly to listen for any potential problems.

The IP65-rated Sitrans D400 system is expected to be used on pumps in sectors such as mining, petrochemicals and sewage treatment.

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