A Centrifugal Pump Manufacturer once admitted that only, ”1 out of the 100 pumps they manufactured lasts 6 months without warranty claims.” This in spite of maintaining the highest level of product quality, reliability, and testing of all pump assemblies prior to shipment.
This comes as no surprise as it is estimated that currently manufacturing and material supply businesses are paying about 3%-7% of their total revenue to fund warranty claims that arise out of abuse or misuse of the product or parts. In addition to claiming revenue, such inauthentic usage also claims labor costs in repairing or replacing such products.
Since most Centrifugal Pump manufacturers have no validated system to detect and prove misuse by the user they spend billions annually paying into warranty frauds. Some of the common problems that most Centrifugal Pump Manufacturers/ Rentals face due to lack of Authentication technologies to prevent warranty Fraud are:
Loss of Brand Value:The stronger the brand’s reputation and/or quality guarantees the higher the risk.
Product Recall/ Removal/ Dumping:Leading to revenue loss.
Time consumption:In auditing each and every warranty claim can lead to frustration and poor service experience for genuine warranty claimants.
Some common claims that arise out of mishandling and are difficult to detect are:
Often in case of submersible pumps or underground pumps users are unable to identify whether the pump is functioning. As a result, users tend to switch it on and off frequently causing voltage fluctuations. Such constant voltage fluctuations lead to quick burnout of motor.
This occurs when pumped chemical attacks the cast iron housing. The cast material is removed from the inside surfaces of the pump resulting in thin spots and leaks. Often the first signs are a typical leak at one of the pipe plugs followed by larger fissures on the pump casing.
These are two common problems of belt driven Centrifugal Pumps for which users tend to claim warranty. These mainly arise out of rough handling and poor maintenance such as lack of greasing of idler arm and not performing periodic alignment.
The pump should always be turned off by moving the lever to the Float position to prevent pressure spikes. When moved to Float, the oil supply valve is shut but the return valve stays open. Failing to do so can cause system pressure spikes which damage the shaft seal and cause leakage. Spikes in the 3000-5000 psi range may result from improperly synchronized hydraulic valves or quick couplers coming unplugged during operation. Since such damage arises out of misuse it is not covered in the warranty. However, it can be difficult for the manufacturer to identify the cause of such damage amounting to warranty fraud.
Occurs when the pump is operated without enough liquid to lubricate and cool the seal faces. These failures can be avoided by mounting the pump low on equipment to ensure a flooded suction, venting trapped air from the pump, and not emptying the spray tanks completely.
All the above problems arise due to mishandling and user ignorance. The manufacturer/ Rental should not have to bear the cost of such neglect. With the help of an IIoT Platform, it is now possible for manufacturers to detect the exact cause of damages.
The Pump can be fitted with specific sensors and chips. For instance, by connecting an energy meter to the power supply manufacturers can detect the voltage fluctuations at any given time. Frequent fluctuations beyond a threshold is an indication of frequent switching on and off. Further pumps can be fitted with chemical sensors, pressure sensors, temperature sensors and more. Data collected from these sensors will reflect how the pump is being used.
The required sensors can be mounted on hardware. Data is recorded and analyzed remotely or by a program to identify faults. Primary receiver nodes (PRNs) can communicate with multiple sensor nodes simultaneously to collect real-time data. In turn, the PRNs connect directly to a database server computer or to a company’s network.
Such a solution can be used to monitor even a very large network with sensors on hundreds of centrifugal pumps. All the data collected by the sensors once received by the network Coordinator is transferred to the gateway from where through GPRS Signals it is then brought to Real Time Information System or RIMS.
RIMS comprises of the server part and the User Interface section.
Server Section: The Router, Knowledge Base, Data Warehouse are all part of the Server section. This is where the data gets processed and sorted.
UI Section: The User Interface section is finally where all stakeholders can access the relevant data over mobile apps, Web app and more.
With the help of this information, Manufacturers can quickly identify the cause of damage and whether it falls under their warranty policies. An IIoT based authentication process is:
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