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Remote Monitoring of Rotating

Equipment Using Cloud

January 2011

Remote Monitoring of Rotating Equipment Using Cloud | January 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract ............................................................................................. 3
Abbreviations .................................................................................... 4
Market Trends/Challenges ................................................................ 5
Solution ............................................................................................. 6
Conclusion....................................................................................... 11
Reference ........................................................................................ 12
Author Info ....................................................................................... 12

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Remote Monitoring of Rotating Equipment Using Cloud | January 2011

Abstract
Heavy rotating equipment like compressors, turbines and pumps are
more susceptible to mechanical failure than non-rotating equipment.
Periodic health monitoring of rotating equipment is necessary to
ensure productivity and to extend longevity. Remote health
monitoring of rotating equipment by harnessing cloud computing
can appreciably reduce the cost. In fact, it offers a dual benefit
remote monitoring compared to monitoring by qualified staff onpremise, and second, use of the cloud to reduce IT overhead. This
article describes the benefits to end users of using cloud for remote
monitoring of their assets.

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Remote Monitoring of Rotating Equipment Using Cloud | January 2011

Abbreviations

Sl. No.
1

Acronyms

Full form

OEM

Original Equipment Manufacturer

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Remote Monitoring of Rotating Equipment Using Cloud | January 2011

Market Trends/Challenges

Periodic onsite maintenance is


expensive,
and
remote
monitoring will go a long way
toward reducing the cost of
maintenance

In the process industry, most critical rotating equipment like turbines


and compressors are maintained by dedicated systems and by onpremise specialists. In a few safety-critical cases, the systems are
made hardware redundant. The health monitoring equipment, too,
requires periodic maintenance and software/hardware upgrades.
This makes health monitoring of rotating equipment a costly
proposition for end users. Only critical equipment is condition
monitored (another term for health monitoring), and by and large,
other equipment that is not monitored is a frequent source of
production loss.
Many end users, ranging from chemical process plant managers to
residential houses, have rotating equipment operating without a
health monitoring system in place. They rely on their technicians to
perform periodic manual offline maintenance checks to improve
reliability. If periodic comprehensive maintenance checks are not
performed, the equipment can continue to operate with defects,
leading to a potential breakdown. Many times the problems are fixed
without determining the underlying cause, resulting in the problem
resurfacing within a short time after the repair.
Remote asset management of rotating equipment with expert
technical advice, at nominal rates, will ensure that all equipment
performs as expected.

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Remote Monitoring of Rotating Equipment Using Cloud | January 2011

Solution
1.
Unbalance,
misalignment,
looseness and rotor rub are a
few of the reasons for rotating
equipment failure that can be
detected
by
condition
monitoring

Dynamics of Rotating Equipment


Generally, rotating equipment operates from 1,000 to 10,000
rpm, and is subject to centrifugal and centripetal forces. In
many cases, they handle fluids (gases or liquids) at high
pressure and temperature. As they are highly stressed, the
chances of breakdown are also high. Some of reasons for
equipment breakdown are:
o

Unbalance - Unbalance occurs when the center-ofgravity of a rotating object is not aligned with its centerof rotation.

Misalignment a condition where the centerlines of


coupled shafts do not coincide.

Looseness Looseness between a machine and its


foundation

Rotor rub - Rotor rub is a slight rubbing condition as


the rotor is initially operated. If left undiagnosed, they
will wear away the internal clearances until the
machine cannot be operated.

High temperature leading to overheating

It is important to monitor the health of rotating equipment


periodically to prevent breakdown.

2.

Condition Monitoring and Asset Management


Condition monitoring of rotating equipment is used to prevent
failures, as mentioned above, from occurring. It monitors
parameters such as vibration, current and temperature to
identify potential issues, and quite often can predict the
problems in advance, allowing preventive maintenance to be
performed.
Asset management includes condition monitoring as one of its
major modules. Asset management includes a database of
equipment specifications, maintenance history, the dates and
description of maintenance, a schedule for the next
maintenance due, and the ability to raise alerts about the next
maintenance due. In some cases, the asset management
application can generate work orders to release the equipment
for maintenance.

3.

Remote Monitoring
Remote operation monitoring of rotating equipment is fast, and
gaining acceptance worldwide. In remote monitoring, the

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Remote Monitoring of Rotating Equipment Using Cloud | January 2011

sensed data like vibration, temperature, power consumed, the


number of starts/stops, and the duration of stops are
transmitted to a central server. The data from sensors on the
equipment is sent via wired or wireless mode to the server.
There might be an intermediate server to acquire data from
multiple pieces of equipment using varied protocols such as
Modbus, Fieldbus, Profibus, and then provide another interface
like OPC to transfer that data to the processing server.
Data
from
rotating
equipment is sent in wired
or wireless mode to data
servers

The figure below gives a schematic representation of an entire


setup data collection from pumps to server and then on to
users. The CIU cards are modules to transmit data from
pump to servers in wireless/wired mode.

Cloud Infrastructure

Internet

Firewall

WebServer
ModBusTCP
over GPRS

Alternate
Communication path

GPRS
CIU 271

GPRS
CIU 250

Bacnet
CIU 300

Modbus
CIU 200

Profibus
CIU 150

The software on the server processes the data and presents it


in a consumable format (reports, graphs, alarms, etc.) to
equipment operators. It is normal to have web interfaces to

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Remote Monitoring of Rotating Equipment Using Cloud | January 2011

enable remote monitoring. SMS and emails alerts are also


provided as add-on features. There are many advantages of
remote monitoring over field supervision.

Cloud computing is a perfect


platform for remote monitoring

4.

A wide range of rotating equipment be it turbines,


compressors, pumps or fans can be monitored from
a single, centralized location, even if they are spread
geographically.

The dependence on field technicians to do periodic


checking can be substantially reduced by remote
monitoring

Remote monitoring can be a solution to aging staff or


unavailability of qualified technicians at remote sites

As state-of-the-art analytics are provided,


monitoring becomes accurate and effective.

Remote monitoring can be done by a competent


person in another part of world, bringing down the cost
of asset management.

the

Remote Monitoring with Cloud


Cloud computing is a perfect platform for remote monitoring.
The cloud is a shared pool of IT resources, applications,
processors, storage and databases. Resources can be
dynamically procured to satisfy peaks in demand, and then
released when demand subsides.
Cloud provides cost elimination through standardization and
the reuse of IT infrastructure data centers, taking advantage of
low real estate prices, less expensive power supply and the
availability of competent resources at a reasonable price.
Cloud is elastic in nature charges are based on usage of
hardware and software. At peak loads, more hardware would
be put in use to service the user requests than compared to
steady state. Accordingly the users are charged. Also there is
a Green Commitment by efficient resource use.

5.

Analysis and Control


Monitoring of raw data coming from pumps in the form of
graphs/reports, and displaying those alerts based on those
values are only the first few steps. With the availability of
abundant processing capacity on cloud, computing-intensive
applications to interpret the data can be implemented.
Examples of such applications are:

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Remote Monitoring of Rotating Equipment Using Cloud | January 2011

Spectrum Analysis (frequency analysis using Fast


Fourier transform) to identify defects after they have
surfaced on rotating equipment which is not possible
to visualize based on raw data

Model Prediction Creating a model based on input


data within a given timeframe, then using the model
output to compare the actual input signal coming
thereafter to identify any defect before the defect
manifests into a bigger problem

Predict the behavior (probability) of rotating equipment


in the immediate future (next few days) to long-term
(next few months). This will enable technical personnel
to take preventive steps

Remote monitoring will spur


usage of Analytics as a Service

6. Spurring Analytics as a Service


Analytics as a service is a service offering in a cloud
environment, wherin the data analysis is handled by another
provider. They ensure the data is interprested by the most
efficient and accurate algorithim. That means the data from the
usual source (vibration analysis or current signal ) will be
treated with varied algorithims as they become available.
Because the service providers will be working with multiple
organizations, they will have the means to provide the optimum
solutions for each of the problems they encounter.
Remote condition monitoring would in turn spur the usage of
analytics as service. End users want an accurate health
diagnosis of their equipment. That, in turn, would mean using
varied or complex algorithims to solve their problem.

7. Extension to Smart Phones

There are many options to


make the cloud a secure place
to process data

All data available on cloud can be easily viewed on smart


phones. The obvious advantage of monitoring on smart
phones will be felt by field personnel, who will have access to
the data as they perform maintenance activities. They can take
a snapshot and send mail to their offices and customers using
the smart phones.

8. Apprehensions About Cloud Computing


The biggest hurdle to remote monitoring of rotating equipment
on cloud is to convince end users their data is safe and secure,
even though it will be handled by people outside their
organization. Many process plant owners are wary of sharing
their data outside their premises, as there are many IP

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Remote Monitoring of Rotating Equipment Using Cloud | January 2011

technologies involved. For those end users possessive about


their data, or apprehensive about data being misused, the
cloud today offers many secure solutions:
o

Cloud service providers will have the most


sophisticated security systems in place as they work
with customer organizations, making it highly
improbable for hackers to to break through

Data scattering among geographically separated data


servers will ensure that not all data is available in a
single location. Different locations will implement
different security mechanisms (all equally strong),
different passwords, etc.

Strong encryption algorithms will ensure even the


scattered data will mean little to hackers, even if they
were to gain access to such data

9. Economics to End Users and OEMs


Remote monitoring will be more economical for more than one
reason:
o

Continuous monitoring will ensure minimal unplanned


shutdowns, thereby ensuring productivity. Many
process plants bleed due to unplanned shutdowns as
a result of improper condition monitoring.

Visits by skilled technical staff from OEM to installation


sites are virtually eliminated. For bigger rotating
equipment like turbines and compressors, skilled staff
are usually flown in from a distant country, and
become expensive

OEMs of rotating equipment will also benefit from remote


monitoring.
o

They can bring down their warranty cost of equipment


by offering remote monitoring (though the remote
monitoring will be an added cost to end users)

They are assured of regular income by managing the


subscription to services, unlike the one-off sales
revenue

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10

Remote Monitoring of Rotating Equipment Using Cloud | January 2011

Conclusion
Remote monitoring of rotating equipment adds value to all
stakeholders (end users and OEMs). Continuous monitoring
ensures very little productivity loss due to unplanned shutdowns. By
offering the services on cloud, end users pay a nominal fee on a
monthly basis to have all their rotating equipment insured for health.
Due to cloud infrastructure, OEMs will be able to offer added
features at very low cost.

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11

Remote Monitoring of Rotating Equipment Using Cloud | January 2011

Reference
1. Grundfos Remote Management product flyer

Author Info
Mahesh
Subramaniam,
ERS,
Industrial
Practice, has over 21 years of experience in
control
systems
engineering,
software
development and IT project management. His
current
interests
include
safety-critical
applications and condition monitoring.

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12

Hello, Im from HCLs Engineering and R&D Services. We enable


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http://ers.hclblogs.com/
Visit our website: http://www.hcltech.com/engineering-services/

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