See the Future and Change It - Quarry Monitors Critical Dewatering Pumps
Publishing Date: April, 2020
What if you could see the future and change it? Wouldn’t it be great if you could closely monitor critical equipment from your computer or smart device from anywhere you have an Internet connection? Join special guest Dan Phillips and host Carmen Ek as they talk about a large aggregate company who is doing this for their quarry dewatering pumps.
Season #: 1 Episode #: 3
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See the Future and Change It Quarry Monitors Critical Dewatering Pumps
Carmen Ek: This is Community News On the Air, brought to you by Regal Power Transmission Solutions. I'm your host, Carmen Ek, and in this podcast series we'll be sharing tools, tips and new innovations to address some of the tough challenges our customers face. Overall, my goal is to help our customers' employees be successful.
Wouldn't it be great if you could predict the future? Don't many of us wish our foresight was better than our hindsight? In fact, when it comes to industrial maintenance, most find they're fighting fires to keep production running. But wouldn't it be great if problems weren't so unpredictable? Especially when an hour of unplanned downtime can cost a manufacturing facility thousands of dollars? Studies show there is an economical benefit for industrial manufacturing businesses to be predictive and proactive. But you got to ask yourself -- how do we get there?
In this episode of Community News On The Air, we will learn about how an aggregate facilities manager at Irving Materials now sees predictive warning signs for his dewatering pumps before there's trouble. And due to this, his team is gaining production due to less downtime.
With me today to give us the full story is the insightful Dan Phillips, technical director of monitoring and diagnostics, and leader of our Perceptive Technologies Services team here at Regal Beloit.
Dan, welcome to Community News On The Air.
Dan Phillips: Hi, Carmen. It's good to be here.
Carmen Ek: Dan, this is such a beneficial story because other aggregate facilities with dewatering pumps can benefit from it. But can you first tell us a little bit about your team and what you guys do.
Dan Phillips: Our Perceptive Technology Services™ combine subject matter expertise and holistic monitoring solutions to provide meaningful insight, and actual information, ultimately lowering the total cost of ownership for critical equipment. We work in a variety of industries and are focused on providing solutions, which ultimately help our customers to do more with less.
Carmen Ek: Ah, so you use technology to help customers plan, predict problems and save money.
Dan Phillips: You got it.
Carmen Ek: So tell me how you got started with Irving Materials Incorporated, which most people simply know as IMI.
Dan Phillips: We became involved with IMI as part of our new product, Blue Printing Workshop, which is an innovation discovery session. Based on their initial feedback, we were focused on technologies which could reduce downtime on their conveyors. However, as IMI looked deeper into their operation, they didn't see a significant need to change the status quo. Basically, the benefits didn't outweigh the costs of changing their current maintenance strategy. So we probed a bit further, and that led them to discussion on items that really kept them up at night. It didn't take long for IMI to identify the challenges they have with their dewatering pump systems.v
Carmen Ek: So if the operation of their dewatering pumps was keeping them up a night, why didn't that seem to come up with an issue right off the bat with them? When you were talking through that innovation discovery session?
Dan Phillips: In my opinion, that didn't come up before because they thought we were only focused on discrete parts -- bearings, belts, gearboxes, things like that.
Carmen Ek: And what you and your team are able to do is focus more on systems, not just focusing on one rotating piece of equipment?
Dan Phillips: Yes, that's what I call a more holistic approach.
Carmen Ek: So why is the dewatering pump a hot button at a rock quarry?
Dan Phillips: The dewatering pump systems keep excess ground and storm water from flooding their underground production areas. There are several of them at each quarry, and they're all in remote locations.
If something goes wrong with pumping system it can be costly, so they had to send someone to check on the system periodically. It would really be tough to find resources when a thunderstorm rolls over in the middle of the night.
Carmen Ek: So how did Perceptive Technologies help IMI?
Dan Phillips: Well, as part of IMI's risk mitigation planning, Perception Technologies laid out options to monitor overall condition, eliminating the need for time-based maintenance checks and taking the guesswork out of what's going on with the equipment.
We worked in conjunction with IMI and designed a very cost effective solution to look at the key indicators of equipment health, provided connectivity through the Internet so they would be alerted to early warning signs 24/7.
We had to come up with a solution which meant the technical requirements, but also provided cost savings in comparison to their current strategy, that of driving around to dozens of pump sites to check on the condition manually.
Carmen Ek: So how did you and the IMI risk mitigation team really get things going?
Dan Phillips: Well, to be honest, they were somewhat skeptical at first that these technologies would work. IoT, or the Internet of Things was new for them, as it is for many facilities. So we started with a trial system for three months. We did it at one site to prove out the functionality. And throughout the course of the trial, the system actually caught several problems and alerted key stakeholders so they could address the problem before the equipment went down, which in the past would cause downtime and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Carmen Ek: Wow, that's really cool that they saw it working live in an action like that. So what was the outcome of the trial?
Dan Phillips: Well, following the successful pilots, they didn't have any doubt that the solution was viable technically and financially. We're currently installing these systems in other facilities and looking to put it in all facilities across the US. And from our standpoint, we now have a new solution which is canned, which is scalable for other customers suffering the same pains and has a great customer testimonial.
Carmen Ek: That's really great. I think we can help a lot of aggregate facilities with this solution.
So, Dan, we have just a little more time. So I'd like to go back to going through some of the advantages of the Perceptive Technologies team. Why is working for a manufacturer like Regal, who manufactures components, beneficial? How does this really help solve these bigger problems?
Dan Phillips: Aside from the dewatering pumps, we have experience and have seen success in multiple industries and applications. As you said, as a manufacturer of the components that go into a variety of equipment, we understand the applications, we have the electro-mechanical experience, and that gives us the ability to provide insight and customize predictive tools to help our customers stay up and running.
Carmen Ek: And how can you help facilities who may have a different issue than the one we just talked about today?
Dan Phillips: Sometimes when we present a generic solution to a customer, they say -- yeah, that's great, but what I really want is... -- and just as we did with IMI, we're able to meet those requests because our solutions are modular and flexible. That allows us to direct our efforts at the real problem and truly help our customers sleep better at night.
Carmen Ek: Dan thank you so much for coming on and telling us this story, and telling us a little bit more about what Perceptive Technologies does. Really appreciate you taking the time to share that with us today.
Dan Phillips: Absolutely. It's great to be here. Thank you.
Carmen Ek: Hi, everyone. This is Carmen. To learn more about perceptive technologies, you can go to regalbeloit.com/perceptivetechnologies. You can also get in touch with one of our Perceptive Technologies experts by filling out "Contact our experts" at that website.
And for your reference, information on the study I mentioned regarding an economical benefit for industrial manufacturing businesses to be predictive and proactive, it's based off of an EPRI Power Generation study. We reference this along with a chart on our website. You can get to this information by following the links that are posted in the description of this episode.