Panorama of Rotterdam cityscape with and Erasmus bridge.

From the tap water we have delivered to our homes, to the bridges we use to cross rivers, community infrastructure is an important part of modern life.

A great deal of this infrastructure is based on the need to move things from one place to another. The power behind that movement is often AC electrical motors. And like all motors, they can sometimes fail.

That’s why many communities and local government organizations use condition monitoring to predict when a motor will fail, so they can fix it before it does.

Here are a few high criticality processes that go on in many local communities, coupled with an explanation of how SAM4 condition monitoring could make that process more reliable.

Drainage pumps
Two of the most critical uses of these pumps are in tunnel pumping stations and rainwater drainage systems. Drainage pumps can sometimes become blocked, or develop mechanical or electrical faults. The financial and social costs of a drainage pump failure can be significant:

  • Faulty pumps in a tunnel pumping station could lead to the flooding of a busy tunnel, which can have huge implications for road transport, and by extension, the local economy.
  • Excessive rainfall in an urban area coupled with faulty rainwater drainage pumps can lead to damage of community infrastructure, the deployment of the emergency services and the potential displacement of people.

That is why it makes great financial sense to make sure your drainage pumps are working as they should be. SAM4 condition monitoring monitors the AC motors that power your pumps, and can detect an upcoming fault up to 4 months in advance.

Tunnel pumps and drainage pumps can often be located in difficult to reach places (they are almost always located underground), which means attaching sensors directly to the pump is either very difficult or impossible. SAM4 uses sensors to measure electrical waveforms from within the Motor Control Cabinet, which is much easier to install than on-asset sensors. This all means you can start monitoring your pumps faster and for less.

Depending on the municipality, there might be a high number of urban areas or tunnels which are at a high risk of flooding, each with their own drainage pumps. SAM4 offers a dashboard where you can see the health of each pump motor from one central location, therefore eradicating the unnecessary deployment of maintenance crews to inspect healthy pumps.

Sewage Pumps
Sewage is an inevitable by-product of industry and human existence. Sewage pumps are needed to transport the sewage to water treatment plants. Although sewage pumps may not mechanically break very often, they can often become clogged, which renders them unusable.

Due to the fact that the pumps are often submerged, traditional condition monitoring techniques that require sensor installation on the actual pump are not an option. As mentioned, SAM4 measures electrical waveforms from within the Motor Control Cabinet, which equals faster and cheaper installation. See our guide to learn more about condition monitoring for the Water and Wastewater industries specifically.

The motors that control the opening and closing of bridges are often electric, and can sometimes break.

The effect of a broken motor on a bridge can be quite dramatic. It can either cause large traffic jams, or congestion on the water ways. Both are damaging for the local economy, as well as the reputation of the municipality as a reliable, commerce friendly area.

Bridge motors are often located in difficult to reach places, which makes it difficult to install condition monitoring sensors directly on the asset. The sensors also need to withstand the elements, which means they need to be specially protected against water and freezing temperatures. Both these factors make traditional condition monitoring expensive to install and maintain.

As mentioned, SAM4 installs sensors within the Motor Control Cabinet, which offers dry and stable conditions, and an ideal environment for accurate condition monitoring.

Staying on the water theme, electric motors are often also used to open and close locks. If these motors break down, ships will be blocked, which again could also cause economic damage.

Installing SAM4 will help you to detect the developing faults in your lock motors, so they can be repaired or replaced before the fault causes a motor failure.

To find out more about how SAM4 could improve the reliability of your community infrastructure, contact René Wellens - Business Development Manager by filling in our contact form.