Case Study: Online Predictive Monitoring System for Degradation of Centrifugal Pump Performance

Hussain Alshaghab, Reliability Engineer, Saudi Aramco


Centrifugal pumps are subject to wear either by normal wear due to aging circumstances or by abusing them where they may be operated beyond their safe working boundaries. Therefore, monitoring pump’s performance has become an essential matter to ensure the pump reliability. Furthermore, monitoring  the pumps provides predictive measures to plan for pump overhaul and hence reduce costs associated with production requirements. The objective of this paper is to develop an online monitoring tool to predict the performance problems.
The method used is to configure an in-house actual performance monitoring tool to monitor the degradation in pump’s performance. The tool is constructed by plotting multiple points of the pump’s design total head curve with respect to flow rate value (Total head value equal H at flow Q). Then, actual data are to be collected by transmitters to calculate the actual pump’s total head which is done through configuration of the pump total head formula in the system. This data is subtracted from the plotted design head curve in order to measure the degradation present of the pump performance whereas the more difference between two curves at specific flow rate, the higher the degradation does exist. Outcomes contribute in better monitoring of the pump performance to capture the degradation of the pump’s performance which provide time to do proper investigation and troubleshooting before failure occur. Moreover, pump overhaul can be justified through presenting cash flow where overhaul cost is much less than operation cost where the increase of electric power consumption equal or greater than the overhaul cost and ultimately the overhaul will give required rate of return.The pump availability will be increased through online predictive performance monitoring as the mean time to repair (MTTR) associated with long lead time required spare parts arrival time will be decreased.


Hussain Alshaghab joined Saudi Aramco in 2004 as machinist technician and worked for North Ghawar Producing Department in the maintenance division till he got his bachelor degree in mechanical engineering from Prince Mohammad University in 2013. He became Reliability Engineering in 2015. He attain CMRP and MLA-1 international certificates.