Pump Test Station
Client – Industrial pump manufacturer
Standardizing on testing technique & reporting
Reducing the number of pumps in the production queue
Pump manufacturers typically test their product in the same facility in which the pumps are created. These tests are well defined and based on standards created by organizations such as API and ANSI to name a few. These tests are run to verify the performance of the pump as well as provide a report to the customer demonstrating that the pump they purchased will meet their needs. Sometimes these tests become factory witness tests where the customer sits in on the testing being performed on the pumps they had purchased.
Most pump manufacturers have more than one testing site at a facility to accommodate different pump types and sizes. The ability to automate these tests and to present a common look to the testing process and reports make the customer experience more positive to those reading the reports and/or witness the testing.
Our client came to us with the following requests:
- Evaluate the software written by the previous integrator to assess whether any of the code could be reused in the new application.
- Specify a hardware and software solution to acquire the signals needed to compute the performance results for standard tests.
- Deploy the hardware/software solution on the first test site to verify it performs as required and then deploy to the remaining test sites at their facility.
The Pump Test Utility had the following features:
- A Pump Test application that can run one of two different tests; a performance test and a net positive suction head (NPSH) test.
- An Access database was used to store the available sensors for that test site. The user selected the appropriate sensors while configuring the test.
- The test data was stored in an Excel file where each pump received its own Excel file.
- The LabVIEW Report Generation toolkit was used to populate the Excel file with data as well as create the report for the pump
- Standardization of testing technique – now each pump will be tested with the same procedures and calculations/algorithms used are standardized across all test sites within the facility.
- Standardization of report content and presentation – now every customer that purchases a pump from our client will receive a report with identical information presented and that information will have been derived from the same calculations/algorithms.
- Reduction of the number of pumps in the production queue (and hence inventory) by roughly as much as 1/2 due to faster data acquisition and especially the archiving of the test results and the generation of the final report and its associated calculations.
We developed the Pump Test Utility application to allow our client’s engineers and operators to:
- Run one of two guided tests that visually provides pump performance feedback during the test.
- Create a test configuration file based on an Excel template that will be used to store test data as well as generate a report.
The pump test software was developed in LabVIEW and interfaced with an Access database and Excel workbook to acquire the configuration information necessary to set up and run the required tests. The resulting data acquired during the test, both raw data acquired from the sensors and calculated data used to characterize the pump being tested, are saved to the Excel workbook. Both high speed (10 kS/s) and low speed (10 S/s) data are acquired and stored into one data file for archival storage and retrieval if additional analysis is required. The high-speed data are for vibration and sound measurements and low speed data are for pressure, temperature, RPM and flowrate measurements.
The pump test configuration is performed within the application from a series of drop down selections populated with sensors found in an Access database. The database is updated and maintained by the client through a series of user interfaces within the application. Once the test sensors and conditions have been selected, those selections are written to the Excel workbook for use in the reports.
The LabVIEW Report Generation Toolkit software was used to develop the reports the client provided to their customers. The Excel workbook template contained the formatting necessary for the reports. As the software wrote the data into the workbook, the reports were built from the formulas and formatting already configured in the Excel template. At the end of the test, the software printed the appropriate worksheets containing the elements of the report required.
|Metric or SAE Units|
|Multi-Level User Authentication|
|2 Standardized Test Types|
|Generate Standard Table-Based Reports|
|Generate Pump Performance Graphs|
|Generate Vibration Graphs|
|Sensor Management Tools|
|Test Configuration Management Tools|
|NI cDAQ Signal Conditioning Chassis|
|Variety of NI cSeries Signal Conditioning Modules|