What will the pump of the future look like?

Few components in plant and equipment engineering are as steeped in tradition as the pump. But how does this fit in with the age of digitalisation? And is it even possible to design a hydraulic element that is fit for Industry 4.0? KSB has been reconciling these two worlds successfully for some time now.

KSB has always focused primarily on the optimisation of pumps – knowing the exact load profile and tuning the pump to the operating point. This is borne out by the sheer number of different pump casings and materials used and the impeller adjustment options available. However, conditions can change during the life of a pump and it often happens that a pump no longer runs at the optimum operating point. This also applies to newly installed pumps. For years now, KSB experts have therefore been investigating how to optimise pumps more easily without using complex analytics or even having to replace the pump.

Digitalisation offers tremendous potential for this. However, it takes time to develop new approaches and put them into practice. “It’s a matter of transferring decades of experience and expertise into an algorithm and a software solution,” explains Dr Thomas Paulus, Head of Programme Office Digitalisation & Startup Projects at KSB. “This cannot be done in a single step: It involves many different components and aspects. By bringing together these component parts, however, you end up with an intelligent and practical concept that provides real added value for the pump operator.”

Get more information in the actual issue of Δ p Global Yearbook 2017
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