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Is Repairing Your Electric Motor Still a Viable Option?

01/31/2022

2020-Engineer selecting right bearing for electric motorRepairing is still a viable option when your motor fails -- when the repair is done correctly. Find out when it makes sense to have your electric motor repaired and what you need to consider when choosing the vendor.

When to Repair Your Electric Motors

The decision to repair or replace can be a tricky one, so let’s start with some key considerations when making that choice. 

What is the size of the motor? Smaller motors are usually less expensive and it’s easier to find replacements for them with a short lead time. On the other hand, smaller motors are easier and less expensive to pull for repairs. Larger motors, on the other hand, represent a significant capital investment, often have a long lead time, and are usually repaired if at all possible.

When was it last repaired?  And what type of repairs were necessary? If the repair was recent and the required repairs are the same as what you are seeing again, consider you may have an application issue. On the other hand, if a high-quality repair vendor was not used, it’s possible that the fault lies in the repair process and not the motor itself.

How reliable is the motor? A motor that constantly requires repairs and has a short MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) isn’t the most reliable. It might be possible to restore the motor’s reliability through repair and/or reconditioning performed by an EASA-accredited vendor. 

How many times has the motor been already repaired and/or rewound?  Theoretically, an electric motor can be repaired indefinitely, but practically there is a limit. That limit exists when the price to repair exceeds the price of new or a non-quality vendor has repaired it so many times that you no longer have faith it will run as intended.

How will the downtime affect profitability? This is a major issue. The more critical the motor, the more costly its downtime will be in terms of profitability. If there are inventoried spares available that have been maintained and are ready to drop in, that makes it a different matter. If you don’t have a surplus motor available to replace it, then you have to look at the lead time for repair and the lead time for a replacement.

Who is your repair vendor? Before making the final choice to have a motor repaired, there are some other things to think about. They involve the motor vendor and make all the difference when it comes to having your motor repaired or replaced.

Repair Cost

Of course, the cost of having a motor repaired is also extremely important. And the quote you receive from a motor repair vendor involves a variety of factors, such as what is wrong with the motor and what specifications the motor will be repaired to. Then there is the cost associated with the downtime for pulling the motor, having it repaired, and reinstalling it. Loss of revenue and loss of productivity must also be considered when a repair is under consideration. Another factor is whether a spare is available to replace the motor while it’s being repaired. All of these costs combined will influence the decision to repair or replace.

Motor Efficiency

Energy costs are a major part of the total cost of ownership for an electric motor, which is why motor efficiency is extremely important. And one of the benefits of having your motor repaired is the opportunity to maintain its efficiency. The EASA (Electrical Apparatus Service Association, Inc) completed a rewind study that proved that properly performed repairs have no negative impact on motor efficiency and can, in fact, produce minor improvements to efficiency. This can influence the repair or replace decision toward the repair or new motor if its an older, less efficient motor.

Motor Reliability

If the reliability of a motor can be preserved (or even increased) by repair, that can have a major impact on whether a motor should be repaired. And motor reliability depends heavily on who does the repairs and how those repairs are performed. Using an EASA-accredited vendor who follows prescribed best practices such as those found in the ANSI/EASA AR100 standard means that the repairs will be as good as a new motor. That means your repaired motor will be every bit as reliable as a new one.

Quality Repairs

One way to tell if the repair is going to be a quality one is asking if the repair vendor is EASA-accredited. An EASA accreditation means that the repairs performed will follow industry best practices and means that 

  • Proven industry best practices are followed
  • Consistent repair methods and procedures are used
  • An audit trail of motor repairs will exist
  • Motor efficiency and performance will be either maintained or exceeded

And keep in mind that EASA accreditation must be earned, maintained, and renewed.

Conclusion

There are many times when a motor repair is going to be less expensive than purchasing a new one. However, in order to take advantage of these benefits, the key is whether the repair vendor is following prescribed EASA best practices and is EASA accredited.

At HECO, our repairs are different because of our unique process and that we are an EASA-accredited motor repair center. We perform all repairs and reconditions to the highest standards, using modern industry best practices. You can depend on our team of technicians to provide you with competitive quotes, full documentation of testing and repairs, and high-quality work that results in a reliable motor. Contact us today to learn more about our repairs, reconditions, and predictive maintenance.

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Author: Dr. Sara McCaslin.  Powertrain Consultant for HECO 

 

 

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