The term motor management has been used for a variety of items. The most commonly used definition is typically storing motors in a warehouse, what we like to call a "motor hotel." Is simply storing motors the definition of motor management or should it be more?
We say that it should be much more than just storing a few motors. A true motor management program should be looking at everything involved in that motor's life; from purchase to repair to all the different systems it ran as a part of. Motor management is an all encompassing program that lives and breaths reliability and up time.
So what should be included in a motor management program?
1. Identification - Understanding what you have in your plant and in spares is a crucial first step to a motor management program. Knowing what motors you have and where you have (and dont have) spares is crucial knowledge to understand in order to make educated decisions on your electric motors.
2. Spares - OK, this is what i referred to as a motor hotel, but when done properly it can be so much more! This should be a QA center for incoming new and recently repaired motors. This should be ensuring that the spares you have a "ready to go" in the event of an in-service motor failure. This starts with when they are new or repaired and continues on to maintenance while the motor is sitting on a shelf.
3. Repairs - Knowing where all of your motors are at all times as well as the status they are in is a very crucial part of motor management. This continues on through the electric motor repair process. Whats wrong with the motor? Have sister units had a similar issue? Why did it fail in the first place? All important questions with answers that should be tracked and analyzed as part of the motor management process. Repairs should be done to a specification designed for your organization and at a negotiated price - or even better, a fixed, matrix-style, price!
4. Predictive - Motor management must be completely connected to your Predictive Maintenance (PdM) programs. Together, understanding what motors have spares, what motors dont, which machines are running fine in the plant, and which are not. Can help to prevent downtime. What if you have a motor without a spare that is at risk of failure as identified by vibration analysis. What if the spare is a 6-week delivery? Do you know this on the front side? Connecting PdM technologies with proper repairs, and an understanding of what spares you have is crucial to a motor management program.
5. New Equipment - At what point should you no longer repair a unit and instead should purchase new? Do you have this already figured out or do you do it "on-the-fly" as situations arise? Understanding what you price is for new v/s repair is an important part of motor management. You must also ensure that you are purchasing a motor that meets your plants needs. Do you need a high specification motor with seals? Or do you need a inexpensive open motor? Have a specification for new purchases and well as your specification for repair and determine where your cutoff point is.
These are 5 crucial steps to a motor management program. As you can see it is much more than just storing a few spare motors in a warehouse. Anyone can do that.
Justin T. Hatfield
HECO - All Systems Go
About the author:
Justin T. Hatfield is Vice President of Operations at HECO. He is responsible for Electric Motor & Drive Sales, Electric Motor & Generator Repairs, Spare Solutions, and Predictive Services. Justin was instrumental in developing HECO MAPPS (Motor and Powertrain Performance Systems) which focuses on “why” you have a motor problem instead of simply “What” product or service should be recommended. HECO is an EASA Accredited Service Center for Electric Motors as well as a provider of predictive maintenance services and products throughout the United States.