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Electric Motors: Why Do New Ones Fail Sometimes?

09/02/2020

One of your mission-critical motors failed and while it's out for repairs or rebuild, you installed a new one. There are no words to describe how you felt when that brand new electric motor failed, as well. You’ve got more downtime now, along with additional repair costs.

Why did that new electric motor fail?

A Historical Perspective on Motor Durability

Today's electric motors aren't made the same as they used to be: modern motors are made with less steel, many times not as much service factor, and sometimes they aren't as durable. These changes are actually reflected in the motor frame classifications. Back in 1954, U frame motor classifications were introduced with standardized dimensions. These motors were heavy, rugged, and reliable with the right maintenance. In fact, some would say that they were over engineered: more powerful and heavier than they really needed to be to get the job done.

Things to Consider When a New Motor Fails

If you’re trying to figure out why your new motor just failed, you should consider what happened with the previous motor, the environmental conditions, the operating conditions, whether the motor was installed correctly, and the common failure modes for electric motors.

I don't care why it failed - Just get production running again!

12/17/2019

A piece of equipment in your plant just failed. You didn't see it coming. You aren't prepared for this. Management is demanding that production starts again. Sound familiar?

STOP!    STOP!    STOP!

You may be caught in an endless cycle of failure after failure. You continually look for "who to blame" versus figuring out what actually happened.

Failure, Rinse, Repeat! Isn't it time to do something different? Let's look at the entire picture to see this... Ever heard of the Uptime® Elements?

What should I pay for an electric motor repair?

11/21/2019

You have a motor that failed and now you need a repair. How much is it going to cost to have it fixed? It seems like a pretty easy question, but the answer is a little more complex. 

Before any electric motor repair shop can give you an accurate estimate, they should have some questions of their own that have to be answered first. The only person who can answer these questions is you, so it is good to be prepared going into the call.

Here is what to expect when you make the "how much will this cost" call:

Why A Quick Answer Isn't Always the Best Answer

09/10/2019

A philosophy of our company has always been to help whenever we can. We have the resources, experience, and mindset to bring solutions to our customers on almost every motor related issue. Often times we are asked to bring solutions and answer questions to problems in breakdown situations without all of the facts. These breakdown situation questions can either be on motors that have been sent into our shop or motors that are still in-service. 

Using a Surplus Motor to Solve a Problem - 1250HP, 394RPM, 4000v Vertical Motor Case Study

04/22/2019

We received a phone call from a motor repair shop that had a power plant client that was under a unit wide shutdown due to a breakdown on a 1000 HP 394 RPM 4000v GE Vertical Solid Shaft Pump Motor. With a replacement motor 9 months out, and a completely destroyed, practically unrepairable original motor, they were asking - "Can you help?"

Lucky for this customer, we had a potential surplus motor in our inventory. Would this work? Below you will see some of the steps and comparisons that were taken to perform this evaluation.

Cooling Tower Electric Motor Failure Case Study

02/15/2018

The below video is a 5 minute segment of an hour long presentation given by Todd Hatfield of HECO at the 2017 Reliability, Process, and Maintenance (RPM) Symposium. This presentation discusses common preventable causes of electric motor failures. This section of the presentation shows a case study on a 400/100HP Cooling Tower Motor failure that was completely preventable.

Common Preventable Electric Motor Failures: Windings

01/30/2018

The below video is a 15 minute segment of an hour long presentation given by Todd Hatfield of HECO at the 2017 Reliability, Process, and Maintenance (RPM) Symposium. This presentation discusses common preventable causes of electric motor failures. This section of the presentation discusses winding related failures which account for 32% of all electric motor failures. 

Common Preventable Electric Motor Failures: Bearings

01/04/2018

The below video is a 15 minute segment of an hour long presentation given by Todd Hatfield of HECO at the 2017 Reliability, Process, and Maintenance (RPM) Symposium. This presentation discusses common preventable causes of electric motor failures. This section of the presentation discusses bearing related failures as bearings account for about 51% of all electric motor failures.

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