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Electric Motors & Hazardous Locations – An Overview

08/11/2020


Do you have any hazardous locations at your facility? In all likelihood, you do -- and you need specially rated electric motors & equipment when hazards are present. Here is a summary of what makes a location hazardous followed by an overview of the Class/Division and Zone approaches to classifying those locations.

What Makes a Location Hazardous?

A hazardous location is one where "explosion or fire hazards exist due to the presence of flammable gases, flammable or combustible liquid-produced vapors, combustible dusts, or ignitable fibers or flyings." Hazardous locations are classified based on likely ignitable concentration of combustible materials present at a location.

Depending on the type of hazard present and the risk level involved, there may be certain requirements that AC motors and DC motors have to meet in order to safely function. Also keep in mind that hazardous location requirements can involve both the type of motor that can be installed (e.g., explosion proof Siemens SIMOTICS) and the type of equipment that can be used with them (e.g., AEGIS shaft grounding ring).

How to Reverse Your Electric Motor

06/25/2020

Perhaps you've just installed a drop-in replacement motor,  or maybe you're installing a new power train. You turn the electric motor on and ... its's rotating in the wrong direction! What the heck is going on? Is there something you can do to reverse my electric motor?

The answer is yes -- most of the time there is. The first step to figuring out how to fix your rotation problems is to establish whether it is a AC or DC motor. From there, the solution depends on exactly what type of motor you are working with.

Reliable Electric Motors - Do they actually exist? (From IMC-2018)

05/21/2020

Reliability and electric motors do not always seem to go hand-in-hand. There is electrical reliability and mechanical reliability, but what about electro-mechanical reliability? This can exist, and it does for many plants across the country! This presentation covers how to create a reliable electric motor driven powertrain over the entire lifecycle of the electric motor.

Starting with selecting and purchasing the correct motor, having a general specification for general motor purchases and creating custom specifications for large/critical motor purchases. We then transition into how motors are tracked and maintained while in-operation, including the variety of condition monitoring techniques that can be used. Eventually, even a well-planned, sourced, and maintained electric motor will have an issue of some kind and must go out for repair.

6 Things to Consider When Adding a VFD to Your System

12/10/2019

Have you been thinking about adding a variable frequency drive (VFD) to an electric motor in your plant? VFD's are great controls that allows you to change the speed of the machine at the push of a button or you can program it into your automation platform. 

Before adding a Variable Frequency Drive to an electric motor in your plant, take a look at these 6 factors and see if its the right for for you:

How Important is Correct Motor Shaft Alignment?

08/07/2019

There are a few of us old timers still around who would say that straight edge or string alignment is good enough. At that time and for certain applications that was actually good enough. Now we have state of the art tools that we can use to get us a near perfect shaft alignment. But do I need near perfect? What will that extra bit of time get me and is it worth the time?

Don't Forget About the Base! Your Equipment's Base Could be Causing you Issues.

06/27/2019

There appears to be a trend happening in industry that needs to be looked at in greater detail and I hope to shed some light on this subject.

We are all so quick to repair the motor, pump, gearbox, or fan when a failure occurs; however, we hardly ever spend time looking at what the equipment is attached to…the base.

                                                                                                                                 Picture 1

Should you Consider an IEEE-841 Motor?

06/19/2019

Do you know what motor you should use when operating in a harsh, heavy or severe duty environment? At minimum, you should be using a Total Enclosed Fan Cooled (TEFC) Severe Duty (SD) motor. But, where do you turn when a standard severe duty motor just isn’t enough? One option worth exploring is an IEEE-841 motor.

What Electric Motor Frame Sizes Tell You

06/05/2019

It is standard to see the “frame” size on every electric motor nameplate, but do you understand what that frame means in regard to the mounting of the motor? Many have been in the situation where you needed a specific frame only to realize it was made with a special shaft or has a mounting flange, but no one knew how to find this information!

What is a Core Loss Test on an Electric Motor?

05/22/2019

If you are involved in the repair of electric motors, chances are you have heard about a core loss test (or core test, core loop test, core flux test, etc.) being performed on your motor. This article serves to provide a basic understanding of what a core loss test is and why it matters.

How old are the electric motors in your plant?

04/06/2017

Let me start by being very clear, old electric motors does not mean bad electric motors! Like in most things, there are plenty of good, older electric motors out there running in plants. Motors from the 1960's to 1980's that are running with very little maintenance requirements and little to no problems. On the flip side, every plant has bad actors that seem to require additional "love" from maintenance.

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