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Reactive Maintenance Costs vs. Planned Costs for Electric Motors


Local "turn and burn" repair shops specialize in getting your motor in for repairs and getting them back to you ASAP. While that might be good for emergencies, is it a good way to handle all your motor repairs?. Let's discuss the difference between reactive maintenance costs vs. planned costs for electric motors

"Turn and Burn" Repair Shops

You have to strike a balance between keeping your production lines running and staying within your M&O budget. When a motor fails, you need things running ASAP and you don't have a ton of money to invest in your motors. That local "turn and burn" repair shop can get your motor back to you in 48 hours, doing a bearing swap and rewind in their own shop. It's fast and convenient and seems to do a good job of minimizing downtime while staying in budget.

The problem with such shops is that they don't have the time to perform extensive analysis on your motor. And this kind of analysis is necessary to find the root cause of the problem. If you don't find that root cause, then you keep paying over and over for the same repair.

If you continue using a "turn and burn" shop, you'll realize that you are sending the very same motors in for the same issues. Hasty repairs caused by their time constraints starts an expensive cycle for your facility. This cycle eats up money and increases downtime over the long haul.

Why do facilities keep using "turn and burn" electric motor repair services?

Most of the time, it has to do with the maintenance mindset or paradigm in use.

Know the 4 Winding Failures in AC Electric Motors


Did you know that the vast majority of electric motor failures are preventable?

There are some failures you can't prevent because everything has a limited lifespan. But many of the motors we have come into our shop for repair have suffered a failure that was not necessary. And when we talk about parts that wear out, all too often they wear out way too soon.

Winding Failures

Motor windings account for about 32% of all AC electric motor repairs. These winding failures fall into four major categories related to what causes them: thermal stress, mechanical stress, electrical stress, and environmental stress.

How Much Grease is Too Much for My Electric Motor?


You are responsible for getting as much as possible out of the electric motors in your facility -- and you know that proper lubrication for your electric motors is a big part of that equation. You've heard that there can be issues with too much grease, but how much is too much? And how do you know when grease needs to be added?

The Purpose of Grease

Grease is a semisolid lubricating material comprised of oil suspended in a thickener. Grease does more than just reduce friction in bearings: it helps conduct heat away from the bearing, protects it from contaminants such as dust or moisture, and protects the surface finish by preventing corrosion. The thickener in grease helps it to stay in place and act as a seal for the bearings. Basically, the oil is held within the grease until the motor begins to operate. Once it starts to operate, the oil begins to flow and compress between the various bearing surfaces.

The Results of Too Much Grease

There's an old saying about how you can never have too much of a good thing. Grease is a good thing, but too much grease can result in several issues, starting with an increase in friction -- the very thing that grease is supposed to reduce. This friction leads to elevated temperatures which can cause the oil in the grease to begin to separate from the thickener and lead to premature bearing failure. Overheating will lead to a reduction in the overall effectiveness of the grease. In addition, the presence of too much grease means that the anti-friction bearing elements have to push through this excess grease, making it harder for the bearing to do its job. That means more losses and even less efficiency.

Remote Condition Monitoring...When Should I Switch?


Remote condition monitoring is a popular buzzword in industry today -- is it time for you to switch?

How Remote Condition Monitoring Works

Remote condition monitoring allows you to track the condition and performance of all your rotating equipment remotely in real-time and download the data for visualization and analysis. In addition, it can be configured to send you alerts when certain conditions are detected.

When used with rotating equipment, these systems can provide invaluable information about vibration, temperature, balance, and performance for fans, pumps, and motors. Many facilities are investing in remote condition monitoring for their equipment ... but is it right for your company?

Know Your Vertical Motor Thrust Bearings


One of the biggest differences between horizontal motors and vertical motors is the bearing arrangement. Typically, the bearing arrangement inside a vertical motor consists of one or more thrust bearings and a guide bearing. The thrust bearing is commonly mounted on the top of the motor and the guide bearing is located on the bottom. The typical thrust bearings found in a vertical motor are one or more angular contact bearings, a spherical roller bearing, or a hydrodynamic plate bearing, lubricated in an oil bath reservoir. The axial force is either upward, downward or balanced, and is generally the factor used to size the thrust bearing. As the thrust becomes greater, the bearing size or quantity of bearings normally increases.

How Do I Make My Plant More Reliable?


In the industrial environment there is a constant stream of new technologies coming to market that claim to be able to increase up-time and reliability. All of these new tools and high tech gadgets generally provide one thing... data. Collecting data and then knowing what to do with it, in a very broad sense, is one of the most important thing that you can do to increase reliability. Take for instance vibration monitoring devices that collect machine data on rotating equipment, they are incredibly valuable predictors of failures assuming one has the knowledge to determine what the collected data means for that piece of equipment. Seeing a trend towards failure on a unit gives you the opportunity to be proactive instead of reactive, like having a spare on hand and scheduling a change over.

How Does Vibration Analysis Work?


In recent years, companies have entered the transition from reactive maintenance, to planned maintenance, and into the most efficient method found in predictive maintenance. While the first two methods have dominated in the past, they have been found to be costly, inefficient in time, and sometimes result in over-maintenance of machines. 

In predictive maintenance, machine downtime, cost for spare parts, and overtime are all held to a minimum. With all of these benefits, you may be asking - “What is the best implementation of predictive maintenance in my workplace?"

One of the most effective ways of predictive services is Vibration Analysis.

Maintenance Philosophies: Breakdown Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, Predictive Maintenance


The below video is a 7 minute segment of a 30 minute long presentation given by Adam Smith and Jacob Bell of HECO PSG at the 2017 Reliability, Process, and Maintenance (RPM) Symposium. This presentation discusses three different maintenance philosophies: breakdown maintenance, preventive maintenance, and predictive maintenance.

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