Upfront Motor Planning: ‘Measure Twice, Cut Once’

EP Editorial Staff | September 14, 2012

motor-decisions-matterMany of us can remember hearing that old “measure twice, cut once” proverb. Old as it may be, it still offers an important reminder: It’s faster and less expensive to plan ahead than to make a mistake and do the job twice. Unfortunately, some mistakes are more costly than others. For a facility manager, operating without a plan for important motor-driven equipment (the largest single source of electricity consumption in the U.S. industrial sector)[1] could be causing excessively high electricity bills, or worse. You could be moving toward unanticipated motor failure, downtime and a series of other costly consequences. 

How can you ‘measure twice?’ 
Planning ahead may be easier than you think. The Motor Decisions MatterSM (MDM) campaign describes the basics of motor management and planning in its Motor Planning Kit (MPK). Simple to use, this kit is available to the public on the MDM Website, 

The MPK is designed to help industrial plant managers develop electric-motor management plans for motor-driven equipment in their facilities. Such plans are effective tools for improving plant productivity and reliability, while reducing operating costs and conserving energy. Use of the MPK can help readers take advantage of the bottom-line benefits of effective motor management [2]. Originally released in 2001, the newly revised MPK features: 

  • Charts that illustrate the importance of pur-chasing motors based on life-cycle costs
  • Motor management success stories
  • Information on high-efficiency motors and motor-system optimization through the use of ASDs in appropriate applications
  • Expanded section on the “building blocks” of motor management
  • Lists of motor management resources, including regional resources as of 2012

Since effective motor management and use of energy-efficient equipment can save electricity and reduce downtime, the MPK makes it easy to follow the “measure twice, cut once” advice. Visit MDM online to find this tool and other resources designed to help you plan ahead.

New to MDM’s Website 

A summary of all 15 MDM motor management tools and resources can now be easily found using the MDM Product List. The summary provides a snapshot of MDM resources, brief descriptions and links to each resource on the site. Visit us online and start proactively managing your motor systems today! MT

1. U.S. Department of Energy: Industrial Technologies Program, “Improving Motor and Drive System Performance, “ 2008. 

2. Motor management is a set of ongoing policies and practices that help industrial facilities effectively manage their motor populations based on life cycle costing, repair-replace decisions and proactive planning.

The Motor Decisions Matter (MDM) campaign is managed by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), a North American nonprofit organization that promotes energy-saving products, equipment and technologies. For further information, contact MDM staff at  or (617) 589-3949.




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