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Motor-Testing Tools Expand Services

EP Editorial Staff | April 11, 2016

Ken Patterson, head of the predictive-maintenance division at Koontz-Wagner, tests a 9,000-hp motor.

Ken Patterson, head of the predictive-maintenance division at Koontz-Wagner, tests a 9,000-hp motor.

New state-of-the-art instruments at Midwest service-provider Koontz-Wagner helped boost the company’s profits by 10%.

Growing companies typically make investments in state-of-the-art tools and equipment so that they may expand their ability to serve their customers. One such company, Koontz-Wagner Services, South Bend, IN, has capitalized on several opportunities since acquiring new energized and de-energized motor-testing equipment.

Koontz-Wagner Services is a leading Midwest provider of repair and maintenance services for rotating-equipment systems, including electric motors, generators, and mechanical power-transmission components, along with electrical-contracting services that range from short-order services to design and complex large-project services.

Kenneth L. Patterson, Koontz-Wagner’s proactive predictive-maintenance (PdM) manager, led the effort to obtain sophisticated motor-testing equipment for the company. In January 2015, after having conducted extensive research on different types of technologies, he turned to products from All-Test Pro, Old Saybrook, CT.

Patterson chose two hand-held, de-energized motor testers: the All-Test Pro 5 and All-Test Pro 31, in addition to the All-Test Pro On-Line II energized motor tester. His 12-person PdM team participated in a standard post-sale training session conducted by All-Test Pro. The team was thoroughly educated on how to perform advanced non-destructive motor testing and analysis for de-energized motor-circuit analysis and energized electrical-signature and power analysis.

Testing motors

As a full-service company, Koontz-Wagner has motor-repair, predictive-maintenance, and construction divisions. Its motor-repair division made immediate use of the de-energized motor-testing equipment by streamlining its inspection processes.

“Using the AT5 and the AT31 has helped us reduce the time it takes to understand the general condition of a motor,” explained Patterson. “The AT5 motor-circuit analyzer shows us if there are bad connections or ground faults, it checks the winding, and it lets us know if there are air gaps, contamination, or broken bars. It gives us a pretty good picture of the motor’s health within just a few minutes; which is important because reducing the time it takes us to inspect a motor has enabled us to lower the cost of that initial inspection,” he continued. “The incoming inspection fees we had been charging customers were a little high, compared with our competitors, so changing our inspection process has allowed us to lower those initial inspection fees and become more competitive.”   

Koontz-Wagner service technician Erik Lehman uses the All-Test Pro 5 to perform initial inspection of a 50-hp motor in his company’s repair shop.

Koontz-Wagner service technician Erik Lehman uses the All-Test Pro 5 to perform initial inspection of a 50-hp motor in his company’s repair shop.

Increasing business opportunities

In September of 2015, Koontz-Wagner’s maintenance-services organization began using its portable de-energized motor-testing equipment outside of the repair shop. A long-time relationship with a large automotive-supply company presented the service providers with an opportunity to offer additional value-added support. The automotive supplier maintains an inventory of approximately 700 spare motors.

Over the course of three months, Koontz-Wagner’s PdM technicians went through this inventory to check the health and condition of all spare units. “Out of that inventory of about 700 motors, we found that about 100 required maintenance,” explained Patterson. “We used the AT5 on-site, which was great because it generates reports quickly, so it was ideal for that particular project. Now, we are scheduling these motors to come into our motor-repair division for service.”

Revenue from energized testing

Energized testing has become another area of sales growth for Koontz-Wagner. “I have generated quite a bit of income using the All-Safe Pro,” Patterson noted. The product is an adaptor installed inside the electrical cabinet that works with the ATPOL II energized testing instrument. This adaptor provides the necessary signals to help preventive-maintenance professionals understand the condition of operating motors with minimal risk and without bulky, protective gear.

Koontz-Wagner’s construction-division team of electricians has installed 15 All-Safe Pro adaptors inside various customer electrical cabinets. Then its predictive-maintenance team members use the All-Test Pro On-Line II energized tester to obtain data on operating motors and further support their customers’ condition-based monitoring and PdM programs.

As an example, Patterson pointed to having performed vibration testing on a compressor motor for a customer and the fact that the ATPOL II confirmed the results. “Maintaining the health of a 200-hp compressor motor,” he said, “is critical because the unit provides air to this automotive customer’s facility.”

According to Patterson, All-Test Pro’s technologies are helping his company in many ways, so much so that he’s hoping to expand Koontz-Wagner’s capabilities even more in 2016 using these instruments. No wonder: The company credits the new motor-testing equipment with helping increase its profits by 10%, proving that there are real benefits to investing in modern tools and technology. MT

For more information on these motor-testing tools and other All-Test Pro technologies, visit alltestpro.com.

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