Maintenance Motors & Drives Reliability & Maintenance Center

Gaps in Your Motor Reliability Program?

EP Editorial Staff | December 22, 2016

Quality control, trending, and troubleshooting are three keys to a successful motor-reliability program.
Quality control, trending, and troubleshooting are three keys to a successful motor-reliability program.

Quality control, trending, and troubleshooting are three keys to a successful motor-reliability program.

Businesses invest millions of dollars in what they believe will be a fail-safe maintenance program for their electric motors, according to Noah Bethel, vice president, Product Development for PdMA Corp., Tampa, FL. Regular tests are scheduled for each motor; engineers dutifully record the data, when required, and then move on to the next motor.

Collected data is meaningless unless it is analyzed. But, frequently, analysis is nonexistent. When your motor reliability is in question, there could be many reasons including safety issues, quality control, and storage. Motor experts Bethel and Wayne Pilliner, CMRP, The Mosaic Co., Plymouth, MN, say there are three keys to motor reliability:

Quality control. Spend time in the motor-repair shop monitoring the activity.

Trending. Collect data, take advantage of new technology, and remember that trending is your friend.

Troubleshooting. There is an end of life for everything. Get ahead of that. Have a casualty procedure and follow it. Alleviate time delays.

randmDuring the 24th Annual SMRP Conference, held Nov. 2016 in Jacksonville, FL, Bethel and Pilliner presented more tips on avoiding gaps in your motor-reliability program. The first question to ask, they advised, is “Where is your motor-maintenance program?”

Bethel emphasized that it is also important to develop a good business case. This is critical to get buy-in from management for equipment-improvement initiatives, he said.

More questions to answer

• What is the problem?

• What is the gap?

• What is the financial impact?

• What are the goals and objectives?

• What are the roles and responsibilities of the motor-maintenance team? Ensure that these are clearly defined.

• What is the return on investment? Make calculations and predictions for an expanded time period.

The strategy is also something that should be clearly defined. Consider these proven motor-maintenance-strategy process steps:

• Maintain an accurate list of the motors you have in stock and the ones you need to order.

• Identify the criticality of every motor.

• Determine motor-failure modes based on past history.

• Assign corrective actions to prevent established failure modes.

• Develop a sustainable program to ensure compliance.

• Set testing standards and tailor them for your site.

Bethel and Pilliner described several case studies in which this approach helped companies determine the gaps in their motor-reliability program. Look at the gaps as opportunities to learn and improve, they said. Once gaps are identified and a strategic plan is in place, motor reliability at your facility will improve.

Key tips

• Success is dependent on buy-in from stakeholders.

• Motor-testing compliance is greatly improved with M-tap installation, compliant with the 70E standard.

• Put a fundamental maintenance program in place to complement the motor-testing protocol.

• Ensure motor-testing technicians are trained in the technology.

• Knowing the condition of your motors enhances your workflow process. This can result in significant savings from an efficiency and cost-of-failure point of view.

“Productive and long-lasting operation of motors in today’s business environment is the reason for the development of advanced technology and site procedures to increase reliability and assure a quick return to productivity in the event of troubleshooting and repairs,” Bethel said. “The transition of data to usable information becomes more efficient when the analyst has help to make the right decisions.” MT



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