Optimize the Life Cycle of Motors and Drives

  August 9, 2011

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is specification strategies for motors.

The complexity of motor specifications might lead managers to unknowingly compromise energy efficiency by installing a replacement unit that is not designed for the job. For this reason, managers need complete information and critical spares before the need arises. This tactic will help managers avoid possible mistakes and expedite the installation. Also, ensuring the vendor maintains an inventory of critical motors and drives for quick delivery saves space in the facility's storeroom and reduces inventory costs.

Managers can optimize the life cycle of a motor or drive by following a few basic rules:

• Make sure the motor or drive is the right size for the application by having the component's nameplate information and involving the vendor in recommending solutions.

• Implement an inspection program that incorporates regular PM inspections, including visual, audible, and heat checks.

• Keep equipment and drives clean, dry, and tightly sealed.

• Establish a preventive or predictive program that includes cleaning and lubrication at regular intervals, oil analysis of gearboxes to check for wear particles, thermal imaging for electrical and mechanical hot spots, and vibration analysis.

By following these rules, managers will be able to identify problem equipment early. And if technicians perform indicated repair and replacement in a timely way during regularly scheduled shutdowns, then unscheduled downtime, maintenance time, and inventory costs will decrease, and energy efficiency will increase.


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