Lifetime Operation of Motor Costs More than Initial Purchase

By Andrew Gager  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Repair or replace? Best Strategies to Reduce Maintenance CostsPt. 2: The Consequences of Equipment FailurePt. 3: This Page

The largest cost of motor ownership is that of operating the motor, which represents 97-98 percent of lifetime costs. The initial purchase price represents only an estimated 2-3 percent. Although premium-efficiency motors cost more than standard motors, they pay for themselves quickly in reduced operating costs. The payback period for a high-efficiency motor or a premium-efficiency motor is between seven months and four years, with an average of about two years.

The exact length of the payback period depends on several factors, including annual hours of use, energy rates, costs of installation and downtime. In general, the recommendation is to replace failed motors with energy-efficient motors, rather than rewinding or continuously repairing older ones.

When managers must make a decision on whether to repair or replace a piece of equipment or entire unit, using life-cycle costing or some other similar tool can assist them in making the right business decisions. The decision they make will have profound impact on budgets, future operations and the people in the facility. Remember, lowest cost is not always the lowest price. Don't wait until your operation is rolling port to starboard.

Andy Gager — agager@LCE.com — is a principal consultant with Life Cycle Engineering. He has more than 28 years of manufacturing and facilities experience, ranging from warehousing operations to plant management. He is a registered CMRP, CPIM and Six Sigma Green Belt, and he is formally trained in change-management principles.





High Efficiency

Premium Efficiency






Elec. Demand





Elec. Usage

12.93 kW

12.5 kW

12.1 kW

11.84 kW

Elec. Cost/Yr
(7,884 hrs)

101,940 kW per year

98,550 kW per year

95,396 kW per year

93,346 kW per year

Annual cost ($0.065/Kw)





Cost repair/replace





Replacing 20 hp Motor with energy-efficient motor

Continue Reading:

Repair or replace? Best Strategies to Reduce Maintenance Costs

The Consequences of Equipment Failure

Lifetime Operation of Motor Costs More than Initial Purchase

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  posted on 2/13/2013   Article Use Policy

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