At your plant, as at others, electric motors and drives are probably the most widely used devices. Motor-driven equipment accounts for 64% of the electricity consumed in the U.S. manufacturing sector. They truly are our industrial workhorses. And, they are husky. For example, the test labs at the Motor Resource Center concluded that motors can ride through many momentary power interruptions without risking damage, thereby contradicting a commonly held belief.
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Three-phase voltage imbalance at the service entrance is another story. Voltage imbalance degrades motor efficiency and is arguably the main cause of overheated windings and premature failure. One study indicates that 1/3 of such connections are unbalanced. Although there’s not much you can do about conditions outside the battery limits, if the imbalance originates in-house, you can fix it..
Motor controls, on the other hand, can be more sensitive. It takes skilled people to troubleshoot and repair them. As we know, drive technology evolves, so training on that front is essential to keeping your technicians current. Relying only on the idea of on-the-job training might mean a technician needs more than 10 years to gain full competency. In any case, build a good paper trail. It’s good documentation that will set you up for continuous improvement.
Don’t let failures determine what kind of day you’re going to have. The only drive maintenance that makes sense is PdM or condition-based maintenance, both of which let you spot incipient failures early enough to have your plan in place. Consider up-front brainstorming to develop a list of ranked failure modes and an idea of how you’re going to know they’re on the horizon. Then, monitor, monitor, monitor and follow through with effective communications.
Build momentum and document your successes at energy reduction initiatives using KPIs that have hard numbers and report them to management. They need to know. And, it’s your motor and drive knowledge database that is going to be a key element in this effort. It brings meaning to the data and information needed for an effective program.
Once you select a compatible supply, drive, motor and power conditioning hardware, the only way to enjoy the benefits is by maintaining its efficiency and reliability. Remember, motor repair costs are nothing compared to downtime cost. Purchasing quality motors, drives and repairs has a long-term payoff. Formulate a plan and commitment to replace inefficient motors with better units that will save money.
GE's Quantum LMV AC induction TEFC motors are available in NEMA Frame 500 (250-1000 HP) and IEC Frame 315 (175-750 kW)
Baldor's Super-E motors with AEGIS Shaft Grounding Rings prevent bearing damage