Motor Analysis (2) – Finish

2. Motor Analysis Test

2.1 Electrical Surge Comparison
In addition to ground wall insulation resistance, one of the primary concerns related to motor condition is winding insulation. Surge comparison testing can be used to identify turn-to-turn and phase-to-phase insulation deterioration, as well as a reversal or open circuit in the connection of one or more coils or coil groups.

Recent advances in the portability of test devices now allow this test technique to be used in troubleshooting and predictive maintenance. Because of differences in insulation thickness, motor winding insulation tends to be more susceptible to failure from the inherent stresses existing within the motor environment than ground wall insulation. Surge comparison testing identifies insulation deterioration by applying a high frequency transient surge to equal parts of a winding and comparing the resulting voltage waveforms. Differences seen in the resulting waveforms are indicative insulation or coil deterioration. A properly trained test technician can use these differences to properly diagnose the type and severity of the fault. In addition to utilization of this motor analysis technique in a predictive maintenance program, it can also be used to identify improper motor repair practices or improper operating conditions (speeds, temperature, load).
Surge comparison testing is a moderately complex and expensive predictive maintenance technique. As with most predictive maintenance techniques, the greatest saving opportunities do not come directly from preventing a catastrophic failure of a component (i.e., motor) but rather the less tangible cost saving benefits. Reduced downtimes, ability to schedule maintenance, increased production, decreased overtime, and decreased inventory cost are just a few of the advantages of being able to predict an upcoming motor failure.

2.2 Motor Current Signature Analysis
Another useful tool in the motor predictive maintenance arsenal is motor current signature analysis (MCSA). MCSA provides a non-intrusive method for detecting mechanical and electrical problems in motor-driven rotating equipment. The technology is based on the principle that a conventional electric motor driving a mechanical load acts as a transducer. The motor (acting as a transducer) senses mechanical load variations and converts them into electric current variations that are transmitted along the motor power cables. These current signatures are reflective of a machine’s condition and closely resemble signatures produced using vibration monitoring. These current signals are recorded and processed by software to produce a visual representation of the existing frequencies against current amplitude. Analysis of these variations can provide an indication of machine condition, which may be trended over time to provide an early warning of machine deterioration or process alteration.
Motor current signature analysis is one of the moderately complex and expensive predictive techniques. The complexity stems in large part from the relatively subjective nature of interpreting the spectra, and the limited number of industry-wide historical or comparative spectra available for specific applications.
3. System Applications
• Stem packing degradation
• Incorrect torque switch settings
• Degraded stem or gear case lubrication
• Worn gear tooth wear
• Restricted valve stem travel
• Obstructions in the valve seat area
• Disengagement of the motor pinion gear
• Improper seal/packing installation
• Improper bearing or gear installation
• Inaccurate shaft alignment or rotor balancing
• Insulation deterioration
• Turn-to-turn shorting
• Phase-to-phase shorting
• Short circuits
• Reversed or open coils.
4. Equipment Cost/Payback
As indicated earlier, motor analysis equipment is still costly and generally requires a high degree
of training and experience to properly diagnosis equipment problems. A facility with a large number of motors critical to process throughput may find that ownership of this technology and adequately trained personnel more than pays for itself in reduced downtime, overtime cost, and motor inventory needs. Smaller facilities may find utilization of one of the many contracted service providers valuable in defining and maintaining the health of the motors within their facility. As with most predictive maintenance contract services, cost will range from $600 to $1,200 per day for on-site support. Finding a single motor problem whose failure would result in facility downtime can quickly offset the cost of these services.


One Response to “Motor Analysis (2) – Finish”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Would infrared help in this area?

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