Motors & Energy Saving (4)

6. Maintenance of Motors

Preventative and predictive maintenance programs for motors are effective practices in manufacturing plants. These maintenance procedures involve a sequence of steps plant personnel use to prolong motor life or foresee a motor failure. The technicians use a series of diagnostics such as motor temperature and motor vibration as key pieces of information in learning about the motors. One way a technician can use these diagnostics is to compare the vibration signature found in the motor with the failure mode to determine the cause of the failure. Often failures occur well before the expected design life span of the motor and studies have shown that mechanical failures are the prime cause of premature electrical failures. Preventative maintenance takes steps to improve motor performance and to extend its life. Common preventative tasks include routine lubrication, allowing adequate ventilation, and ensuring the motor is not undergoing any type of unbalanced voltage situation.

The goal of predictive maintenance programs is to reduce maintenance costs by detecting problems early, which allows for better maintenance planning and less unexpected failures. Predictive maintenance programs for motors observe the temperatures, vibrations, and other data to determine a time for an overhaul or replacement of the motor. Consult each motor’s instructions for maintenance guidelines. Motors are not all the same. Be careful not to think that what is good for one is good for all. For example, some motors require a periodic greasing of the bearings and some do not.

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