A comprehensive preventive maintenance program is the key to extending the life of your motors and generators. Unscheduled stoppage of production or long repair shutdowns are intolerable in today’s plant operations. Profits fall from the downtime.
While management may realize the value of a good preventive maintenance program, they are often reluctant to spend the time and dollars needed for proper tools, instruments, practices, or technical assistance to properly maintain equipment. Below is a list of some basic procedures for keeping your equipment running.
Basic Motor Maintenance Guidelines
- Lubricate regularly according to manufacturer's instructions. On sleeve-bearing and other oil-lubricated machines, check oil reservoirs on a regular basis.
- Avoid excess grease or oil that can get into windings and deteriorate insulation.
- Be sure to use only the lubricant specified for the equipment.
- Inspect the bearings. These are one of the most common causes of motor failures. Bearing problems include improper lubrication, misalignment of the motor with the load, replacement with the wrong type bearing, excessive loading, and harsh environments.
- Check bearing surface temperature with a thermometer, electronic temperature sensing devices, or stick-on temperature indicating labels. Compare temperature of hot bearings with the temperatures of normally operating bearings.
- Check oil rings and watch for excessive end play.
- Check belt tension. Sheaves should be seated firmly with little or no play.
- Check the couplings to insure they are tight and within tolerances.
- Check for excessive noise.
- Check the alignment on all motor-generator sets and on motor-load couplings if you suspect an issue.
- Inspect the commutator and brushes. Check brushes for proper type, hardness, conductivity, and fit in brush holders.
- Inspect the motor mount. Look at the steel base plates for possible warping, mounting bolts, and the concrete base for cracking or spalling.
- Run a vibration-analysis test once a year. Excessive vibration will shorten motor life drastically, while causing bearing failure, metal fatigue of parts, and/or failure of windings.
- Monitor your motor’s temperature control. Poor air flow or excessive ambient temperatures may cause a motor to operate at a higher than desired temperature.
- Pull and disassemble important motors during shutdowns for thorough inspection, testing, cleaning, checking of bearings, couplings or accessories, or complete reconditioning.
- Vital motors should get a thorough visual inspection, as well as voltage and current checks.
- Keep accurate records. Comparing the stats from month to month and year to year can indicate wear and possible future failures.
Don’t wait until neglect causes major issues. It is easy to implement basic maintenance practices.
IER Services (Industrial Electromechanical Repair Services) offers fast, effective, maintenance and repair services of electromechanical devices of all types including AC and DC motors, pumps, variable frequency drives, and more. We cover Central Ohio and surrounding areas.