When your commercial or industrial electric motor needs repairs — causing your business costly delays — repairing the issue and resuming top productivity becomes you only concern. In the fast-paced, tight-margin world of manufacturing, a broken electric motor costs you money. Preventative maintenance saves valuable time and money in the long run.
However, the question of just how often you should have your electric motor serviced remains. Different plants choose to conduct preventative maintenance on a variety of schedules. This preventative maintenance includes reconditioning, or what some call a “clean and bake.” Reconditions are essentially a repair before an actual breakdown as well as a thorough cleaning. Through regular use, debris collects on and even inside the electric motor, significantly impacting its function.
Here are three policies that plants should follow to determine electric motor reconditioning:
- Some plants swear by a regular preventative maintenance schedule. According to this plan, electric motors are serviced without fail according to a set schedule. This schedule becomes determined by the use and history of the machine. A regular preventative maintenance schedule also allows for spare parts to be ordered in advance and always available accordingly.
- However, machines simply do not always require maintenance according to a schedule. Your schedule may say it’s time for reconditioning, but your electric motor is running fine. This could result in excessive and unnecessary downtime.
- Breakdown maintenance represents perhaps the direct opposite of a regular preventative maintenance schedule. Breakdown maintenance policies mean exactly what it sounds like— running a machine until it no longer works.
A breakdown maintenance policy ensures that no time ends up wasted on unnecessary maintenance as it might with a regular preventative maintenance policy. However, having no schedule means that you have no way to plan ahead for down time when your electric motor breaks down. This could present a big problem, especially in manufacturing facilities.
Still other plants call for reconditioning according to a predictive maintenance policy. That means that electric motors are serviced whenever conditions of that machine show signs that repairs would be necessary in the near future. Such measurable conditions include vibration, thermography, ultrasound and temperature. Choosing to call for reconditioning according to a predictive maintenance policy saves more time than alternative options by keeping both scheduled and unscheduled downtime to a minimum.
Keep in mind that predictive maintenance is only effective if technicians in your plant know the right signs to look for. If technicians are not properly trained they may miss faults or falsely assume faults in an electric motor.
Which reconditioning schedule should you follow?
Most plants choose to adhere to a combination of these three plans rather than strictly following one. Evaluate the pros and cons of each plan and consider individual machines rather than choosing a single plan for each and every electric motor in your facility.
Consider the amount of use that each machine gets. Your most frequently used electric motors will need to be serviced more frequently, so a regular preventative maintenance schedule might prove necessary. However, you may have technicians that are capable of minor maintenance requirements, which may mean following breakdown maintenance would work in some areas. Take a look at the history of your electric motors to determine how often they are likely to need repairs.
You’re already on the right track if you’re thinking about preventative maintenance. However, an experienced electric motor technician knows best. Fixall Electric Motor Service will work with you to help settle on the right option for you and your industrial electric motors.