It is important to ensure the excellent performance of your electric motors. They have a massive impact on the productivity and profit of your business. Although operating these motors may seem rather straightforward and simple, the last thing you should do is to overlook their condition. This is why you need to perform preventative maintenance checks on your electric motors as a part of managing your assets in the facility.
By preparing a checklist for your preventative maintenance program, you can make sure that every motor is properly examined and monitored. This also provides you with an opportunity to detect potential issues and address these ahead of time. By doing so, you can prevent costly repairs or unplanned expenses in case there is a need to replace your motors completely.
Here, we look into the essential components of a preventative maintenance program for electric motors. Something every business owner must implement regularly.
Perform Visual Inspections on the Motor
There are so many things to discover by just conducting a visual check on your electric motor. Take a good look at its physical condition and be sure to record pieces of information you acquire from doing so. If you have been operating the motor in a rugged environment, it is possible to find signs of corrosion or dirt buildup on its individual components. These all present a potential internal problem since any debris can limit the performance of the equipment.
Make it a point to observe the motor windings and look for a burned odor from overheating. The contacts and relay should also be free from dirt and rust, which are detrimental to the life of your motors. Situate your equipment in an environment without exposure to dirt, moisture, toxic elements, and harsh conditions.
Maintenance Checks on the Commutator and Brush
Do not wait until your electric motors stop working or experience inconsistencies in performance. As a part of your preventative maintenance schedule, you should take a closer look at the brush and commutators. Make sure there are no signs of wear and tear. An excessive wear in the brush can lead to commutation problems with the motor. This is why you will have to change the brush to regain the integrity of the equipment’s function.
In the same way, you need to keep the commutator in check. The natural condition of a commutator is smooth and polished. It should also have no dents, scratches, or grooves since any rough spot suggests brush sparking. While you are at it, make a thorough inspection of the motor mount, stator, rotor, and the belts. Replace any worn components, which no longer serve their purpose.
Conduct a Motor Winding Test
After you have inspected the different components of your machinery, the next thing to do is to test the motor windings. This will give you a better idea on existing anomalies or failures in the windings of your motor. Moreover, if you have discovered burn marks and odors, as well as cracks in the windings, it is mandatory to perform motor winding tests.
To prepare for the test, be sure to disassemble the motor. This will allow you to determine any abnormalities that the motor has been undergoing. In case the windings have experienced overheating, then there is a high chance that a serious damage is present. Rewinding the motor is a crucial part of this test, along with the testing of the wind insulation that reveals information on the resistance level.
Check the Bearings
Inspect the bearings if there is any vibration or noise. These are signs of potential problems including dirt buildup, poor lubrication, or wear and tear. The bearing housing may also end up too hot to the touch. This could signal issues such as an insufficient amount of grease or overheating of the motor.
Depending on the bearing type, a specific preventative maintenance task is necessary. Other factors that affect the type of preventative maintenance include the motor application and the environment where the equipment is situated. There are some motors with a low horsepower that no longer need lubrication as these have sealed bearings. Thus, you have to be aware of the type of bearing and the kind of repair it requires.
Each time preventative maintenance schedules occur, you should document the tests performed, and the results gathered for the purpose of establishing trends. Record all repairs or replacements made on every motor component. This allows you to have a better understanding of each piece of equipment. Which includes issues addressed or parts replaced, which can guide you for future inspections.