Effective Motor Management Strategies

The Numbers

The U.S. Department of Energy has reported that manufacturing companies consume approximately 25% of all U.S. electricity, with about 70% of this amount being used by electric motors. Often times, ineffective or nonexistent motor management policies can burden facilities with unnecessary costs and downtime. Simply paying more attention to motors, however, is not time consuming and can cut electricity costs by 10%.

According to The Consortium on Energy Efficiency, energy consumption makes up 97% of the total cost to operate a motor, meaning that the annual expense to operate a motor can well exceed its purchase price. What’s more, a 2003 report by the Electrical Apparatus Service Association announced that the cost of downtime can range anywhere from $200,000 to $1,000,000 per day. The ability to maintain production uptime is therefore crucial in reducing operation costs, lowering maintenance costs, and increasing motor life.

Choosing a Plan

By establishing logical policies for motor management, your company will not become bogged down by the details. Purchase policies for new motors should emphasize performance, reliability, and efficiency; cost-effective repair/replacement breakpoints should be determined; and appropriate repair standards and professional repair facilities should be chosen.

 

Purchase Policy The Repair/Replace Decision Choosing A Repair Facility
Lean manufacturing ensures consistent and reliable operationSize optimization allows use of one motor for many applications Allow for 60% of the cost of a new motor for a failed motor repair Value may lead to a sacrifice in standardsRush repairs introduce excessive heat and impact the motor negatively

Motor Management Quick Tips

In addition to implementing specific motor management policies, we have included the following quick tips to ensure that your motors run more efficiently and require less maintenance throughout their life

  1. Dirt and contamination reduce airflow, causing premature bearing and insulation failure, lack of lubrication, and operation at high temperatures.
  2. Corrosion occurs when using the wrong type of motor in a damp environment.
  3. Using too much lubrication can be just as damaging as lubricant contamination, causing overheating and premature motor failure.
  4. Excessive heat is a sign that something is wrong with the system.
  5. Noise and vibrations indicate problems with the shaft and rotor or bearing misalignment.
  6. Keeping corrosive solvents away from internal elements will prolong motor life.
  7. Frequently checking brushes ensures that they will ride smoothly.

 

If you’d like to learn more about motor management planning as well as read case studies related to steam systems, please read Ted Clayton’s white paper, “Practical Perspectives on Motor Management.”

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

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