Flick a switch and get instant power, how our ancestors would have loved electric motors! The basic idea of an electric motor is really basic and straightforward. Electricity is applied at one end and an axle, that is, metal rod rotates at the other end giving you the power to operate a machine of some kind. It is through this process electricity is converted into movement.
Electric motors are in electric trains, remote controlled cars and so on. On the computer I am using, there is probably two electric motors present, one spinning my hard drive and another one powering the cooling fan.
However, the purport of this article is to critically examine a situation whereby a motor is damaged, be it through over use, damaged parts or water so as to determine if a motor repair or motor replacement is needed.
How to choose between repairing and replacing a motor
Motors are very dependable when maintained and managed to a certain point. Motors are devices which converts any source of energy into mechanical energy. After that point the motors fail. It depends on you to make the decision quickly to either get a motor replacement or repair and get machine going again. You need to realize that the decision made during this period can considerably influence the efficiency and reliability of the equipment.
The effect of motor repair on efficiency depends widely from one repair shop to another. The efficiency can only be identified when measurement is taken before and after repairs. Quality based repair shop develop programs which aimed to reduce the impact in the motors effectiveness when repairs are done.
Many companies automatically replace the motor after it has been destroyed without considering repairing them which can be a very terrible choice leading to monetary loss.
There are some considerations to ponder upon before final decisions are made which are;
- The frequency of repairs
The reliability of the equipment decreases with the number of repairs made to the motor. For instance, if the motor has been rewound numerous times it brings the dependability of the equipment into uncertainty. Companies usually have a limit to the number of repairs to be made on a motor in their guidelines
Irrespective of the motor’s component and cost and savings, decisions might also affect the machine’s reliability or perceived reliability. For example, if the motor has been rewound numerous times by means of burnout ovens, or the motor frame has been broken in the application, or some additional reason brings the long-term reliability of the motor into doubt, a replacement choice could be made.
Companies frequently have procedures such as a threshold to the number of rewinds a motor might have through its lifespan. However, this sacrifices a few opportunities that might be implemented through the repair procedure.
- Availability of replacement
Some motors are not available because of design of its special part and delivery time which can cause production based motors to decide on repairing. For example, if the difference between all of the cost associated with the new motor is higher than the repair, the decision of getting a new motor which should not be acceptable.
In these conditions, the environmental and energy effect is overlooked, and repairs might cost more than the price of the new machine. In other severe cases, the existing motor might be repaired to run long enough for the replacement motor to be delivered. These instances often are the result of a reliability-based replacement decision.
- Age of machine
A moderately widespread guideline is to repair motors only if they don’t go beyond a range of 50%-80% of the new. This method commonly used in conditions where the owners want a simple rule to make a decision which often c the full lifecycle cost of the machine result not to be attained. This method is usually combined with availability and reliability, but not often.
When an electric motor is still relatively new, there is a chance it might still be under warranty. However, if it isn’t it might be best to still repair it, as there will be likely to be available. If the motor has passed the expected lifespan it is best to get a motor replacement. Today motors are designed to last 15-20 years. Modifications can be made to the motor to increase it lifespan based on it usage.
- Cause of failure
The first step is to figure out what caused the failure the motor. It will be better to repair the motor if it is a problem is relatively simple and cheap to repair. If a terrible failure occurred due to a significant damage to the motor, it might be more feasible to get a motor replacement than repair it. In some cases, a component might be damaged which can be easily replaced. The damage should be assessed by a professional.
- Purchasing a new motor
Purchasing new motor which reduces production and lead to reduced productivity might not be the best course of action, it will be more effective to repair such motors in this condition. It is advisable to get a professional who can assess the new motor performance compared to the one that needs to be repaired
Buy the new motor from the vendor which meets all specification requirement by the organization
Scientists have deduced that there six main causes of electric motor failures namely; over-current, low resistance, over-heating, dirt, moisture and vibration. So when considering between motor repair and motor replacement, there are more items to consider apart from environmental and energy savings.
While the primary focus during the past 20 years which led to some poor decision, there are more factors to consider such as motor reliability, suitability, spares in inventory and motors impact on production.
It is better to develop a document management plan aimed to maintain and compile accurate reports on your repairs. Review your reports regularly in order to detect areas which needs improvement in relation to the operation of the motor.
Ensure that when repairing your motor, it is important for get a maintenance engineer, motor repair experts and owner to ensure that appropriate decisions are made in order to make the choice cost effective.