Industrial Motor Control: Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance can provide time and money savings for facilities that use heavy-duty motors and industrial motor control products. Within plant operations or other similar workplace facilities, one thing that’s desperately needed is a solid preventive maintenance plan. When there are production goals to meet and heavy-duty machinery and motors are being used to achieve those goals, all motors, motor drives and other equipment must run smoothly and safely.

What Is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance does as the name implies — it prevents problems from arising and ensures reliable equipment operation. In contrast to reactive maintenance, it is done before issues appear, helping engineers resolve or deter future repairs. It’s often performed as part of a larger maintenance strategy. A survey from Plant Engineering revealed 80% of maintenance personnel prefer using this method of upkeep, especially within a multi-dimensional maintenance plan.

Preventive maintenance is part of a larger industrial motor control system. Industrial motor control refers to an intricate system involving numerous motors and all their working parts. Each motor has its own controls and components, but industrial motor control refers to a larger system with multiple machines and mechanical elements. All industrial controls within a select motor or system work together to help it function as necessary. Industrial motor control in general and preventive maintenance specifically facilitate effective operation.

Why Preventive Maintenance Is Important

Industrial motor control maintenance is important because these systems require regular upkeep to continue working at the maximum ability and avoid equipment failure. Conducting preventive maintenance on your alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) motors lengthens their lifespans because you can address any potential issues before they grow bigger. Reactive maintenance might be necessary at times, but consistently relying on this technique can cost you more money than finding problems ahead of time.

Since production workplace settings are busy every day, it’s easy to ignore the need for preventive maintenance or procrastinate until it’s too late. And when a total motor breakdown occurs, this leads to downtime and lost profits for everyone relying upon that particular machinery. At least 50% of the respondents from the Plant Engineering survey agree that upgrading equipment, improving training strategies and bettering their preventive maintenance techniques are essential to decreasing unscheduled downtime.

Tips for Creating a Motor Control Preventive Maintenance Plan

Before you dive into the work, you should create an induction motor preventive maintenance checklist. AC and DC motors operate differently, meaning you might need to develop separate plans for each type. For example, DC motor preventive maintenance calls for checking and cleaning the brushes, which AC motors do not have. Therefore, AC motor maintenance might focus more on inspecting components related to air intake, temperature and foundation.

Here’s a set of steps you can use for drawing up a checklist and ensuring you account for every part of your industrial motor control systems:

  1. Decide which parts need maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance on all major equipment and accessories. Parts that tend to wear out more quickly should be checked more often. In contrast, heavy-duty motors and their accompanying motor drives can probably be checked on a monthly or quarterly basis. This factor also depends on the type of operation and the amount of strain the motor experiences daily.
  2. Choose your techniques: Some types of motors or controls might respond well to multiple maintenance techniques, meaning you should choose the most effective one for your plan. For example, you might only use a manufacturer-approved lubricant but then discover that a more modern version is better at keeping the motor well-oiled.
  3. Delegate tasks: When possible, assign preventive maintenance tasks to those who use and run the equipment often. These employees will recognize immediately if the machinery or motor is not performing up to par. If necessary, consider hiring an external organization to perform maintenance services for more complex and specialized jobs.
  4. Secure the right tools: Make sure you have the proper testing equipment on hand for all your industrial motor drives and controls. You can easily create a detailed and well-developed plan, but you also need the right tools to get it off the ground.
  5. Do inspections: In step one, you decided which parts needed maintenance. Doing a visual examination of your motors can reveal other issues that need attention and might’ve slipped your radar. Check for debris buildup and corrosion on the exteriors — these can give signs about the motor’s internal performance.
  6. Clean the machinery: Clean your equipment and the surrounding areas daily or at least weekly. Exposure to dust particles, shavings, liquids, small pieces of material and fibers can hinder equipment from functioning properly. When necessary, make sure all power sources have been disconnected before performing maintenance.
  7. Check ventilation-based equipment: For motors or equipment that depend on ventilation, check the ventilation passages often, and change the filters regularly. Debris can block the ventilation passages, causing the machine to overheat. This issue can also occur in rooms with limited ventilation.
  8. Keep records: After maintenance tasks are complete, document which parts were checked, what techniques were used and who performed the upkeep. Creating detailed records helps you pinpoint trends in equipment performance and better understand your machinery.

Whether maintaining industrial motor control products such as AC or DC motor drives or the actual industrial motors, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the removal of or cleaning of parts. Follow all safety rules to prevent accidents that can harm employees and the motor or equipment.

If you need help with preventive maintenance of heavy-duty DC or AC motors, drives and other industrial motor control equipment, contact the manufacturer for assistance if customer support is available. You might be able to speak directly with a qualified engineer who’s familiar with the motor or drive and get easy-to-follow instructions for maintenance.

Some manufacturers also offer many motor control PDF files for download, including manuals, software and brochures. Starting a regularly scheduled preventive maintenance schedule can prevent future hassles by keeping all motors, drives and accessories operating at full capacity. This produces a safer, more productive environment for everyone!

Contact Carotron for Industrial Motor Control Parts

If you’ve conducted motor control maintenance and discovered you need a new drive or motor, explore Carotron’s selection of industrial motor drives and electrical components. We offer free quotes for all our products and provide free phone tech assistance for anyone needing advice for items purchased from us. We ensure all of our products are high-quality and compliant with demanding industrial requirements — that way, you always get the best equipment for the job.

Need more help deciding what to buy? Contact our knowledgeable team, and we will help you get on the right path to purchasing the necessary equipment. Satisfying our customers is our primary goal, and we aim to please with our expert-level engineering support.

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