When an electric motor fails, a lot of things can happen; none of which are good. From a production slowdown to an entire line shutdown, electric motor failure can result in untold losses in time and money.
That’s why it is vital to work with the right electric motor repair vendor. You need someone who can spot the problem and fix it promptly. Better yet, you need somebody who understands the entire powertrain system and can help prevent future breakdowns from occurring in the first place.
With so many electric motor repair sources to choose from, most of which tout the same skills and services, how do you know which one to choose?
Finding a long-term repair partner who will help minimize downtime while maximizing your plant’s performance requires doing some internal research first and foremost.
Define The Problem
The first step in selecting a motor repair vendor may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many people zip right by it. The fact that you’re looking for a repair vendor means a problem has occurred.
What is the problem? What happened? Was it one major problem or a series of events?
Whatever your answers, are you sure?
More often than not, by the time you get to the point of looking for a new vendor, there have been years and years of mishaps. A major disruption is usually the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back and causes an SOS to be sent out to a new repair shop.
When the same vendor gets the job again and again, even failure after failure, it’s time to admit that there has to be a better solution out there somewhere.
Finding that new vendor is easier said than done since relationships come into play. So does the fact that many people just don’t want to take the risk of making a change.
In a twist of logic, it seems safer to stick with the devil you know rather than take a chance with a new electric motor repair shop.
That said, if you keep doing what you’ve done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got.
Knowing what problem you need fixed goes hand in hand with knowing exactly what your motor entails.
You wouldn’t go to different car dealers and say, “Quote me a car.”
You’d have to have some sort of specifications to get an accurate comparison between dealers. The same goes for electric motor repair.
Specs level the playing field among vendors and compare their respective capabilities and costs. Providing potential vendors with specifications of what type of motors you have, what you need to have done, and what is going on in your facility will allow them to more accurately estimate costs and, eventually, repair your motor.
Many companies generate their own specs. If you haven’t gotten that far, pre-established specifications are available, or you can hire a third party to generate custom specs for your particular needs.
Specification standards established by leading industrial groups and organizations include:
- Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) AR 100-2015.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).
- National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).
- Industrial Standards Organization (ISO).
- Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable (NWIBRT).
- Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
Whatever the case, specs enable you to clearly communicate to the vendor, “If you’re going to repair our motor, here’s what you’re going to do.”
In addition to sharing specifications with potential vendors, it is also important to list which focused processes and reports you expect to be completed. Qualified shops will be able to explain how they will undertake each point and how they will report the results.
Important reporting requests and communication points include:
- Electrical tests.
- Vibration tests.
- Mechanical measurements and tests.
- Reporting documentation through pictures.
- Hold points/inspections/approval-needed portions.
- Equipment calibration standards.
- Approved methods of repair.
- What should be tested when the motor comes in.
- What should be tested before the motor goes out.
When it comes to determining the specs, you can be generic or specific. The more specific you are, the less risk you run of getting an improper repair.
All Systems Go
Working with a capable and proactive electric motor repair shop can help bounce back from motor failures or prevent them entirely.
Since our founding in 1959, HECO has provided expert repairs and predictive maintenance to electric motor systems in a variety of industries. To learn how we can help your facility run smoothly with dependable motors and equipment.
For more information about selecting a vendor, download HECO’s What to Look for in an Electric Motor Repair Shop e-book.
The What to do Before Choosing a New Electric Motor Repair Shop blog series will continue with:
- Part 2 – Set Your Expectations.
- Part 3 – Assemble Your Team.