Electric motors represent an essential aspect of many thriving industries in today’s market. They keep companies running smoothly and can provide years of efficient and effective performance. But no matter how well you maintain your motor, there will come a time when regular usage leads to wear and tear that may leave you asking, “Do I need to repair or replace my motor?”
When an electric motor fails, the first instinct of a company is often to do whatever it takes to revive business functions. After all, an hour of downtime can translate into thousands of dollars in lost productivity and revenue. But the decision-making process for whether to repair or replace your motor can be extremely complicated. You need to ensure that you’re making the decision that best serves your company in the long-term.
Here, we’ll look at the main stages of the decision-making process to help you make an informed choice about your motor.
Is the Motor Still Suitable for the Application?
Motors can suffer from breakdowns for a multitude of reasons. In some cases, a situational element on your production floor could lead to a malfunction that disrupts the productivity of your motor. In other cases, excessive wear and tear over time can cause elements of the motor to break and degrade.
But if your motor has failed for any reason, now may be the perfect time to assess how suitable it is for your chosen application. The current failure may indicate that you have application issues you didn’t recognize early, such as a higher-than-usual radial load on the bearings and shaft. Examining why a failure happened and figuring out whether your motor is still suitable for the application at hand can prevent you from wasting money on a repair that’s likely to give way to another failure in the near future.
What Is the Condition of the Stator Core and Rotor?
Rotor damage and stator core damage in an electric motor can vary from melted end rings to broken bearings. In the event of a catastrophic failure, the damage to the internal elements of your motor may be so severe that it’s difficult to determine the root cause of the problem.
While it’s possible to repair some damage economically, bars that have lifted from their slots or have broken components could require re-barring. If your motor is small, then re-barring is unlikely to be a cost-effective solution to your problems. Examining the rotor or stator core of your motor will usually help you ascertain whether the cost of repair is greater than the cost of replacing the motor.
It may help to speak with a professional when it comes to calculating exactly how much repairs for a catastrophic failure might cost. Experts can sometimes cost effectively repair motor issues, even if a problem appears to be severe.
Efficiency Before and After Repair
During the last 20 years, new factors have emerged which can impact your decision to repair or replace a motor. One of those new factors is energy efficiency. Energy-efficient motors are included in the Energy Policy Act or EPAct.
If your motor is part of the EPAct policy or a NEMA premium motor, any repair should ultimately maintain the original efficiency of the motor. Generally, most energy-efficient motors have more materials to work with than older products. For instance, an energy-efficient motor may have more conductive material than an equally-sized motor that doesn’t meet the EPAct definition. This means that rewinding or repairing to the ANSI AR100 standard will assure the motor efficiency has been maintained.
Budgetary Restraints and Costs
Energy efficiency also introduces the concept of ROI to the question of repairing versus replacement. For example, if your motor isn’t a NEMA premium model or an EPAct-approved solution, you may find that switching to an environmentally-efficient option is more cost effective in the long-run.
One of the most important elements to keep in mind during the decision-making process is the availability of funds for replacing a motor. When thinking about repair or replacement, it’s important to consider not only the immediate cost of your choice, but also the long-term impact that it could have on your business. Contact us for advice on this analysis – we offer both repair or replacement services – and we will provide experience and information to assist in your decision.