As crucial factors in many thriving industries, electric motors include a variety of complex and specialized parts that must all continue to run in optimum condition, in order to maintain productivity. Unfortunately, extensive use resulting in application wear and tear, improper maintenance and undetected motor manufacturing issues can lead to problems.
The sudden breakdown of an electric motor can result in many thousands of dollars wasted due to downtime — which means that companies must make quick decisions on how to address the issue.
In most circumstances, this means considering two options: repairing the electric motor, or replacing it with a newer model. Many companies automatically jump to replace their unit — but the truth is that repairing the motor can be much more economical, environmentally friendly, and beneficial in the right circumstances.
Energy Efficiency and Motor Repair
A generation ago, deciding between replacement or repair used to be quite simple — that was before energy-efficient motors changed the market. Back then, businesses relied on the “rule of 57,” which dictated that if a technician could repair a motor for less than 57% of the price for a new one, they should. Today, there are more complicated factors to think about.
One major consideration is energy efficiency. Because 90% of an electric motor’s lifecycle cost is spent on power, it’s essential to choose a solution that maintains, or enhances, the energy performance of the machine. Research proves that adherence to proper procedures for premium-efficiency motor rewinding or mechanical repairing can maintain that motor’s energy efficiency, so replacement no longer stands above repair as the most efficient option.
Examining the Motor: Is Repair Possible?
It’s important to determine why the machine failed in the first place, and whether the failed motor is still suitable for its purpose. Processes for electrical motors change over time, so reexamining the application can give you insight into whether a new model would improve your productivity.
If the motor suits the application, then the stator core should be assessed for excessive damage. In some circumstances, simply replacing the core (rather than the entire motor) is a better option. If the core is expensive, or difficult to replace, turn to repair. When examining your motor to see if repair is possible, ask the following questions:
Has Catastrophic Failure Occurred?
If there’s been catastrophic failure, excessive damage may occur in more than one component of the electrical motor — including the stator frame, windings, shaft, rotor, bearings and end brackets. The more extensive the damage; the more likely replacement is the most economical option. Remember that damage in a motor is variable, and many issues can still be repaired cost effectively, even if the problem seems extensive.
How Old is the Motor?
If the motor is relatively new, repair could be much simpler than replacement. New motors may still be under warranty, and parts can be easily accessed without much down-time or expense. Technicians can repair energy-efficient EPAct motors using proper procedures without any damage to the efficiency rating — which allows you to access a lower cost or faster solution, without damaging the lifecycle of your motor, or the productivity of your company.
Motor Repair and Your Bottom Line
Ultimately, the question you want to answer is whether it’s more cost effective to replace or repair the damaged motor. Although some circumstances will require replacement, the option to repair is becoming the more obvious, and economic, choice in an age where energy efficiency can be easily maintained using a motor service facility that follows proper servicing procedures — particularly when purchasing a new motor can lead to additional downtime, as you wait for production and delivery
Using an EASA Accredited facility is your assurance that an independent 3rd party has audited and verified the technical procedures, equipment, personnel and policies are in place and in use.
Repairing an electric motor is often more time and budget friendly, particularly if you have access to a high-quality repair company. When it comes to reducing carbon footprint, and caring for the environment, repairing a motor reduces waste material — so it’s more eco-friendly than simply scrapping machines whenever they fail. In a world focused on environmental protection, sustainable practices and energy efficiency, repair is usually your best bet.