Author - Mike Herring, Baker
Energy costs are a major part of the operating expenditure for any plant or facility, and in almost every case, electric motors are among the largest consumers of energy. Properly implemented monitoring of motor performance, which will help to improve reliability and extend the life of motors, is therefore an excellent investment, as it will reduce overall operating costs.
To be truly effective, condition monitoring must include not only tests like vibration analysis, oil analysis and thermography, which mainly detect mechanical problems, but also a structured testing regime for electrical faults. All too often, other than the basic tests, electrical testing is deemed unnecessary. This is unfortunate, as studies have shown time and again that after bearing failure, electrical winding faults are the most common mode of motor failure. A structured electrical testing regime is, therefore, not simply an optional extra – it’s a vital requirement for achieving plant reliability.