A good electric motor can give you years of reliable service. They are built to perform and engineered to last. Many recently designed motors are capable of improving the energy efficiency of an operation.
As good as they are, and as reliable as they are – and as efficient as they have become – electric motors are not indestructible. Like every other mechanical device, they wear out, break down, use up their useful life, die – or just plain fail.
And if Mr. Murphy is on the job at your place – they will decide to give up the ghost at the time that will most ruin your plans.
As a major supplier of electric motors, IBT has a simple piece of advice to follow the next time you have an electric motor problem: “Call us.”
When there is trouble with an electric motor, you are facing a series of problems and options.
The first order of business is to figure out how to work around the loss of function in the machinery powered by the motor. Maybe you have a spare motor to put in place – either temporarily or permanently. If you do, consider yourself fortunate. You have just given yourself the time to make the best decision about how to handle the “problem” motor.
If you have no spare – and nothing on your shelf that can fill in for even a few hours – your problems have just become more complicated. If the machinery that is disabled is critical to your productivity, the clock is ticking quickly – and time is, after all, money.
In an ideal situation, you would, of course, have just the right component ready to snap into place without any major interruption in your process.
In a real situation, you would at least be ready to make the best decision for the situation – and do it in a timely fashion. Your biggest choice is whether to fix what you have – or buy a new one to replace it.
Before you can take either course of action, there are some basic facts that you will need:
- What is it? What does it say on the nameplate? Who made the motor? What is the horsepower, speed, voltage, phase, enclosure, frame size, catalog number or SKU and the serial number?
- What does it do? Does it drive a fan, pump, conveyor belt or blower? Is it a direct drive or belted?
- Is there any auxiliary equipment? Any gearboxes? Clutches? Brakes?
- What happened? Did it stop cold? Smoke? Burn out? Freeze up? Lose power?
- How is it started? Across the line, soft start, adjustable speed drive, part winding start, wye start, delta start?
- Has this been a problem motor in the past? What is the operating history? Any previous breakdowns with this unit ? Is the application/installation been a problem with other motors? Is there an inherent engineering issue? (Wrong motor or rating? Poor drive or mechanical design?)
- What is the operating environment for this motor? Is it indoors? Outdoors? Is it exposed to dust, dirt, chemicals, hazardous fumes, moisture – how much?
- Is the motor still under warranty? Check the original documentation – or ask the vendor.
- How urgent is the situation? Repairs can take days – or maybe weeks. You can pay for expedited service. You can buy a replacement motor – but that also might take some time to put in place. How quickly do you need to act?
Since the big question is, essentially, repair or replace, there are some factors which will make one course of action the more desirable.
IBT has found that smaller motors – ones operating with less than 125 hp – are generally not good candidates for repair. This is because repairs can be more expensive than replacing the motor – and that the repair can cause a loss of efficiency.
In many cases, the conclusion is that the short term and long term cost of a new motor is your wisest choice. You’ll save money now. You’ll save money on power consumption. And you may also prevent a subsequent failure, as new motors can be counted on to out last repaired motors.
Sometimes, however, replacing the motor is not as easy as you would think it would be. There has to be a new one available. Unusual ratings and/or configurations can sometimes be difficult to locate.
As a major supplier of motors, IBT is the most likely source of your new motor. Their large inventory may include just the motor you need – and you can have it quickly.
Even if IBT does not have it in inventory, they can still be of great help. Their close relationship with the leading manufacturers – as well as with other distributors throughout the country – means that if such a motor exists, they can probably find it in a hurry.
In addition, IBT’s close association with repair specialists – and extensive knowledge of motors and their applications – can help get your repairs ordered and expedited ASAP.
So, when you are having problems of any sort with any electric motor in your operation, call IBT. Whether the best solution to your immediate situation is repairing it or replacing it, they can help you make the right decision and get the right solution in place Pronto.
Then, after this immediate problem is resolved, IBT can help you make plans to anticipate any future crises and be ready to act quickly, efficiently and economically when they occur.
Because, we all know they will occur – even in the best managed and closely maintained operations. When IBT is on your side, you’ve always got a helpful friend – with a warehouse full of solutions and and team full of knowledge.