Tips for better Preventive Maintenance Programs

Long and unscheduled downtime in today’s industries is troublesome and deeply cuts the companies’ profits. Hence, the need for effective Preventive Maintenance (PM) programs on electric motors arises. Regular and timely electric maintenancemotors ensure long- life and make them resilient to many faults. Below are a few steps which must be included in the PM programs:

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  1. Visual checks

The greatest tool at your disposal. If performed accurately, visual inspection can detect or predict most faults. Take a long and careful look at all parts of the motors and record your observations. Look for corrosion, burnt parts, dirt build-up, or any other physical condition hindering its performance. Make sure to house the equipment in an environment free of dirt and moisture.

  1. Inspection of commutator and brush:

The commutator is a split-ring device used to keep the direction of the magnetic field constant. Nowadays, spring-loaded brushes are used as opposed to copper brushes used earlier. Hence, maintenance of these parts is of immense importance.

Frequent wear and tear are quite common since they are a rotating part of the electric motor. Once it has worn out, the brush needs to be changed to avoid commutation problems. Similarly, one should look for dents and scratches on the commutator, indicating brush sparking and replacing it.


  1. Winding Test:

The next step should be to perform a winding test. This would give you a deep insight into the existing problems. The test involves dissembling the electric motor part by part and looking for any signs of damage that might have been caused by overheating. Burn marks, cracks, or any odor from the windings must not be ignored. The motor windings must be changed and tested to ensure smooth functioning.

  1. Lubrication:

Lubrication in the right amount is paramount, as greasings above and below the stipulated amount would damage the bearings. Under-greasing could lead to wear and tear due to overheating, and over-greasing causes tolerance to stack up, reducing bearings’ life.

Bearings can be lubricated using oil or grease, depending on the approach. When installing a new bearing assembly, you should check whether they are pre-greased and must not over-fat. Some of the motors with low horsepower do not need lubrication at all. Hence, proper knowledge of the bearing used is a prerequisite for maintenance.

  1. Infrared thermology:

This technique has become extremely popular due to its excellent results. An infrared camera is used for thermal imaging of the motor without interfering with its operation. This provides information about the temperature and heat patterns of the engine over a specific period. In case of any faults, the camera will immediately detect an unstable voltage and produce an image that can then be used to identify the spot.

  1. Maintenance of records:

Maintaining records every time you perform any of the above tests is essential to establish a pattern/ trend. Doing so also creates a better understanding and helps in future inspections.

A strict preventive management regime must be followed for better outputs regarding production and finance.