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Was it Really the Motor that Failed?

Motors are essential to modern manufacturing. When one stops unexpectedly and the subsequent investigation shows it’s damaged, we say the motor failed. Maybe it has a spun bearing or an insulation failure that resulted in a phase to case short. But was this really the motor that failed?

Let’s consider a spun bearing. How does that happen? Look at these nine common causes of “motor bearing death”:

  • Failure of maintenance department to use correct grease (grease incompatibility creates abrasives that grind away bearing).
  • Failure of maintenance department to grease in correct amount (internal friction causes grease to liquify and run out).
  • Failure of maintenance department to clean fitting before attaching grease gun (introducing dirt into bearing).
  • Failure of maintenance department to ensure alignment and to monitor vibration.
  • Failure of maintenance department to ensure correct lubrication of gearbox.
  • Failure of maintenance department to monitor temperature of motor bearings, motor windings, and gearbox.
  • Failure of maintenance department to monitor branch circuit or feeder (motor supply) for excess 3rd and 5th harmonics and other power quality problems.
  • Failure of maintenance department to ensure the motor case is properly bonded to the equipment grounding conductor (EGC).
  • Failure of maintenance department to perform ultra-sound examination of monitor bearings periodically, so bearing issues can be resolved in a planned and scheduled manner.

Do you see the common denominator here? To paraphrase Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here is a failure to maintain.”

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection