Pumps and motors can be extended in life by performing preventative maintenance, thereby making your plant more efficient, productive, and profitable. Preventative maintenance and predictive maintenance quickly allows you to spot potential issues before they happen, protecting your investment and keeping you up and running (and profitable) for longer.
However, in spite of the clear benefits of preventative and predictive maintenance, getting a new maintenance programme off the ground can be a bit difficult. Here are some ways you can get approval for the requisite budget and downtime for your new, much-needed preventative maintenance programme on your pumps and motors.
Motivate for the benefits of preventative and predictive maintenance
Although scheduled maintenance is known to be essential for increased productivity and lower costs, the first step in implementing your maintenance program is to prove that it pays off.
- You can begin by researching case studies of motor breakdowns and the resulting lost productivity.
- Highlight how the cost of budgeted predictive maintenance is much lower than that of breakdowns, operations interruptions, and emergency repairs.
Categorise your pumps and motors
It follows that not all pumps should receive the same level of maintenance, because not all pumps play an equal role in your operation.
Organise the pumps based on their importance before creating a scheduled maintenance plan – this will serve as a clear guide when you budget time and money in each one:
- Critical (catastrophic for the plant if this pump fails),
- Priority (parts of the pump are difficult to replace),
- Low-priority (the pump has a backup, or is non-essential).
Plan your scheduled maintenance
Consider how important planning is when it comes to scheduled maintenance. “Scheduled maintenance” could also be called “planned maintenance”.
- You need to establish when the best time is in the day, month or year to bring your motor or pump to a halt.
- You will also need to identify the ideal motor-maintenance techniques and methods for your pumps and motors.
If you are unsure what the best time or technique will be, or your data is unclear, reach out to specialists in preventative maintenance who know the ins and outs of electromechanical intricacies.
What to look out for when doing predictive and preventative maintenance
When carrying out maintenance on your pumps and motors in a scheduled downtime, you can use this general checklist to refer to. However, always reference the O&M manual for items specific to each machine.
- Test the insulation on power cables and on all phases of the motor (in MegOhms).
- Make sure that none of the electrical connections within the control panel are loose or faulty.
- The resistance between stator windings should be measured (in Ohms).
- Ensure the electrical control panel is receiving voltage from all phases.
- While the pump / mixer is running, check the voltage balance between all phases on the load side of the control panel (VAC).
- Make sure the motor is drawing an adequate amount of power (in Amps).
- Ensure that the motor thermal protection system is operating properly (if equipped).
- Removal of pump / mixer from the lift station for physical inspection.
- Check condition of upper and lower shaft seals (inspect condition of motor / stator housing, if applicable).
- Check condition and operation of leakage and bearing sensors (if equipped).
- Drain oil from oil housing and replace with new oil.
- Check for worn or loose impellers or propellers.
- Check impeller wear rings (rotating and stationary). Note wear rings are a wear item and are not included in the cost of this contract.
- Adjust clearances as needed for optimal operation.
- Check for any unusual noise in the upper and lower bearings.
- Clean, reset and check operation of the level control system (if equipped).
- Check for physical damage of power and control cables.
- Check for correct shaft rotation.
- Reinstall the pump / mixer and check operation (if liquid level in the station permits).
- Test the pump / mixer operating cycle, under load (if liquid level in the station permits).
- Perform drawdown tests on pumps to establish GPM being produced (when possible).
- Perform shut off head test on pumps to establish pressure being produced (when possible).
- Check operation of valves and associated equipment.
Your local partner in preventative and predictive maintenance
For a true partner in stress-free scheduled maintenance of your pumps and motors, ask for the experienced, friendly people at CAW.