Sunday, December 26, 2010

Electrical Preventive Maintenance Will Keep You Safe and Warm

This series of post; "Electrical Preventive Maintenance Will Keep You Safe and Warm" are guest post by Stuart Smith, MBA, MS. He is an avid writer about CMMS and EAM software solutions for Mintek Mobile Data Solutions. Stuart has over 25 years experience running operations in multiple industries. Stuart will have sevral post in the folowing weeks to cover Electrical PM, so please follow our blog to keep up to date on this topic.

Electrical Preventive Maintenance Will Keep You Safe and Warm
By Stuart Smith

With much of the nation buried under mountains of snow or enduring freezing temperatures, now is the time to make sure that your industrial facilities have been inspected for potential electrical problems. Without proper preventive maintenance on your electrical systems, disaster can happen before you have time to thaw.

Why Perform Preventive Maintenance on Electrical Systems

During the winter months, power requirements are higher for many industries as facilities struggle to keep buildings warm and their assets in operation. In addition, in today's economic environment, facility and plant managers also struggle with efforts to lower power consumption in order to reduce expenses.

Training and specialized equipment such as programmable logic controllers (PLC) can only help so much. All of the above goals contribute to a variety of issues that includes but is not limited to:

Ten Reasons to Perform Electrical Preventive Maintenance

◦Avoid electrical shorts that cause fires: Electrical short circuits can occur when wires are overloaded with current, wires are exposed and load imbalances. This can cause excessive heat buildup, arcing or explosions.

◦Identify loose connections: Loose connections can cause power fluctuations to devices, devices to operate erratically and uneven load distribution between wires.

◦Identify components running hot or not according to specifications: Transformers, motors, bearings and wires almost always run hot before they fail. Predictive maintenance technologies such as infrared thermography, vibration analysis and laser alignment tools as well as general maintenance such as regularly scheduled lubrication can avoid asset failure.

◦Identify unusual smells, noises, dust build up, or discoloration: Melting insulation, stressed motors, corrosion through dust and so on make a physical inspection a requirement for electrical components. Electrical troubleshooting should be performed using a systematic approach.

◦Check all emergency lighting, signage and power indicator displays: Many electrical disasters occur when the safety monitoring equipment itself is faulty leading to a false belief that all is ok.

◦Extend the useful lifecycle of assets: Poorly maintained assets require more energy to do the same amount of work. This leads to excessive wear and tear and a shortening of the assets useful lifecycle.

◦Avoid unplanned downtime: Unplanned downtime can shut down production, result in emergency labor costs and unnecessary capital asset replacement. Without proper electrical training, all of these significantly impact the profitability of the organization.

◦Less equipment loss: Consistent electrical preventive maintenance will reduce the amount of equipment that needs to be replaced early as a result of electrical problems.

◦Energy savings: Optimal energy efficiency will occur when equipment is functioning within design parameters and is well maintained.

◦Safety and Liability: The most important reason of all is safety. Avoiding serious injuries or death is worth every penny spent on prevention. Liability lawyers have a field day when facilities have a poor maintenance record.

Please Follow this blog to see the next post in this series titled "How Often Should Electrical PM be done?"

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About the post author Stuart Smith, MBA, MS: Stuart is an avid writer about CMMS and EAM software solutions for Mintek Mobile Data Solutions.

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