One step to a better maintenance plan

Before adopting a proactive maintenance culture, conduct an electrical system analysis


Transitioning from a reactive “fix only what is broken” culture to creating a proactive routine preventive maintenance model is a long but sound business process. Before any maintenance program is initiated or contracted, it is strongly recommended that the facility’s management contract and commission the services of a licensed professional electrical engineer to perform short circuit analyses, a time/current coordination study, and an arc flash analysis, of the entire electrical power distribution system.


These studies will ensure that the existing electrical equipment is properly rated, set and labeled. There is wasted value in spending limited maintenance budget and resources to clean, maintain, and service electrical equipment that is later determined as needing to be replaced or removed from service.


In some circumstances, a Power System Risk Assessment is recommended prior to beginning a preventive maintenance program. The Risk Assessment can reveal safety concerns, poorly maintained equipment, as well as the negative affects of harsh environmental conditions as elevated temperature, moisture, dirt, polarized dust and other contaminates on electrical equipment.


A risk assessment provides valuable information concerning the “present state” of an electrical power distribution system and its associated equipment, its functionality, and reliability relative to the present needs of a facility’s operations. (Note: Business functions and operations change much faster than power distribution systems. A 20th century power distribution system might be inadequate to the needs and requirements of 21st century sensitive electronic loads.)


A key feature of a Power System Risk Assessment is the Hazard Vulnerability Analysis, which prioritizes the recommended corrective actions based upon safety and the criticality of a facility’s operations. A Power System Risk Assessment facilitates the development of a proposed maintenance schedule specific to a facility’s power distribution system. In addition, cost estimates are provided to help management develop a budget to carry-out the maintenance activities.




Fran Waterers full article on ‘Mintnance Contrats Can Improve Reliability, Safety' is one of the topics in Plant Engineering’s Forecast issue, which will be published in mid-February. To receive the digital edition of Plant Engineering in time for the Forecast issue, which also will feature the 2011 Plant Engineering Salary Survey, click here:

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
2015 Mid-Year Report: Manufacturing's newest tool: In a digital age, digits will play a key role in the plant of the future; Ethernet certification; Mitigate harmonics; World class maintenance
2015 Lubrication Guide: Green and gold in lubrication: Environmentally friendly fluids and sealing systems offer a new perspective
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths
New industrial buildings: Greener, cleaner, leaner; New building designs for industry; Take a new look at absorption cooling; Offshored jobs start to come back

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.