Launching a motor management program

Some people think that if they buy a "good" motor they will almost certainly have a reliable motor drive system. This is not necessarily the case. To help ensure that your "good" motor will reliably do the job it was meant to do — and achieve its life cycle goals — a comprehensive motor management program must be in effect.


Key Concepts
  • The choice of which motor to purchase should follow a carefully thought out plant-wide scheme.

  • The objective of a life cycle cost analysis is to choose the most cost effective course from a list of choices to achieve the lowest long-term cost of ownership.

  • Spare motors must be properly stored and maintained so that they function properly when put into operation.

  • Launching a motor management program helps your plant avoid motor reliability problems and their associated costs.

New motor specification
Life cycle costs
Motor inventory and tagging
New installations
Ongoing maintenance
Spares and motor storage
Proper motor application and failure analysis
More Info:
Motor selection choices
Motor cost vs. long-term electrical costs
Tips for proper motor storage and maintenance

Some people think that if they buy a "good" motor they will almost certainly have a reliable motor drive system. This is not necessarily the case. To help ensure that your "good" motor will reliably do the job it was meant to do — and achieve its life cycle goals — a comprehensive motor management program must be in effect.

Boeing's motor management program was created by a group of engineers and condition-based maintenance professionals from facilities and equipment services, known internally as the equipment reliability improvement team. ERIT works with reliability issues of motors, driven equipment, lubrication, vibration, motor current analysis and thermography.

The team performed a detailed assessment of motor reliability requirements and used them as guidelines for managing motors in Boeing's plants. This article is a summary of ERIT's findings. There are no new discoveries, no proprietary processes — only a collection of best practices used in industry today.

Boeing's motor management program applies to NEMA frame motors 1 hp and above and includes the following (Fig. 1):

  • New motor specification

  • Life cycle costs

  • Inventory and motor tagging

  • New installations

  • Modifications, moves, and rebuilds

  • Ongoing maintenance

  • Spares and motor storage

  • Proper application and failure analysis

  • Quality

    • New motor specification

      You should be able to trace back each motor that comes into your plant to a motor specification that was tailored for your plant applications, environment, and operating conditions. The choice of which motor to buy should not be left up to equipment suppliers, consultants, or contractors; but should follow a carefully thought out plant-wide scheme for motor specification and procurement (see "Motor selection choices").

      The specification should be a plant standard that has evolved through a detailed, life cycle cost (LCC) analysis that supports your plant's business plan. The motors should satisfy your plant maintenance program requirements, including lubrication, vibration, motor current analysis, etc.

      Motor construction materials affecting cost and performance that enter into your LCC analysis should be addressed in the specification. It is not unusual for the initial cost of a motor to be less than 5% of its total life cycle electrical cost. Considering run time, efficiency, reliability expectations, life expectancy, and service environment, you may be able to make a good life cycle cost business case for purchasing higher quality motors (see "Life cycle cost worksheet").

      If the people authorized to order or supply motors for the equipment in your plant do not adhere to your motor specifications, you won't know what kind of motor you will get. You may end up with a low bid, low quality motor that costs much more in its life cycle than a better quality motor that is more efficient and requires less maintenance.

      There are several ways to obtain the features you want in a motor. One way is to write a lengthy specification and address each requirement, then find a supplier for your specified motor at a competitive cost. Another is to use an existing industry standard. For example, the American Petroleum Institute created a high-end motor specification suited to its industry titled the IEEE 841 motor standard. This specification goes beyond many of the ANSI MG1 basic motor requirements. For Boeing's critical reliability needs, several tighter electrical and vibration requirements were added to those in IEEE 841 . Another approach is to standardize on a manufacturer's model that meets your motor needs.

      Life cycle costs

      The objective of an LCC analysis is to choose the most cost effective course from a list of choices to achieve the lowest long-term cost of ownership. The LCC of a motor means exactly what the words imply — the sum total of all costs related to engineering, purchasing, shipping, installation, electrical, condition monitoring, maintenance, removal, disposal, and salvage for the life of the motor. If the motor is rebuilt and remains in service, the LCC would also include removing the motor from service, shipping it to the rebuild shop, the cost of the rebuild, return shipping, installation and eventual removal and disposal.

      The LCC of motors in your plant should determine the quality of motor you choose as your standard. There is a great difference in quality required between a higher cost motor that you intend to have run for 20 years and a motor that only has to last a few months on a manufacturing research and development project or on a piece of tooling that will be obsolete and replaced after several years (see "Motor cost vs. long-term electrical costs").

      Motor inventory and tagging

      It is important to have an accurate inventory of all the motors you have on site. You can build a history of individual motor failures and rebuilds if you have an accurate accounting of each individual motor. You can also make a better determination of the type and number of spare motors to keep on hand for quick replacement.

      It may not be feasible to keep track of certain classes of motors for various reasons. For example, cabinet cooling fan motors may not be worth the effort to track individually. Determine which motors should be individually tracked (both in service and spare motors in storage) with a unique, easily identifiable tracking number. Choose a database system for tracking the motors. Preferably, use the plant-wide maintenance database, if available. Enter the motor nameplate data, the equipment the motor is driving, and the location of the motor.

      Various reports can be generated with the particular motor data that is of interest at any given time. Boeing bonds a label onto the motor with both a readable number and a bar code. Using barcodes enables the use of handheld field device to scan the bar code label when work is performed on the motor, and then later download the information to the maintenance database computer system.

      New installations

      When installing new motors and rotating equipment, you should incorporate reliability requirements — from the initial project inception, through bid specification, design, fabrication, factory acceptance, field installation, commissioning, and final acceptance. The goal is to obtain and install motors and the equipment they drive with the highest reliability in the most cost effective manner, using LCC at junctures where decisions among alternative choices are to be made.

      Motor reliability issues that you should consider throughout the aforementioned project phases include:

      • Understanding application and user reliability requirements

      • Supplying motor specification

      • Obtaining all relevant motor and driven equipment information needed for analytical instrument analysis

      • Meeting maintenance requirements, which include balancing, alignment, lubrication, thermographic, motor current analysis, and power quality.

        • New equipment placed into service in your plant should be tolerant of the quality of incoming electrical power. Equipment should not introduce power quality problems into the plant electrical power distribution system. New equipment specifications should address these power quality requirements. The equipment manufacturer or supplier should guarantee that the equipment complies with the power quality portion of the specification. The installer must meet the alignment, balancing, thermographic, and motor current analysis requirements of the purchase specifications as part of the commissioning and acceptance process.

          Motor-driven equipment that is modified, moved, or rebuilt should meet all of the stringent requirements that new motor installations must meet in order to insure proper and reliable operation. They should be managed according to the same criteria as a new installation.

          Ongoing maintenance

          After a proper installation, it is usually the job of the maintenance or facilities department to keep the motor driven equipment running reliably for the life of the asset. LCC will drive the most cost-effective level of maintenance to be performed on the motor-driven system. The level of maintenance can range from run-to-failure, requiring no preventive or condition monitoring maintenance on noncritical equipment such as bathroom exhaust fans, to regular proactive monitoring of the motor system with vibration analysis, current analysis, tribology, and thermographic instruments on critical equipment. Boeing's lubrication program requires monitoring the quality of its incoming lubricants, dispensing of oils and greases, and periodic sampling of oils from its critical equipment for oil analysis and occasional ferrography.

          Boeing's maintenance program continues to keep the equipment balanced and aligned to the same standards it requires of new installations. Key balancing and alignment requirements include balancing couplings and sheaves, performing balancing with proper key lengths, the effect of motor soft foot , cold vs. hot alignment considerations, and proper use of shimming materials.

          Soft foot is a condition in which at least one foot of a motor or rotating machinery is not in the same plane created by the other feet. Tightening the mounting bolts causes the motor frame to twist, which affects shaft/coupling alignment, increases vibration, and causes premature bearing wear and/or failure. Soft foot can occur because of motor manufacturing defects, foundation and/or machine construction problems, or improper shimming during installation or maintenance.

          Periodically, power quality should be checked on critical equipment with portable power analyzers and scopes. Power quality parameters that Boeing monitors include overvoltage, undervoltage, voltage transients, voltage unbalance, DC offset, and harmonics.

          Boeing has used the following power quality values as a threshold during periodic checks in the plant:

          Overvoltage and undervoltage — 10%

          Voltage Transients — 50% of peak voltage

          Voltage unbalance — 1%

          Harmonics — voltage total harmonic distortion

          (THD) — 5%

          Spares and motor storage

          It is important to develop and implement a comprehensive motor storage plan. Plant motor inventory analysis helps you determine the proper sizes and quantities of motors to keep on hand as spares. Spare motors must be properly stored and maintained so that they function properly when put into operation (see "Tips for proper motor storage and maintenance"). An improperly stored motor may fail shortly after being put into operation, causing disruption to operations and an increase in operating costs.

          If your plant is located near a major city, it may be possible to have your motor supplier stock your most common motors for you. This allows you to stock fewer spare motors — potentially freeing your company's capital that would otherwise be tied up in motor inventory. Also, whenever possible, work toward plant commonality to further reduce your motor inventory.

          Proper motor application and failure analysis

          Prior to purchasing a new motor, its application should be verified. Whenever a motor failure occurs, a root cause failure analysis should be performed before a replacement or repaired motor is put into service. It is important to determine why the original motor failed. Failure analysis enables you to take effective corrective action to prevent future failures.

          When assessing whether a motor is appropriate for a particular application, consider how the motor's design parameters will affect the motor while it is in service. For example, the most efficient operating point for many 10 hp motors is around 70% motor loading. In some instances, motors should be sized to operate in that load range (Fig. 2).

          Motor run time and motor efficiency values can affect long term LCC. Therefore, you should always validate your decisions by running the numbers. Parameters to consider include:

          • Maintenance history of similar motor applications: previous failures, preventive, predictive, or run-to-failure maintenance

          • Operational requirements: min/max speeds, thrust, torque, bumping, plugging, and number of starts per hour

          • Environment: temperature, vibration, and chemical exposure.

            • Failure analysis of a motor-driven system should be done immediately after the failure occurs, whenever possible. Find out what caused the failure before relevant information is lost and before the system is repaired and put back into service. Recommendations can then be made and implemented to prevent the failure from recurring.

              Root cause failure analysis should also be carried out. Although the majority of the direct causes of unreliable system performance are equipment failures or human errors, the process of equipment management is typically the underlying root cause. The equipment management system weaknesses let the organization or department get to the point of allowing opportunities for unreliable equipment performance or human error to creep into the process at any of the various stages of equipment management — from specification and procurement through installation, operation and maintenance.


              Plants use quality control to ensure that processes or products conform to the specifications established for them. The elements described in this article — a good motor specification, proper installation, proper maintenance, proper storage of spare motors, etc. — should be included in a successful motor management program. If any of these elements are not properly administered, higher costs to your maintenance department and more downtime will result in higher costs to your customers.

              The department responsible for acquiring, installing, and maintaining motor-driven systems must devise a quality control plan for successfully implementing motor management. You should ensure that each step of the motor management program is executed properly to minimize LCC.

              Every situation is different. It's up to you to craft your motor management program to fit your needs. Launching a successful motor management program requires a conscious, deliberate effort. Otherwise, the result will be a continued mix of motor reliability problems and the inherent higher costs associated with them — many of them hidden.

              More Info:

              The authors are Equipment Reliability Engineers in The Boeing Company's Commercial Airplane Div., Seattle, WA. Mike Kozak is a professional electrical engineer; Bill Shinpaugh is a professional mechanical engineer. Together, they have more than 50 years of industrial experience. They are available to answer questions about this article, and can be reached at and . Article edited by Jack Smith, Senior Editor, 630-288-8783, .For further information about motor management, visit the following web sites:

              National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)


              Refer to Standard MG-1

              Motor Master+

              MotorMaster+4.0 is a software program that analyzes motor and motor system efficiency. Designed for utility auditors, industrial plant energy coordinators, and consulting engineers, MotorMaster+4.0 is used to identify inefficient or oversized facility motors and compute the energy and demand savings associated with selection of a replacement energy-efficient model.


              Motor Challenge

              A joint effort by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), industry, motor/drive manufacturers and distributors, and other key participants. The goal is to put information about energy-efficient electric motor system technology into the hands of people who can use it.


              Motor Decisions Matter (MDM)


              Department of Energy (DOE)


              Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA)


              PLANT ENGINEERING magazine


              Life Cycle Cost Worksheet

              Manufacturer Description New motor purchase Brand X High efficiency Brand Y IEEE 841
              * Sometimes it is necessary to disassemble a motor to make it meet specifications before installation.
              ** If the life of the motor you select is less than the project life, you must purchase and install additional motors.
              Nameplate efficiency @100%85.5%91.0%
              Initial cost$400$623
              Run time (hours/wk)8080
              Run time (hour/year)41604160
              Current cost/kWh0.060.06
              Annual electrical cost$2,177.80$2,046.17
              Anticipated motor life (years)1220
              Installation hours (maintenance)22
              Installation cost (maintenance)$84.00$84.00
              Preinstallation rebuild/balance-CBM*2.50
              Annual maintenance lube hours0.10.1
              Annual CBM hours (vibration testing)0.250.25
              Maintenance/CBM cost/hour$42.00$42.00
              Project life (years)2020
              Estimated motors needed for life of project **1.71.0
              Actual motors needed2.01.0
              Life Cycle Costs
              CBM rework$210.000.00
              Electrical cost$43,555.9340,923.43
              Motor cost$800.00623.00
              Project life cycle cost$45,027.9341,924.43
              Life cycle cost difference3,103.50

              Motor selection choices

              Examples of choices that must be made when selecting a motor include:

              Efficiency rating

              Frame bases — bolted base, rigid-removable base, rolled steel rigid welded mounting, cast iron feet, etc.

              Frame material — rolled steel, aluminum, die-cast aluminum, cast iron, cast iron end shields, etc.

              Frame type — ODP, TEFC, TENV, etc.

              Mounting — horizontal, vertical, both

              Bearings — ball vs. roller, sealed, shielded, regreaseable style or not, labyrinth seals, etc.

              Insulation — B, F, inverter duty, etc.

              Balancing requirements — precision balanced, special balanced, to G1 standards, API standards, etc.

              Warranty — 2 year, 3 year, 5 year, etc.

              Motor cost vs. long-term electrical costs

              This table illustrates how the motor cost, electrical cost/year and long-term electrical cost relate to each other over the assumed life of the motor. The original cost of the motor becomes less significant as the motor size, length of service, run time, and electrical costs increase. Conversely, these same factors may provide a different financial picture if electricity is cheap and run time is low. This is why you must examine the LCC of each project. Each element has a contribution, and the best way to get the whole picture is to do the math.

              The electrical costs in this table have not been adjusted for inflation over 20 years. You also won't be using a motor with 100% efficiency. You should create a similar table using your own local numbers to validate and apply this concept.


              Electrical energy cost = $0.06/kWh (based on Boeing's cost; your cost may differ)

              Run time = 80 hours/week

              Efficiency = 100%

              Motor hp Motor cost Annual electricity cost Electricity cost Motor cost as a percentage of total electrical cost over 20 years

              Tips for proper motor storage and maintenance

              Recommended motor storage requirements should include the following:

              Motor current analysis and resistance readings should be taken when a motor is put into and taken out of storage

              External parts should be coated with a rust inhibitor

              Motors should be covered

              Ventilation openings should be protected from rodent entry

              Storage area should be free from shock or vibration

              Temperature and humidity should not be extreme

              Ball and roller bearings should be greased and purged annually

              Sleeve bearing reservoirs should be filled with oil to the proper level

              Motor shafts should be hand rotated 10 to 15 turns every month or two

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me