Importance of motor winding analysis in a facility

Motor faults and failure can cause disruptions to business operations and lead to loss of productivity and reduced profits.


Motor faults and failure can cause disruptions to business operations and lead to loss of productivity and reduced profits. Courtesy: Samuel Zeller, UnsplashMotor faults and failure can cause disruptions to business operations and lead to loss of productivity and reduced profits. This is why it is important to perform tests that help prevent interruptions to a facility's operations. It is possible with motor winding analysis.

Preventative maintenance and motor winding analysis

When it comes to ensuring the life and condition of an electric motor,preventative maintenance is the way to do it. There are several types of analysis that check the lifespan and condition of a motor. These help evaluate the motor's operating conditions and what is left of the machine's operating and insulation system.

Motor winding analysis is one of these processes that can be performed as a part of predictive maintenance operation in a facility. In addition to vibration analysis, infrared thermography, laser alignment and dynamic balancing, winding analysis aims to extend the life of motors while reducing energy consumption. This is why incorporating this technique into maintenance work should be considered. Using scheduled downtime for motor maintenance can prevent premature wear and unexpected and costly failures.

Keep in mind that certain factors can increase the workload or strain on the motor, such as the cycling variation, load and environment. Check these areas most and assess and/or avoid potential issues before they occur or get worse.

The basics of motor winding analysis

Winding analysis is a non-invasive type of testing motors, as well as generator and transformer windings. It may be performed in addition to motor current analysis, and the electric winding insulation can be classified at the same time. The information acquired is also more in-depth and sophisticated.

Motor winding analysis serves as the initial step to setting a baseline relevant to the life of electric motors. Aside from this, operating conditions that often lead to winding failure on electric motors will be determined. These include mechanical and environmental conditions, serious faults and power supply issues. Through motor current analysis, it is easy to determine when the electric winding insulation malfunctions.

Through winding analysis, critical tests to identify the existing motor winding insulation must be performed. This allows motor failures to be minimized and productivity losses avoided. Maintenance costs will also be reduced to a minimum as potential issues are detected before they become apparent. Business owners can continually find ways to cut costs by maintaining the excellent condition of equipment that will impact the bottom line.

Benefits of motor winding analysis

Motor windings can be a huge problem with equipment. For this reason, it helps to perform motor winding analysis to eliminate this concern. Motors can be spared from premature failure and the winding insulation's dielectric strength can be determined at the same time. This is why winding analysis should remain as one of the key components of predictive maintenance operations.

Moreover, this technique can be used when in-place and non-destructive trending of the electrical motors is performed. Winding analysis is reliable when it comes to trending both AC and DC rotating equipment.

Traditional testing

In predictive maintenance there are traditional tests done to know more about a rotor's insulation. Winding analysis also checks the integrity and condition of the rotor bars. Set a limit if there are obvious changes in order to determine how severe these are. Limits also help determine when certain actions that prevent equipment failure should be performed. These tests give an idea of the remaining lifespan of the equipment as more is found out about its past performance.

As the motor winding analysis is conducted, it can indicate premature failure and faults of motor components. Thus, these winding issues can be detected and prevented, along with other relevant problems. It is possible to prevent overall motor failure when more is learned about the winding insulation's dielectric strength.

For an efficient troubleshooting tool, winding analysis is the way to go. In fact, several facilities use a hand-held Megger when checking for insulation strength and ground faults. In case internal shorts are occurring within the windings, these issues may not become visible as a ground fault. Hence, to identify the slightest resistance imbalance between the different phases, a winding analysis is ideal. As for the surge test, this can help detect any internal shorts in the windings.

Through predictive maintenance it is possible to save time, money and energy. Checking for potential problems and preventing them from occurring are practical ways to prolonge a machine's lifespan.

- David Manney is a marketing administrator at L&S Electric. This article originally appeared on L&S Electric Watts New Blog. L&S Electric is a CFE Media content partner.

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
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.
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
August 2018
Choosing an automation controller, Lean manufacturing
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me