Here’s a quick quiz. When is the best time to fix problems in motor systems?

  1. After the damage is done.
  2. Before the damage is done.

The correct answer is obvious. You need a combination of prevention, early detection, and intervening correction.

Prevention starts with design and installation. Even the best maintenance program can’t overcome defective design or faulty installation. The "identify-by-failure" method means production interruption and costly repairs. Instead, conduct a thorough review of each motor installation for errors. Start with mounting, alignment, bonding, and cable routing.

Do your maintenance procedures provide adequate means of early detection? If they don’t involve the use of power analyzers, insulation resistance testers, thermographic cameras, and vibration analyzers, then the answer is no. Make a list of the most important problems to identify, decide how to identify them, and revise your procedures accordingly.

You can’t correct what you don’t detect.