Preventing Unplanned Down-Time
When a motor-driven machine starts to fail, one of the earliest signs is an increase in power draw by that motor – typically before you can hear a problem, and before the motor overheats. For example, a deteriorating bearing; or a phase imbalance; or a plugged downstream filter can result in significant increases in power draw.
What causes equipment failure?
Here are some of the common problems that can cause equipment failure…
The cost of equipment failure
The cost of equipment failure is not just the replacement of a part or a motor. It’s much broader and more serious than that.
Cost of failure can include…
- Replacing or rewinding motors
- Labor for installation of parts
- Production downtime, often measured in thousands of dollars an hour.
- Missed customer deadlines since breakdowns always occur at the worst possible time (Murphy’s Law!)
- Spare parts, including shipping them in rapidly if not on hand.
- Flying in engineers/technicians to make complex repairs.
The good news is that SiteWatch’s affordable IoT-enabled sensors make it extremely cost-effective to monitor critical equipment in real time, watching its energy usage patterns for signs of impending failure.
This approach - called Condition-Based Maintenance (CbM) is transformative. You'll save labor by eliminating your current manual machine checks. You'll improve your efficiency by conducting maintenance when it's needed, not according to a schedule.
Most importantly, you'll eliminate unplanned downtime due to catastrophic equipment failure.
Less fire-fighting and more maintenance management.
Setting failure alerts
For example, if a motor normally draws between 20kW and 40kW an hour, alerts can be set at 15kW and 45kW - with or without a time delay. So, if the motor exceeds 45kW for a period of, say 60 minutes (client adjustable), SiteWatch send Alerts to the appropriate manager’s or operators’ desktop, laptop and mobile device.
The example below shows a furnace suddenly remaining at maximum temperature for about 3 times its normal cycle, causing an immediate Alert. In the end, it was discovered that an inexperienced operator had chosen to override the automatic control!
So, what should be monitored in real time? It depends on the facility and processes, but here are some possibilities…
- The largest energy-consuming equipment or motors
- Critical systems - on which other processes depend (e.g. compressed air, cooling water etc.)
- Troublesome Motors
- Equipment that’s hard to reach
- Older equipment overdue for replacement