The motors that power manufacturing machines are just like the ones that power our cars, in that preventive maintenance is key to avoiding catastrophic and costly problems. The motor is obviously a large part of any machine’s operating system. When it goes down, so does production until the problem is fixed. Let’s take a look at some of the warning signs that we can look out for to avoid costly break-downs.
Friction caused by regular operations regularly causes motors to heat up. However, excess heat can be a sign of a serious problem. Overheating can be caused by a dirty motor, clogged ventilation and cooling systems, lubrication shortages or overburdening of the machine. This causes the motor to work much harder than it was intended to when it was built. While manufacturing defects in the motor are sometimes the cause of motor failure, most of the time the problem is a preventive maintenance issue. These problems can be overcome with regular, scheduled maintenance.
Noises like loud squeals, squeaks, rumbling and more can also be a sign of a problem. The cause of the noise is ofter a dirty motor or one that has debris hindering its rapid turning movements. Loose or broken components can also cause noises, as will lack of lubrication of the motor components. Regular inspections as a part of the preventive maintenance program can catch these types of problems before they damage the motor.
Although a natural part of motor operations, vibrations can become problematic or a symptom of a larger issue. They are often accompanied by excess heat and friction, and can also be a symptom of loose components within the motor or belt and bearing issues. Vibrations can be subtle too, hence, the need for detection through regular preventative maintenance programs.
4. Dirt and debris
Lubricants attract dust floating around the factory like shavings and particles from the products being created, and it can find its way into the machine. The film caused by this process can not only inhibit motor function, but also become a fire hazard if ignited by the excessive heat created if the motor is powering itself without proper ventilation. Regular attention is required to ensure that buildup is removed before it becomes problematic.
5. Slack maintenance
The issues that can wreak havoc on a motor can be curtailed by regular maintenance as part of a preventive maintenance schedule. However, failure to stick to a schedule will allow problems to persist, placing the motor in jeopardy.
Listen to, look at and inspect your machines as a part of a regular schedule. Preventative maintenance may seem tedious and mundane, but it remains the surest way to catch a problem before it shuts your factory down.