Deciding whether to Repair or replace a failed AC Motor requires much thought and evaluation. After all, some issues only call for a repair. While in other instances, purchasing a brand new electric motor is more practical. How can you make a choice between these two options?
To Repair or Not to Repair
We all know that replacing an electric motor leads to a few benefits. Such as reduced chances of breakdowns, better performance, and improved efficiency. But, it’s not always the cost-effective move considering the high upfront fee you may need to factor in. These factors make the decision to repair, discard, or buy a new one difficult.
Rule of 57
Before the release of electric motors with high energy-efficiency ratings, the Rule of 57 made a choice much easier when breakdowns occur. Repairing a motor is ideal if the cost of doing so is 57% less than what you would have paid to replace it. If you have to shell out more than 57% for the repair costs, then you are better off buying a new one.
But with energy-efficient motors used in industries nowadays, there are more things to consider than the cost of repair. In fact, studies reveal that fixing equipment maintains or even enhances its energy efficiency. This makes the decision process not as simple as it seems.
Failure occurs because of several reasons. These reasons include the hours of operation and age, among a few other causes. If you decide to get a motor repaired, you need to factor in the cause of failure. You also have to consider the motor’s potential efficiency post-repair and its age. Experts suggest that purchasing a higher efficiency motor is ideal if the repair cost is over 60% to 70% of what you pay to buy a new one.
You may establish a repair or replacement breakpoint with your larger and smaller motors in the facility. Get an estimate on the possible cost of buying a new one and compare this with the expense of an AC motor repair.
Besides the upfront fee, check the lifespan of your existing motor and the projected efficiency level after a repair. As you set these standards, you should be able to come up with a more workable solution for motor breakdowns in your plant.
Points to Consider
Many factors influence your decision to repair or replace a motor. For instance, you may find a replacement with a newer design and better efficiency rating.
Most of the time, the size of current replacement motors is smaller than older models. These different sizes make it tougher to install when placing them in the original motor’s location. Moreover, the lifespan for older motors is 25 to 35 years. Current ones have a lifespan of 20 years.
Determine Why It Failed
Analyze the cause of failure that occurred to the motor. Catastrophic failures lead to significant damages to various components. These components include the windings, shaft bearings, end brackets, stator core, and rotor. Damages to these parts result in significant expenses in repairing the motor as compared to buying a new one.
Will it Happen Again?
There is also the possibility of a recurring issue. Recurring problems become likely with previous catastrophic failures with older motors. Besides the initial repair cost, you may end up having the motor fixed once again in the future instead of buying a new one right from the start.
Some damages are less expensive to fix than others such as surface smearing concerns with rotors. Discarding a damaged shaft or frame is better off because of the expensive repair cost. With motors that lack any complex features, a repair may be more workable.
Your ultimate goal is to cover production issues in your business. A significant factor in deciding between repairing or replacing a motor is the length of downtime involved. You want to get your operations up and running again the soonest possible.
Then, think about business productivity, or lack of it, during the repair or replacement process. If the lead time for replacing the motor is too long, this impacts your business operations. This length of time may be the case with new motors sent back to the OEM or those rebuilt by specialized repair shops. Will you be able to get a spare motor or not? In some instances, fixing the motor may be the only thing left to do since there is no way for you to find a replacement for it.
In the end, it all comes down to a few essential points to think about before repairing or replacing an electric motor:
- The cost involved
- Type of failure
- Scope of damage
These points help you make the most practical choice that can impact your bottom line.
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