Now more than ever, many facility managers are feeling the pressure to reduce costs. Motor management is perhaps one of the easiest ways to start—and it can even save you money and help improve productivity.
Motor management is a set of ongoing policies and practices based on life cycle costing and proactive planning. Many facilities underestimate the size of their motor fleet and fail to keep track of maintenance and repair histories. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the FiveTwelve Group research firm revealed that 42% of the industrial and commercial facility managers surveyed did not know how many motors were in their facility, and 77% did not know how much their facility spent on energy.* Without this information, it's difficult to make cost-effective repair/replace decisions quickly and consistently, especially when motors fail unexpectedly. Knowing what you have can also prevent you from purchasing equipment that you don't need.
Building a motor management plan begins with clearly identifying what needs to be managed. This process is as simple as conducting a survey to create an inventory of motors, both those that are in service and spares. It may be easier to start with a subset of motors, such as the largest, most critical or those that fail most frequently. Your local service center can assist you with developing an approach to survey and track your motors. Your local utility may offer technical or financial assistance or equipment rebates to help defray the costs of new purchases or upgrade older, less efficient equipment. The following resources provide an overview of the basics:
The Motor Planning Kit, developed by the Motor Decisions MatterSM (MDM) Campaign, is a resource of strategies, tools and resources for developing a comprehensive Motor Management Plan. MDM is sponsored by utility efficiency programs, motor manufacturers, and motor sales and service centers. These organizations have a demonstrated expertise in the products and services involved in motor management: electricity use, high efficiency motors (NEMA Premium®) and best practice motor repair. They share a common goal to improve the way industrial motor repair/replace decisions are made.
The Motor Survey How-To Guide includes step-by-step instructions for conducting a motor survey and developing a motor management plan. The guide was developed by Advanced Energy, a nonprofit technology consultant (and MDM Sponsor) that specializes in industrial process technologies, motors and drives testing and applied building.
MotorMaster, made available by the U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Technologies Program, is an interactive software used to create a detailed motor inventory, analyze energy savings and estimate motor life cycle costs. It can accommodate the motor needs of both small and large companies, and contains information for more than 20,000 motors.
An up-to-date motor inventory gives facility managers basic, but important, data about their motor fleet: what, where and how many. Knowing what motors you have lets you make cost-effective decisions that keep your facility running—and help you remain calm in a crisis. LMT