Viewpoint: "Get Your Service Center's Best"

1021viewpointIn a survey conducted recently by the Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA), end-user customers reported that quality of work is most important when deciding which service center to use for electromechanical repair. So, how can you ensure that you are getting good quality from your service-center partner? Here are some important points to consider.

Is quality a word in a mission statement or a cultural way of life for your service partner? We recommend visiting any service center you consider using, if possible, to help determine if the company "walks the talk" regarding quality. When you walk through the door, are the premises clean and organized?

Does the operation...

  • Have adequate equipment and capacity to handle the size of your equipment (including a core loss tester or, at minimum, the ability to test your motor using a loop test)?
  • Adhere to ANSI/EASA AR100-2006, Recommended Practice for the Repair of Rotating Electrical Apparatus?
  • Keep its equipment calibrated in accordance with pertinent standards?
  • Maintain a skilled workforce?
  • Have written specifications and work instructions available?
  • Have the inventory necessary to handle your new equipment and spare-parts needs, or the ability to do so within a 24-hr. time frame?

These are just some of the aspects necessary to produce the highest levels of quality and reliability.

Other key questions
Are employees kept up to date with new methods and procedures or is their training regularly refreshed? What warranty comes with repairs and new machines? What are the operation's normal work hours? Is staff available "after hours" when you often need them most? Does the operation have a machine shop, or does it subcontract that work?

What about field service and predictive/preventive maintenance? Can your service partner perform diagnostics, give advice and do repairs at your site? Can it assist in motor and asset management, including advising you in advance whether the best life-cycle option is to repair or replace your motor?

Based on the cost of downtime, every minute counts if lost production, missed deadlines and dissatisfied customers are to be avoided.

Work together
Get to know your service partner and allow him or her to get to know your operation and its various equipment applications. The more your service partner knows about your business, the better its ability to provide practical solutions that can maximize your uptime and help reduce your energy costs.

Further, when failures do occur, a quality service center will be able to diagnose the root cause of failure and what actions are required to avoid a recurrence.

Remember that price alone should not dictate your choice of an electromechanical service center. Consider value. Again, to get the best from your service center (and to achieve maximum value), involve it in your business. Help your service partner help you. MT

David Griffin, Board chairman of EASA, is president of CPM Engineering, Ltd., an electromechanical service company, in Manchester, England, UK.

The opinions expressed in this Viewpoint section are those of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect those of the staff and management of Maintenance Technology magazine.

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