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How to Get the Right Electric Motor, Part 1 – Weigh Your Timing & Selection Decisions - HECO

July 19, 2023

Realizing that you probably need a new electric motor and knowing how to select the best option for your needs are two different things. Starting with the right information will ensure that the best decision is being made for both the short- and long-term success of your operation.

At HECO, we help our customers find the right electric motors and get the most life out of them possible through a mix of Repair, Product Sales, Field Service, Predictive, and Equipment Management.

We begin this six-part blog series with an overview of important considerations regarding the timing and specific machine selection of finding the right electric motor.

Understanding Your Need & Issues

You need a motor. Now what? Is a new electric motor your only consideration, or could a previously owned motor meet your needs?

In either case, take a step back. There are some mighty important questions to ask yourself before picking up the phone and placing an order. If you make the wrong call, it can cost you — big time.

More important than the question of which motor to replace your old unit with is the question of why it needs to be replaced in the first place. You need to understand the current motor’s failure in order to select the best new unit.

Here are some things to ask yourself in regard to the motor in need of replacing:

  • Was there a failure with the current motor? Has this exact same failure or one very similar occurred before? If so, maybe the motor was not the best available motor for the application.
  • Was your motor properly designed for the area in which it would be operating? Is this an open motor that is exposed to a harsh environment? Would a totally enclosed motor still be running?
  • Was the motor sized incorrectly when it was originally bought? Have you checked the speed vs torque curve vs the load curve?
  • Is the motor on a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)? Is the shaft grounded in some way to remove the circulating currents? Is the opposite drive end insulated?

There are a variety of items that can be mishandled or misapplied. Go over them all to get a handle on the situation when the motor went down.

It is important that you go over every aspect of why the motor failed. If you don’t figure out why it happened, you will be likely to experience the same issues in the future.

Confirming Your Motor Choice

You’ve decided on a motor, but are you sure it’s the right one?

Before the motor is ordered, it’s good to do some double checking by considering the following:

  • Who is supplying the motor? Am I getting the best price possible? Will I get the needed support if an issue arises?
  • Am I getting a motor that has enough accessories to protect against overload, over temp, excessive vibration, clogged filters, etc.?
  • Is it a one-off motor or a stocked catalog motor? Will I easily be able to order a replacement should an issue occur outside of the warranty period?

These aren’t easy questions to answer. The answers all depend on your situation, plant floor, industry, and company.

A trusted and experienced vendor can help guide and confirm your decisions. What matters most is that you take a path that provides the most long-term and reliable solution.

All Systems Go

Not sure where to start? HECO can help. Allow us to put our decades of experience selling, servicing, and monitoring electric motors and rotating equipment to use for you!

Contact us to discuss your existing motor and what you would like to achieve with its replacement.

For additional information, download HECO’s How to Get the Right Electric Motor e-book.

Watch for upcoming posts in the How to Get the Right Electric Motor series, including:

  • Part 2 – Review NEMA Standards & Efficiency.
  • Part 3 – Understand Basic Motor Configurations.
  • Part 4 – Consider Non-NEMA, Larger Options.
  • Part 5 – Pay Attention to Specifications.
  • Part 6 – Compare Expectations of New & Rebuilt Systems.

Posted in Product Sales

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