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Overcome Manufacturer Consolidations to find the Electric Motor You Need - HECO

May 29, 2024

In addition to remote sensor monitoring and energy-saving measures, a major trend in the electric motor and rotating equipment industry is the sale and consolidation of major motor manufacturers.

These mergers often bolster the larger name brand’s offerings, but can lead to product realignments or replacement of smaller brand availability. As a result, equipment owners may no longer be able to purchase the exact part or identical equipment needed to repair or replace their current motors.

When uncertainty in the repair and replacement process occurs, HECO can help. Geoffrey Brewer, HECO’s Director of Sales and Marketing, explains more.

Industry News & Changes

Some of the biggest mergers and consolidations affecting HECO’s customer base include ABB/Baldor purchasing the Siemens Low Voltage NEMA product line and WEG purchasing Regal Rexnord’s Motor and Generator Businesses.

Many of the motor designs changed hands when these companies sold, according to Brewer. Consolidation generally leads to some manufacturers no longer offering the older designs; instead they offer only their standard design as a replacement.

“This will require end users and distributors, like HECO, to spend more time ensuring that the standard offer will fit and perform in the same way the old design did,” Brewer said. “If not carefully reviewed, an end user could order a motor that simply doesn’t work or requires a pricey structural/control change before it can be installed.”

Cost & Timeline Impacts

When a manufacturer’s standard motor design can be installed without any changes on site, the increased availability of motors on the shelf is a positive impact of manufacturer consolidations. These plug-and-play style replacements also help shorten timelines, which in turn saves costly downtime.

When a project does require a change on site, however, the additional cost and time required to get a “standard” motor to operate effectively presents a negative outcome of the changes, Brewer said. Some manufacturers will offer a custom-built motor to fit in place of the old motor, but that normally comes with a much higher price tag and longer lead time.

Navigating Changing Offerings

HECO offers electric motor and rotating equipment repairs and rebuilds. These services assist customers using motors that were manufactured by companies that are no longer in business or whose product range has been reduced.

“We have the experience necessary to look at an old motor design and ensure that the new motor being offered as a replacement will be a true replacement in form, fit, and function,” Brewer said. “We have extensively worked with our end users to identify any differences and make changes, where possible, to the new motor being offered to ensure it will operate and fit as required.

“In cases where the manufacturer cannot or is not willing to make a true replacement, we can bring other options in and modify them in our shop. That could be a motor from a different manufacturer or a surplus motor if there are no other new options available.”

There are times when it isn’t possible to get an identical motor manufactured by the original manufacturer. HECO also has a vast amount of experience when it comes to sourcing and selecting surplus motors as replacements.

“HECO works with many of the surplus motor dealers across the United States to help get our customers replacement motors that fit and perform the same way the old motor did. We also have our own surplus motor inventory with motors up to 15,000HP in stock,” Brewer said.

“We can even take a surplus motor that has the same frame but a different horsepower, speed, voltage, and enclosure and engineer a new design to match the old motor! This can be done through stator core, winding and/or rotor design changes to match or exceed the original design.”

Preparing for the Future

Brewer expects additional consolidations in the future.

“One of the best ways our customers can prepare for these changes is to maintain a database that holds all the critical information for every motor in their facility,” Brewer said.

“Customers should be asking for dimensional and performance documentation whenever they buy a new motor. This information is vital when it comes time to buy a replacement!”

To help customers store critical information on their motor assets, HECO uses its own proprietary software TracRat to catalog each motor as an offering from its Equipment Management Systems program.

TracRat can store other important information that would help replace a motor in the event an exact replacement is no longer available, including:

  • Notes on any space restrictions that would hinder a different-sized motor from being installed.
  • Any possible replacements that the customer already has in their spare motor inventory.
  • Repair history of the motor that needs to replaced.
  • Failure trends that could be accommodated for before a new motor is purchased.

All Systems Go

When an electric motor needs repair, it is important to work with a skilled and knowledgeable partner in order to find the right replacement with the most efficient cost and timeline required. The HECO team is uniquely qualified to help you find the right equipment or build the system you need regardless of your motor’s original manufacturing.

Contact us to discuss your electric motor needs and challenges.

Posted in Product Sales