Skip to Main Content

Why A Quick Answer Isn't Always the Best Answer - HECO

September 10, 2019

A philosophy of our company has always been to help whenever we can. We have the resources, experience, and mindset to bring solutions to our customers on almost every motor related issue. Often times we are asked to bring solutions and answer questions to problems in breakdown situations without all of the facts. These breakdown situation questions can either be on motors that have been sent into our shop or motors that are still in-service.

We have been in this business for almost 60 years and we have a pretty good feel for what it costs for a customer, no matter what the industry, to be in a breakdown situation. Loss of power generation can be hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour so we know the importance of getting production started back up. But is the quick answer the best answer? In order to give an answer or an opinion almost always requires more information than what we are initially provided. “Why won’t my motor run?” brings dozens of questions and most of those require additional measurements and testing that a lot of our customers don’t have the tools to provide. In this situation a “quick” answer is not possible.

Another question that we seem to get immediately after we receive a motor or even when on the phone trying to diagnose a problem is “when can we get it back?” Now, the motor was just received into our shop or maybe we have not even seen the motor yet. We have procedures that we have established in our 60 years for diagnosing problems and investigating failures. The reason for a failure investigation is to bring to light why the motor failed in the first place and hopefully stop it from happening again.

Many measurements, both mechanical and electrical, are taken as part of our inspection. These inspections take time. The bigger the motor usually the more time. A wet motor adds even more time. A wet or grounded stator winding will need to be cleaned and completely baked out before a determination can be as to the integrity of the winding. We have had instances in the past where a motor winding failed tests during our incoming inspection, but after a thorough cleaning and baking the stator tested fine. This can save the customer hundreds of thousands of dollars and save weeks of rewind time.

How many times do we go to the doctor with an ailment and we want the quick answer or the quick remedy only to be told that more tests are required? We know that in today’s world almost everything is expected to be done quicker and faster than ever before. We know that the caller is being pushed for an answer and we really want to provide a quick answer, but the quick answer without all of the facts, is usually not the best answer.

Posted in Predictive