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Electrical Maintenance - Reactive or Proactive

Levi Zeigler March 19, 2019 0 comments

Companies who tend to react to a problem only when it's gotten serious could be called reactive companies. Until recently, reactive (in this sense) didn't really have an antonym. So proactive was coined to describe the kind of company who's always looking into the future in order to be prepared for anything. A good parent attempts to be proactive on behalf of his or her children, trying to imagine the problems they might be facing in a few months or years. A company's financial officers study the patterns of the company's earnings to make sure it won't risk running short of cash at any point in the next year or two. Proactive has only been around a few decades, and it can still sometimes sound like a fashionable buzzword.

When it comes to electrical equipment failures, electrical system failures and electrical downtime is your company reactive or proactive?

Does your company track downtime, equipment failures, and system failures due to electrical issues?

Does your company track all costs involved with downtime, equipment failures, and system failures due to electrical issues?

Does your maintenance department know how often if any of these seven (7) power quality problems exists at your facility?

  • Voltage Interruptions: Is a complete loss of voltage for a period of time. They are divided into four (4) groups: instantaneous, momentary, temporary, and sustained.
  • Voltage Fluctuations: Is a systemic change in voltage between 95%-105% of nominal voltage.
  • Voltage Waveform Distortion: Is any type of distortion that affects the waveform
  • Voltage Frequency Variations. Main examples are noise, dc offset, notching, harmonics and inter-harmonics.
  • Voltage Surges: Are short and quick high peak voltages that can be in either a positive or negative direction.
  • Under Voltage/Sag: Is a reduction in the voltage level at a given frequency between ½ cycles up to 1 minute.
  • Over Voltage/ Swell: Is an increase in the voltage level at a given frequency between ½ cycles up to 1 minute.

Reactive Maintenance Mode:

  • Repairs the equipment after it has broken down.
  • Typically, the root cause of the failure is never located and the failed equipment is restored to an operating condition.
  • Requires little or no planning or scheduling.
  • Cost no money until the equipment fails.
  • Typically, time was of the essences and no one calculated all costs involved with the repairs.
  • Unexpected downtime during production could result in late orders, damaged reputations and impacted revenue
  • Resource labor and spare parts may not be readily available. If so, facilities could end up end up paying a premium for emergency parts shipping, travel time, and after-hours support.
  • Downtime and repair time are never known.
  • Sometimes the only method is reactive mode.

Proactive Maintenance Mode:

  • Tracks all equipment failures, downtime and all cost involved. (All lost labor, all repair cost, all production loss, all administration assistance cost).
  • Uses the Ac power study to identify all power quality and power protection issues.
  • Cost of repairs can be calculated and parts are on hand
  • Repairs can be scheduled and completed at a convenient time.
  • The original power quality or protection issue can now be verified it has been corrected.
  • Verify and updates one-line Ac drawing.
  • Increases equipment life cycles.
  • Drastically reduces equipment failures and downtime.

Independent Institutions Reported:

  • Reactive Mode cost 2-5 times greater than Proactive Mode.
  • Proactive Mode reduces equipment failures and downtime.
  • Proactive Mode increases electrical equipment life cycles.
  • Proactive Mode reduces stress and encourages corporation among departments.
  • Proactive Mode encourages communications of power issues.

U.S. Department of Energy States:

Initial cost on Proactive Mode may be high, but expect to see a ten (10) times return on investment (ROI) in the Proactive Mode within the first two years and a reduction in maintenance costs of twenty-five (25% to 30%) percent.

Power Study Is The First Step Toward Proactive Maintenance Implementation:

  • The Ac power study is the first step for about 75% of all facilities to make the transition from typical reactive maintenance mode to proactive maintenance mode for Ac failures and downtime.
    • Ac power study takes a minimum of seven (7) days to complete.
    • An Ac power study cost money to complete.
    • After the Ac power study is completed it fixed nothing.
  • The Ac power study provides reports that are extremely attentive to accuracy and detail of the power quality. The study not only collects the quality of power entering the facility if also collects data on any/all effects the electrical equipment within the facility has on the overall power quality of the facility.
  • Without an Ac power study no one knows what the power quality or power protection issues are at the facility so to establish a Proactive Maintenance Mode would be very hard to implement.

Additional Steps Toward Proactive Maintenance Implementation:

  • Analyze the data
  • Prioritize issues
  • Implement solutions
  • Verify implementations
  • Tract results

When it comes to budgets the first statements are always that there is no money in the budget to implement a proactive maintenance mode. Review information below before the final decision is made to keep the normal facility reactive maintenance mode for the electrical equipment at the facility.


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