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Explorer 3000 On-line testing

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Dynamic monitoring ushers in a new era in predictive maintenance capabilities

Designed with longevity in mind, electric motors are made to function safely, economically, and perpetually. In theory, proper care and use of these components will ensure many years of successful operation. However, the real world is a different story, where motors are subjected to numerous environmental and operational hazards that cause thermal stress on the windings. Thermal stresses degrade the insulation quality of the motor, thereby diminishing its life expectancy. That's why monitoring the operating condition of motors has become such an important aspect of predictive maintenance programs.

For many years, maintenance and reliability engineers were limited to static or off-line testing of motors — determining a motor's suitability for continued duty by using a handheld volt/ohm meter, clamp-on ammeter, or megohmmeter. But quite often these tools became forensic devices used mainly to diagnose “what happened” after the motor failed.

Although static testing remains an essential component in monitoring and trending motor health, the methods are limited and are mainly intended to define insulation quality. Modern online test equipment aids the technician in predicting imminent, insulation-related failures. The early detection of these potential problems enables him to schedule “downtime” and make scheduled repairs rather than perform emergency maintenance.

Online motor testing. Dynamic or online test equipment monitors motors in their natural environment. Dynamic testing provides details about power quality, the motor's operating condition, and a very large amount of information related to the load. Modern test equipment collects data through three voltage probes and three corresponding current transformers, which are attached directly to the piece of equipment. More advanced equipment has the added ability to collect data.


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