One step to a better maintenance plan

Before adopting a proactive maintenance culture, conduct an electrical system analysis

01/17/2012


Transitioning from a reactive “fix only what is broken” culture to creating a proactive routine preventive maintenance model is a long but sound business process. Before any maintenance program is initiated or contracted, it is strongly recommended that the facility’s management contract and commission the services of a licensed professional electrical engineer to perform short circuit analyses, a time/current coordination study, and an arc flash analysis, of the entire electrical power distribution system.

 

These studies will ensure that the existing electrical equipment is properly rated, set and labeled. There is wasted value in spending limited maintenance budget and resources to clean, maintain, and service electrical equipment that is later determined as needing to be replaced or removed from service.

 

In some circumstances, a Power System Risk Assessment is recommended prior to beginning a preventive maintenance program. The Risk Assessment can reveal safety concerns, poorly maintained equipment, as well as the negative affects of harsh environmental conditions as elevated temperature, moisture, dirt, polarized dust and other contaminates on electrical equipment.

 

A risk assessment provides valuable information concerning the “present state” of an electrical power distribution system and its associated equipment, its functionality, and reliability relative to the present needs of a facility’s operations. (Note: Business functions and operations change much faster than power distribution systems. A 20th century power distribution system might be inadequate to the needs and requirements of 21st century sensitive electronic loads.)

 

A key feature of a Power System Risk Assessment is the Hazard Vulnerability Analysis, which prioritizes the recommended corrective actions based upon safety and the criticality of a facility’s operations. A Power System Risk Assessment facilitates the development of a proposed maintenance schedule specific to a facility’s power distribution system. In addition, cost estimates are provided to help management develop a budget to carry-out the maintenance activities.

 

 

 

Fran Waterers full article on ‘Mintnance Contrats Can Improve Reliability, Safety' is one of the topics in Plant Engineering’s Forecast issue, which will be published in mid-February. To receive the digital edition of Plant Engineering in time for the Forecast issue, which also will feature the 2011 Plant Engineering Salary Survey, click here:



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Water use efficiency: Diminishing water quality, escalating costs; Lowering building energy use; Power for fire pumps
Building envelope and integration; Manufacturing industrial Q&A; NFPA 99; Testing fire systems
Labs and research facilities: Q&A with the experts; Water heating systems; Smart building integration; 40 Under 40 winners
Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.