By Jane Alexander, Managing Editor
I try to never pass up opportunities to spotlight good news on the asset-management, energy-efficiency or workforce-development fronts. This month’s column is a triple-dip: A press release I received in early January—regarding the Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) launch of the industry’s first accreditation program for electric-motor repair-service providers—was very much in line with the type of good news I like to share.
According to EASA, the association’s new program provides assurance to end-users that repairs performed at accredited facilities conform to industry standards and maintain the reliability and efficiency of the repaired motor. The referenced standards are contained in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved ANSI/EASA AR100: Recommended Practice for the Repair of Rotating Electrical Equipment. In other words, as I understand it, if you (and your operations) are electric-motor users, EASA’s Accreditation Program has your back.
As quoted in the announcement, EASA President and CEO Linda Raynes cut to the chase about the importance of such a program: “Reliable electric-motor repairs are a critical need for manufacturing plants, utilities and much more,” she said. “While most service centers also sell new motors, and this is sometimes the best option, repairing a failed motor is often cost-effective and, in many cases, a more time-critical solution to return the operation to full production. Electric-motor end-users seek assurances that motor repair service providers follow the industry practices detailed in the ANSI/EASA AR100 standard.”
Raynes has statistics to prove her point. To summarize findings of a recent survey of electric-motor end-users:
- Over 50% of respondents expressed support for an accreditation program.
- A large majority believed such a program would improve the overall quality of electric-motor repairs.
- Most respondents indicated they would incorporate an accreditation requirement into their motor-repair specification.
EASA’s Accreditation Program didn’t happen overnight. It represents an enormous undertaking and commitment of time and resources. More than 70 separate criteria relating to electric-motor repair are covered, including the initial condition assessment of failed units and the repair of mechanical components such as shafts, bearings, housings and cooling systems. A motor’s electrical elements, including windings and insulation, are also covered. Other criteria include balancing and testing of the repaired motor, required equipment used in the repair, instrument calibration, training of repair personnel, and documentation of findings and work performed. An independent third-party audit of a repair-service provider’s practices is part of the accreditation process.
Participation in this program is voluntary and—interestingly—not restricted to EASA members. Accredited service providers will affix a serially numbered “EASA Accredited Repair” label to repaired motors and be allowed to display an “EASA Accredited” logo in their literature. They will also be listed on the EASA Website (easa.com/accreditation).
Walker Larsen, who manages the Motor Decision Matter (MDM) campaign (motormatters.org), applauds EASA for developing the new program. (Regular readers will recall that MDM provides resources and tools to industrial energy-users to help them save money through informed decisions on the repair or replacement of electrical-motor systems.) As Larsen explains, “EASA, one of the MDM campaign sponsors, is helping to advance the goals of the campaign by formalizing best practices for maintaining equipment efficiency to factory specs.” And they’re doing this, he says through a program “that creates transparency and certainty for customers seeking quality motor-repair services.” Sounds like real good news to me. MT