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Remember to follow the ABCs of bearing inspection

Publication date: 
October 2015
Chuck Yung, EASA Senior Technical Support Specialist
Type of media: 

Many of your customers have good in-house predictive maintenance departments and others outsource that skill. Either way, they should know when a bearing is deteriorating and remove the motor from service before it turns into a catastrophic failure. That saves a lot of maintenance dollars, which is great. But if the customer stops there, without discovering why that bearing is bad, your repaired motor could be returned with the same problem again. Defective bearings often hold a great deal of evidence, if we only look for it.

The key is communication with the customer so that we repairers know that the motor was removed for bearing faults, and so that we can go a step further in the diagnostic process. Especially with the prevalence of variable frequency drives (VFDs), bearing currents cause a significant number of bearing failures. If you know the motor is operating from a drive, there are corrective measures to prevent future failures of the same type. And those extra steps are billable extras. Neglecting these additional inspection steps is like leaving money on the table, for both the service center and the customer.

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