Take care of your MCC, and your MCC will take care of you.
When it comes to MCCs (motor control centres), proper maintenance will go a long way in prolonging its lifespan and avoiding painful downtime costs. In fact, in order to keep a MCC properly running for years, it’s essential to perform this planned preventive maintenance (PPM).
An MCC is a critical piece to manufacturing plants everywhere, as it works to power all kinds of equipment within the plant. However, it’s common for people to apply a “one and done” attitude after the purchase of their MCC - completely forgetting that periodic maintenance is a key component to ensuring the MCC stays up and running for years to come.
Don’t wait until a breakdown to check up on your MCC
MCCs are like long-term friends - you may not see them all the time, but they still deserve a check-in every now and again. The reality is, leaving your MCC to fend for itself until a real issue arises, such as starter failure, can result in significant downtime and loss of all control of plant equipment - not to mention, major financial losses for your business, especially tied to equipment replacement costs.
What is the average lifespan of a MCC, anyway?
During the purchase of your new motor control centre, the manufacturer should inform you about its life expectancy. Generally speaking, the life expectancy of a MCC is about 20 years - however, there have been worst-case scenarios where components have failed in under two years. This is typically when there is a considerable lack of maintenance alongside other factors working against the MCC.
With that said, the best way to prolong the lifespan of your MCC and reduce any risk of breakdown involves implementing a planned preventative maintenance regime to ensure that maintenance is performed no longer than every three to six months. Smart controls on the MCC can also be incorporated into PPM regimes to inform the operator of important information regarding performance assessments of all equipment, including the flagging up of any potential issues that need addressing before an even larger failure can occur. These intelligent systems are even capable of storing data across a number of days or weeks to form trends that can be highly informational for the operator.
When checking on the condition of a MCC, maintenance workers will refer to a motor control centre preventive maintenance checklist.
This can include basic visual assessments to more complex examinations - typically considering cleanliness, verifying any software, and performing backups. All records should also be kept up-to-date.
There should also be regular checks on the physical condition of the MCC’s cabling. Since MCCs are usually positioned away out of sight, there is the potential danger of vermin which can destroy or damage any connectors or cables. But if an issue is identified early on, maintenance staff should be able to restore the MCC back to good or original condition, as parts can always be serviced or replaced.
Are there any health and safety dangers associated with MCCs?
MCCs, on average, present little to no health or safety risk with one exception to the rule: during maintenance activities. This is why it’s so important that operators and staff of manufacturing plants understand such hazards in order to be prepared with the right precautions. Prior to working on an MCC, the maintenance staff should always test the equipment and rule out any equipment “death”, in addition to following the correct O&M (operation and maintenance manual)-stated procedures and wearing the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment).
The bottom line: Your MCC is a long-time friend you should never forget about.
“Out of sight, out of mind” should never apply to your precious MCC. Keep your records up-to-date, and stick to a planned preventative maintenance regime with a skilled maintenance worker to ensure your MCC lives a long and healthy life free of costly downtime or dangerous issues.
Our T&T Power Group consists of highly experienced maintenance experts. Contact us today to schedule a check-up or servicing for your MCC, or for any of your power equipment that requires attention.