In manufacturing, unplanned downtime costs are huge and only getting more significant. According to a recent study of 72 large companies by Senseye Predictive Maintenance, large plants’ costs of unplanned downtime average $532,000 per hour. The study cites the disturbing figure that downtime costs these companies 11% of their annual revenue in 2022, up from 8% in 2020.
What Manufacturers Are Doing to Help Mitigated Unexpected Downtime?
It goes without saying that manufacturers do all they can to minimize unplanned downtime. There are many components to a downtime mitigation strategy, ranging from beefing up maintenance programs to investing in protective products to make manufacturing systems as reliable as possible.
Protecting Motor Bearings From VFD-Failure
One step in this direction is to protect electric motor bearings against the damage caused by variable frequency drive (VFD) control. VFDs generate high-frequency voltage on the shafts of the motors they control. Without protection, this so-called shaft voltage will discharge through the motor or system bearings, causing electrical damage, eventual premature failure, and potentially unplanned downtime.
A Reliable Strategy: Shaft Grounding Ring
One protective product is the AEGIS® Shaft Grounding Ring. AEGIS rings provide a low resistance path to charge on the shaft and bleed down the shaft voltage to levels too low to arc through the bearings, protecting them from discharge damage. When protected by AEGIS rings, VFD-controlled systems are less likely to fail prematurely, and one risk of unplanned downtime is thus mitigated.
While AEGIS rings alone cannot prevent every motor failure, they are an important part of the overall reliability strategy for every plant that uses VFDs for motor control.
AEGIS Rings also come with a 2-year extended warranty against bearing fluting damage. No other form of protection against VFD-caused bearing damage offers a warranty like this.