At EPSCO, experience has shown us that properly functioning equipment is one of the best electrical safety practices. Maintaining your equipment will ensure it works on the level with manufacturer specs.
This process is known as preventative maintenance.
When performing preventative maintenance, the workplace is scheduled for a shutdown so electrical equipment can be inspected, cleaned, refurbished, or replaced if needed. While it might seem counterintuitive to shut down production to perform maintenance, keep in mind that unexpected malfunctions and repairs are impossible to plan for and often lead to much greater losses. The advantage of maintenance is that it is always planned and budgeted for– It won’t catch anyone off guard and extends your equipment’s life and safety.
- A base level of cleaning, inspection, and thermal scanning should be performed at least once a year
- More invasive preventative maintenance should be performed every two or three years.
- Facilities with messy environments or that produce a lot of airborne debris should perform maintenance even more frequently.
Preventative maintenance is also a major factor when it comes to incident energy calculations and an arc flash study. During an arc flash study, engineers work under the assumption that protective devices will operate according to the manufacturer’s specs without any issues. But if no maintenance has been performed, the equipment may not work as intended. This will increase the chance of errors in the arc flash study and result in incident energy levels that are higher than were calculated if protective devices do not react when they are designed to.
The only way to be certain protective devices will operate properly is by having a preventative maintenance program in place and testing equipment to ensure it is working the way it was designed to.
Proper equipment maintenance leads to better performance and a safer work environment for everyone.
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