Switchgear maintenance is a necessary safety measure essential to a system’s operation. There is more than one type of switchgear maintenance, but the most important or highly recommended one is preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance is the process of conducting regularly scheduled maintenance activities to help avoid unexpected failures in the future.
If your facility’s priorities involve safety and extending equipment life, mastering preventive maintenance of switchgear is vital to attaining your objectives. To help you, here are four of the most important things you must do to carry out effective switchgear preventive maintenance.
1. Isolate the switchgear properly
Nothing is more crucial than safety, so knowing the correct ways to isolate your equipment is necessary. Identify whether your system is double-ended, has a single source, or comes with tiebreakers. Then, determine potential backfeed problems from someone testing an improperly isolated transformer downstream or a generator.
In this step, check that you have the right amount of lockout tagout (LOTO) apparatus. Never assume that your machine or equipment is de-energised, and make sure that LOTO rules are followed at all times.
2. Identify the equipment’s environment
Knowing the type of environment your equipment is in is essential, as it can guide many of your preventive maintenance decisions. If plenty of dust has settled on your switchgear, determine whether it is from regular outdoor dust, coal dust, or smoke. Different kinds of contaminants may require various types and quantities of cleaning supplies.
For instance, porcelain insulators may require waxing. There are also some environments with higher chemical vapours that can rapidly corrode metal parts. Be sure to take photos as documentation and pay close attention to your machine’s or equipment’s physical condition.
3. Utilise procedures specific to the type of environment
Aside from knowing your equipment’s environment, you should also know the specific type of equipment you have. At the very least, you need basic procedures that outline the things required for every kind of equipment to be serviced, such as air circuit breakers, load break switches, and motor starters.
The procedures must include the type of lubrication to be utilised, the location and process of applying the lubrication, torque wrench requirements, and TTR testing details, among others. You must determine if your equipment uses a particular type of lubrication. You also need to check for insulation coverings and bolt tightness and examine instrument transformers and surge arresters.
4. Come up with a preventive maintenance plan
Set a schedule for how frequently you plan to subject your switchgear to preventive maintenance. Look at the instruction manuals of your equipment to determine if certain items have particular replacement schedules according to age or usage. If you perform maintenance on your equipment on a schedule that reduces the impacts of contamination and wear, uptime and reliability will increase, and the total cost of ownership will lessen.
Overall, carrying out the proper preventive maintenance measures on your switchgear will ensure equipment accuracy, efficiency, and reliability for a long time. By following the standard principles of switchgear preventive maintenance, your electric motor or equipment will be safe and trouble-free for numerous years.
To further guarantee the safety and efficiency of your switchgear preventive maintenance schedule, it is highly advised that you seek the help of specialists in a company for mechanical and electrical engineering in Singapore. These professionals are usually highly skilled and knowledgeable in maintaining electric motors and their components. They often deliver reliable and cost-effective services, such as generator overhauling and electric motor rewinds.