Efficiency is a term that people use with respect to a host of aspects in their life. We see athletes trying to be more efficient in their workouts, automobiles becoming more efficient with fuel mileage, air conditioners becoming more efficient with power, and manufacturers trying to be more efficient during production. In technical terms, it truly means: “The ratio of the useful work performed by a machine or in a process to the total energy expended or heat taken in.”
So why is it that the efficiency of an electric motor doesn’t seem to matter in the plant’s maintenance department, but it causes grief for the plant manager who is trying to reduce operating cost?
Maintenance departments typically have one major job: Keep the plant running. Over the past 10 years, we have continued to see a change in the way manufacturing plants operate – tool cribs are getting smaller, and there are fewer maintenance personnel to keep the plant running. Plants try to reduce their operating expenses by not stocking replacement items, and they are reducing their annual maintenance department budgets. This means that the maintenance department is getting the cheapest motor possible, and the plant energy bills continue to climb.