How frequently should you maintain a control panel?

Electrical Panel

As a maintenance engineer, it’s quite critical to understand the estimate time for maintenance of various plant equipment. However the time for each varies from 3-6 months depending on conventional MCCs to smart intelligent MCCs.

If you have a new MCC installation then you will be supplied by O&M manual, that covers mainly what need to be performed as a part of preventive and predictive maintenance.

There are several checks that can be done during PM, some of them requires MCC shutdown some can be done while the system is live. If you are maintaining any MCC this shall be considered that the MCC has been operating and tested in the whole life cycle as per supplier instructions.

There are several other checks that needs to be considered during maintenance. Some of the maintenance items pertaining particularly to the smart MCCs are below.

1. Verification of any software check and backup of parameters on smart devices. You can make a record of any changes required during maintenance.

2. Visual check for any discoloration and the burnt-out equipment. 

3. Smart MCCs are usually unmanned and sometimes presence of rodent can become a danger situation, therefore the physical condition checks of cables at the entry point should be considered.

4. Smart MCCs are equipped with intelligent devices and the data loggers that keeps the data for certain amount of time. This data is very useful while doing the PMs, you can do more focused preventive maintenance with this data.  

5. All modifications and checks that needs to be performed shall be recorded in the CMMS.

6. Health and safety hazards are inherently present in the MCCs; therefore, a risk assessment and method of statement shall be developed, signed by all authorities before conducting any service work.

7. Don’t overlooked the de-energized equipment and inspecting of this equipment requires specialized training, specially in safety.

If your MCCs are connected with the SCADA than it is much easier to get the reports from it and use the information for preventive and predictive maintenance. Generally, the smart motor control provides

  • No of starts
  • Motor running hours
  • Motor running hours (total time)
  • Number of trips (if any)
  • Energy (KWh) consumed.

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