There is no doubt that electrical maintenance prevents complex and costly breakdowns. Still, most industrial maintenance plans put emphasise preventive maintenance for mechanical breakdowns and counter electrical breakdowns with reactive maintenance. The litmus test is the lack of stock to solve electrical malfunctions.
Another common symptom of lack of electrical maintenance is the absence of scheduled downtime days. Since this type of testing commonly requires turning off the electrical board (or phases of the board), it needs to be scheduled so as not to affect production. If there is no stock or scheduled downtime, then electrical maintenance becomes what we call “putting out fires”.
What is electrical maintenance?
As the name implies, electrical maintenance encompasses all electrical components of the infrastructure. It is indispensable for industry, public buildings, and residential buildings. Some examples of tasks included in industrial and building maintenance:
- electrical and electromechanical machines;
- air conditioners or electric water accumulators;
- electric showers;
- review of power outlets and electrical connections;
- review of the electrical board and circuit breakers;
- measure the system voltage and amperage;
- lighting system and common use electrical appliances;
- monitor components’ wear and corrosion;
- repair of electrical damage.
Electrical maintenance techniques
Most of the electrical maintenance is based on monitoring the condition of the equipment, performing condition-based maintenance and, occasionally, predictive maintenance. These are some techniques that you can apply:
- Preventive maintenance – includes tests of the relay, circuit breaker, alternating current (AC), high voltage direct current (DC), and battery charge, among others.
- Predictive maintenance – namely infrared tests, to analyse emissivity and reflectivity, and temperature analysis.
- Failure finding maintenance – maintenance to try to find flaws in safety and backup systems, such as generators.
- Reactive (or corrective) maintenance – indicated for random breakdowns, especially in low criticality assets.
How to make an electrical maintenance plan step by step
Making an electrical maintenance plan is not much different from making a preventive maintenance plan, but it does have some nuances. If this is your first attempt, follow these 8 steps to prepare an electrical maintenance plan.
Asset criticality analysis
The first step is to perform a criticality analysis of the assets. Realise which equipment is a priority and which has a more alarming history. In general:
- critical assets must be reviewed every year;
- the building’s electrical schematics must be reviewed every year (hand-made schematics don’t count!);
- less critical assets should be reviewed every 24 months.
Assess which failures are preventable
Despite the benefits of preventive maintenance, not all failures are preventable. Therefore, the second step is to understand which failure modes are random and which ones follow a pattern.
Make a situation report with the team
Since most electrical maintenance requires shutting down equipment or panel phases, speak with your team to estimate the downtime required to check each machine.
Realise your team’s capabilities
To realise your new plan, you need to understand how to use the resources at your disposal. Take advantage of the meeting with your team: can you execute the plan internally or do you need outsourcing?
For each inspection or repair to run smoothly, start preparing BOMs to know the material you need to have in stock and have a list of materials and possible replacements for each task.
Insert all documentation in the CMMS
Now we just need to make sure that all the information about your electrical equipment (including location, manufacturer, responsible technician), BOMs, and maintenance plan is in your CMMS or, better yet, in your IMMP.
Electrical maintenance carries safety risks, so it is important to establish safety rules. All maintenance technicians need to undergo a training period.
⚙️ Write down the rules for the operation and maintenance of electrical installations that may be useful in this step: NFPA 70E (approved by OSHA, United States of America), EN 50110 (Europe), NBR 5410 and NBR 13570 (Brazil). You can also check HSE guidelines here.
Always improve. There is always room for improvement, especially if this is the first time that you are preparing an electrical maintenance plan. Evaluate the percentage of compliance, the results of the plan, the reduction of breakdowns and downtime compared to the previous year, and start again.
If you are looking for software that allows you to gather all the information you need to make plans tailored to each asset, request a demo.