The electronic devices used to test and analyze electric motors and other equipment have become much more powerful. Yet, in many instances, these sophisticated devices have also introduced a high degree of complexity for users, requiring highly trained and experienced personnel to perform the testing.
Many of today’s devices are feature-rich and capable of measuring and analyzing many factors, including surge comparisons, resistance, impedance, and more. Unfortunately, not all of these potent systems are very user friendly, and some require a substantial investment.
“Today, you can spend up to $100,000 on a winding analyzer,” Mark Peden, president of Alliance Pump and Mechanical Service, told us. “but at the same time, you could find a very robust model at a much lower price.”
Peden, whose company services utilities including water and wastewater treatment plants, as well as municipal, commercial, and industrial pumping equipment, elected to do the latter, investing in a powerful portable winding analyzer and motor tester. Not only was the price in the lower range, but the system is also user-friendly and is easy enough to use that highly trained specialists are not required to operate it.
Living up to customer guarantees
“We’re a motor shop, which means we clean motors and install or service windings,” Peden said. “We use an electronic analyzer to test the integrity of the motor windings, to ensure that they are going to provide our customers with dependable performance.”
The motors Alliance Pump and Mechanical service have sometimes been subjected to harsh conditions, including excessive heat, debris, or occasional lightning strikes, all of which mean that windings have to be replaced. When a damaged or simply worn out pump and motor assembly arrives at the shop, Alliance technicians disassemble and thoroughly inspect the motor. The windings are then cleaned, baked, and surge tested to make sure they are good.
According to Peden, it takes a good analyzer to do a thorough test on the windings to make sure that the integrity of the motor windings is good. “I looked at several different models, and decided that the iTIG II looked like a pretty user-friendly unit that performed all of the tests and reports that we needed," he said.
The iTIG II is a winding analyzer and motor tester from
Electrom Instruments that comes with varying options and output ranges from 4kV to 12kV. By adding Power Packs one can go to even higher voltages.
Friendly but powerful
One of the big advantages of some of today’s most advanced instruments is that they are both easy to operate and interpret, but also contain powerful features.
The iTIG II that Alliance Pump and Mechanical purchased gives users the ability to perform a variety of tests from the most simple low resistance tests to Megohm (also called insulation resistance), Hipot, and advanced Surge testing.
One of the key advantages of all iTIG models is that they use a 60 Hz surge pulse frequency, the same frequency as most motors operate at. This high pulse rate provides a sufficient frequency to overcome ionization dissipation and can thus isolate insulation weaknesses with more sensitivity, predicting future faults before low frequency testers, and also better simulates motor operating conditions.
One of the most significant ease-of-use features is that the iTIG II enables users to enter the surge test voltage, push a button, and let the machine run the test independently. Surge waveform ranges are automatically set for all models, which eliminates the need to specify configurations, push multiple buttons, or turn dials.