Pressed to Keep Equipment Running?

Pressed to Keep Equipment Running?


Video length: 2:45 3 minute read


Hello, everyone. My name is Tres Gray and I work at SPOC Automation. I grew up in Austin, Texas, and graduated from UT, Hook ’em Horns! And then about 15-years ago, I cut my teeth in the oil and gas business out in West Texas. I’m currently up in the Rockies and North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana where we see plenty of harsh conditions.

I really learned something in the artificial-lift business over the last 15 years — preventive maintenance programs really pay off. In my personal experience with customers with preventive maintenance programs see anywhere from 30% to 60% savings over the life of each asset, depending on the application.

In addition, NETA which is International Electrical Testing Association, says you should have electrical equipment serviced at least once a year. But we recommend more than that, even twice-a-year in super harsh conditions. Obviously, we’re outside and we have outdoor rated enclosures, but you still get debris in there. You still have dust to deal with. It’s important to get in each drive and ensure that it is in prime condition.

Recently, the IEEE Petroleum and Chemical Committee put out a study that showed that systems that aren’t using preventive maintenance in the oil and gas business see about a 300% more downtime than those systems that do. The return on investment for preventive maintenance is pretty significant.

And for us in oil and gas business, you know, we use a lot electrical equipment. That’s specifically what I’m talking about today. You need to clean those heat syncs. You need to make sure that you’re able to keep those things clean in there, get those boards cleaned off.

What’s really important with preventive maintenance programs, with drives, is thermal imaging. It’s critical to be able to get in there and look at the drive and find out where you’re starting to get heat build up. Every 10-degrees Celsius, which is 18-degrees Fahrenheit, will cut your use of a piece of electrical equipment in half. So, for every 18-degree rise in operating temperature, you’re going to get a 50% less run-life. I think you can see how important it is to identify what’s hot inside a drive so you can do to fix it; or to know what you might need to work on later on down the line.

We’re squeezing every penny right now. I get that. But I’m going to tell you, it makes a lot of sense to invest your money in a preventive maintenance programs. Your return on that investment is going to be exponential.

I hope you had some fun today with our quick two-minute drill on preventive maintenance. I hope you’ll look around, identify your critical pieces of equipment out there that you might not have a preventive maintenance program on, particularly electronic equipment like drives and pump off controllers and things of that nature. OK. You have a great afternoon. Thanks.

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A variable frequency drive should only be worked on by QEP certified professionals and only following all corporate, local, state and national regulations.