MRO Magazine

The Practical Problem Solver

Survey WinnersFirst off, Mr. O would like to thank all readers who participated in the 2-Minute Reader Survey that appeared in our April 2002 issue. We learned some valuable information from the surve...

June 1, 2002 | By MRO Magazine

Survey Winners

First off, Mr. O would like to thank all readers who participated in the 2-Minute Reader Survey that appeared in our April 2002 issue. We learned some valuable information from the survey, including which sections are your favourites and what types of features are of the most interest. The results will help us fine-tune the content of future issues to make them better and more useful to you in your work.

We promised to randomly draw five surveys and award each submission a $25 prize. As a result, cheques are on their way to: millwright Walter Hjelte, electronics technician Nicolas Foscolos, mechanic Peter Novak, expediter Peter Stoddart, and shift engineer Daniel Rosenfeld.

To all those who didn’t win a prize, remember that you’ve taken a step to help mould the future of Machinery & Equipment MRO, and that is much appreciated. Congratulations to each draw winner, and thank you all for your participation.


Replacing a motor quickly

Problem: I need to replace a motor quickly. What information do I need to provide to my supplier?

Solution: The first place to look for the necessary replacement motor data is on the nameplate of the existing motor, says Fran Chiapetta of Tenaquip. It will tell you basic information such as rpm, horsepower and voltage, as well as other specific details.

Look for details about the motor type — whether it is a single-phase or three-phase design. Check if the motor is equipped with a capacitor-start module.

Note the enclosure type, which will depend on the atmosphere in which the motor operates. Drip-proof, washdown duty, or other sealed units for dusty, contaminated or humid conditions may be specified on the nameplate. Explosion-proof motors will be designated for hazardous atmospheres where a spark could cause an explosion.

Look for details on overload protection. Features can include manual or automatic reset in case the motor overheats.

Also, some motors may have a thermostat embedded in the windings. This device turns on a fan attached to the motor to cool it down when it begins to operate at too high a temperature.

If your existing motor doesn’t have some of these protection features, you should consider replacing it with one that does, as long as it meets other key operating specifications. Overheating or lack of sealing may have caused the original failure, so dealing with the problem now will mean the replacement should operate trouble free for a longer period of time.

Mr. O, the Practical Problem Solver, welcomes your tips, shortcuts, advice and suggestions for solving common equipment maintenance problems. Send them anytime of year, as you develop them or as they come up. Keep in mind that your suggestions should not bend any standards or rules, particularly regarding health and safety matters.

Survey winners!

was thinking about the Internet a lot around the time many readers were receiving the previous issue of this magazine in the mail. It was Sept. 11, 2001, a day now embedded into the lifelong memories of millions of people around the world.

On that Tuesday of Terror, a friend of ours from New York City was visiting her parents near Toronto. When she heard the news of the terrorist attacks, she immediately tried to contact her husband, an industry analyst in Manhattan. No luck, as all the phones in the city’s core were either jammed or down.

device from RIM Technologies–a Canadian development, by the way–he was able to communicate his whereabouts as he struggled through the dust-layered city to pick up his children and get them home. Thanks to the Internet, we were able to relay messages to and from his wife until he was able to get out of Manhattan and reach a working telephone.

It’s one small example of the benefit of the Internet. And although the need for reliable communications in the everyday industrial environment may seem small in comparison to the need for it on Sept. 11, the Internet and its World Wide Web provide a welcome connection, day in and day out, to a vast realm of contacts, information and resources literally throughout the world.

I doubt we’ve even come close to exploiting the full communications potential of the Net, in induBut more and more, developments in software, technology and app us closer to a new way of doing things.

Maintenance expert and regular contributor Morris Berengut explores one of these new applications in this issue with his examination of computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) that reside on the Internet. No huge programs to install. No worries about networking computers in different plants. No troublesome data backups to be concerned about.

However, for all its advantages, there are issues with this method of maintenance management that will be of concern to some potential users. The article gives you all the pros and cons.

But more than that, it points to the future of our world. Even if you aren’t ready to run your maintenance department using a remote web server, you sking about what this technolog

It’s an interesting future we have to look forward to. Whether it’s co-ordinating all your maintenance operations from a laptop computer and a wireless modem out in the field, or simply letting loved ones know that you’re safe and sound, the Internet is sure to be an increasingly important part of our lives for years to come.

If you have any thoughts on this topic, I invite you to share them with us. Of course, I recommend that you use the Internet and send your note by e-mail to

Bill Roebuck, Editor

Do you have a solution for a maintenance problem? Send it in and if it’s published, we’ll send you a free Mr. O Problem Solver T-shirt and $35.00. Include your address and telephone number, print complete details, and add a sketch to help explain your tip. Send your ideas to Mr. O, Machinery & Equipment MRO, 1450 Don Mills Rd., Don Mills, ON M3B 2X7.


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