Reduction in motor burnouts and proactive prognosis of ill health of AC Squirrel cage run drives.

(As part of paper for the competition “MD trophy for Innovative Managers as Drivers”) EXECUTIVE SUMMARY I had joined this shop four years back on transfer with promotion to E6. I was put in charge of “Electrical Machine” group. The group had the responsibility to maintain 3000+ motors of HSM. In view of frequent burnouts ( as seen from the graph) the group was involved only in motor changing and leaved the rest to individual area personnel to check the reason for failure and failure of protective system. The job was becoming tougher with manpower getting less and no of motors increasing due to modernisation of furnace. Moreover majority of the motors in the furnace were very critical to the running of production line. I started with being involved in the failure analysis of Motor Burnouts. This required understanding of electrical protection system as well as load curve of motors as per the process requirement. The shop had old protection devices which were not adequate to the varied nature of loading of different drives. With the help of mechanical and electrical area I/cs the suitability of protection system was derived for each motor. Moreover some change in the SMP for breakdown solving was introduced which was enforced across all areas with impunity. With the procurement of proper O/L relays with the help of Shop planning the protection reliability was increased manifold. The cost saving due to prevention of motor burnout and was just a by-product. The primary change I have been able to enforce is the technological discipline and the belief “that a properly selected and installed motor will not fail” Now even a small motor burnout is investigated and remedial action is taken before a new motor is installed. The continuous condition monitoring has also been made specific and targeted and hence manpower can be directed to more meaningful engagement. The stress on mechanical drives has also decreased as protection system pre-empts the overloading and trips the system. The sequence of steps taken by the HSM collective has emboldened my belief and I am trying to emulate the same across all other areas of HSM. The same theory holds true for the rest of the plant where majority of the motors are AC squirrel cage motors.

Background of the problem The slabs are reheated in the furnace and then reduced in thickness and width by rolling in the stands. The 5 no roughing stands are spaced apart and the material flows on roller tables. Similarly the contiguous finishing stand give the final shape to the strip before being coiled in coilers. For smooth functioning of stands and intermediate equipments a range of lubrication, hydraulic and grease systems are present. Moreover for process requirements many water/air/process water evacuation pumps and ventilation systems are run by squirrel cage AC induction motors. These motors are run almost continuously stopping only for 12 hrs every fortnight for maintenance. Details of motors used Hydraulic and Lubrication: 213 Pump houses: 87 Ventilations: 94 Grease Pumps: 55 Total no of Sq Cage Motors in HSM: 449 Being spread over such a large area the switching and protection system are distributed in Motor Control Centres (MCC) in remote locations in different Motor rooms manned by workmen. Because of the different group of people operating and maintaining the mechanical and electrical units of the drives, the actual status of the driven is not known to the other group. Moreover many of the drives are physically inaccessible and so condition monitoring is not always possible. The MCCs consist of breakers having “Over Current (OC)” protection and relays protecting the “Overloads (OL)”. However there is no protection system for “Single Phasing (SP)”. The present relays offering SP protection are very costly and difficult to fix in the present MCCs because of space constraints. This leaves the protection mainly in the purview of Thermal OLs which intrinsically act after a time delay; in the meantime the motor is stressed causing its temperature to rise. The result could be fracture in the cable supplying power which further causes SP and hastens the heating and burning of motor. Most of the driven drives have pumps supplying water/ steam/ air, lubricating or hydraulic oils or evacuating process water. All these are prone to contamination and hence overloading of the

motors. Moreover the associated mechanical equipments are difficult to maintain owing to ageing and difficult surroundings. With decreasing manpower; it was not possible to have a manual condition monitoring system for all the auxiliary systems. Moreover with the increased stress upon increasing the production time; scheduled shutdown is difficult to get by. In spite of the fact that stoppage of even one motor is sometimes causing production stoppage in the mill. In this backdrop it was essential to stop frequent motor burn outs and moreover get a prior report of malfunction of a drive. Concept of squirrel cage motor protection A squirrel cage induction motor takes up to 6 times its nominal current when started known as the starting current. The current dies down as the back emf is generated and motor picks up speed. Depending upon the loading profile of the driven unit this starting current dies down within 2-5s. After that the motor should not take more than the nominal current (Is). Overloading is defined by IS as 1.05Is for over 2hours, or 1.25Is for over 2 min. A lot of study has been done across all industries including “learning from each other” workshops at SAIL plants. The primary reasons researched for failures are

Causes of Motor

The conventional OL relays are manufactured using a thermal element which tends to mimic motor heating. The same current which passes on to the motor passes through the thermal element which expands proportionately and operated a relay tripping a motor. But the

Short coming of such a relay are • Higher the current faster it would trip, but inversely if the current is 1.05Is it will take a longer time to trip. In the meantime the motor will get heated up and insulation may fail. • • • •

No provision of adding definite characteristics to the relay. Ageing and repeatedly heating up of the thermal element in OL reduces its coefficient of expansion and motor trips with more delay. No SP protection. There was human tendency to reset the OL relay or Breaker without checking the whether fault conditions still persist. The fault diagnosis equipment: A Insulation Resisitance Megger was not available across the shelf. Typically only one megger was available in 1sq Km of the HSM with five different electrical groups working in different zones.

Short comings of the fault detection method

In case one of the motor leads being burnt restarting the motor caused SP which further stressed the motor causing it to fail.

Short comings of condition monitoring • • • No way of accurate current measurement in each phase for most of the drives, usually one tongue tester was used which was not available across the shelf. The mechanical and electrical unit of a drive was checked by different groups so often conflict occurred over whether the drive is getting overloaded. Current in many drives

Brief on Digital Motor Protection relay Digital motor protection relay (DMPR) measures all the 3 phase currents of a motor with the help of a Current Transformer continuously and displays them in digital form. Being run by a microcomputer it is reliable and and has negligible temperature and ageing effect. It can be programmed as per the requirement of drive. There is option to set • • OL current and definite time delay for relay to trip ‘definite ‘ or ‘Inverse’ characteristics

• •

Single phasing protection Fast Under Voltage and Stalling protection Brief on Testing Equipments devised in house A 2*1.5V battery was used to make a “continuity tester” with a LED. This was

cheap, replaceable and it was easy for even one person to check the continuity of motor. A basic two step method was followed in case of OL operating and tripping of breaker due to OC. The use of megger was restricted only to know the condition of an idle motor. Change effected by fault diagnosis to pre-empt burning of motors and increase useful life Drainage Pump house Three nos 55Kw squirrel cage motors are used to pump out contaminated water used in cooling and other process of HSM. The contaminants in the water jammed the pumps intermittently. Three step change was carried out. • A DMPR was installed for each. Time delay of 5s for tripping motor even at moderate OLs was set. This caused even small OLs to be detected and saved the motor from getting heated/ stressed. • In case of OLs standard procedure of resetting was avoided. The three phase continuity was checked to see if cable fracture has taken place. The mechanical drive was always inspected to see jamming and corrective action was taken to reduce load • Failure analysis showed one of the drives failing more often. Its alignment was properly done by modifying the base Re Circulation Pumps Known as the lifeline of Reheating furnaces two no’s of 132 Kw pumps in each of the three furnaces supply cooling water to the pipes on which hot slabs are placed. Any stoppage causes irrepareable to the furnace apart from loss of production. • The OL was traditionally set near full load current whereas the motor drew 60% of the rated current most of the time. The setting was changed to near the load so as to warn drive over loading beforehand.

Vibration monitoring tests indicated large amount of vibration transmitting from the pump to motor. To arrest these instead of rigid coupling flexible tyre coupling was devised and installed.

Being near the steam pipes the motors were subjected to water and steam entry. The new motors being installed were sealed at the Motor terminals and end covers with improved sealant to prevent such mishaps.

De Aearator Pumps Two nos 37Kw pump in each of three furnaces are used to pump cooling water to very high drum at height of 30m. These pumps took large current only when its outlet valve at the drum opened as required by the process computer. The reciprocating pumps are susceptible of transverse pull damaging the bearing of the motor as well as the pump itself when loaded.

The conventional current monitoring of the pump did not yield any result because high curret at the time of pull of the pump was not recorded. With the help of DMPR the stored OL tripping current was used to find cause of sudden shooting of current due to axial pull which had caused bearing damage.

Being heated caused SP due to cable fracture in the motors. Before resetting the drive checking the fault condition using continuity tester at motor and panel terminals were carried out.

Furnace Compressors Four no 45Kw motors run these compressors which supply air for valve operation in the furnace. The nominal current of the drive was very high leaving very little scope for overloading • • • Stalling due to compressor jam was found to be a major reason. DMPR was used to sense motor stalling immediately and trip the device. Sudden under voltage (UV) due to grid disturbance was a major reason of failure. UV protection was stringently used to instantaneous tripping of motors. Motor Room made properly ventilated to reduce ambient temperature.

Expected and achieved benefits

The equipments mentioned above are critical auxiliaries for running Hot Strip Mill. Apart from cost of the motors tripping hampers the production till the standby is started.

Cost of Motors Application of motors Compressor Drainage Pump DeAerator Pump Recirculation Pump KW rating 45 KW 55KW 37 KW 132 KW Cost 100000/140000/89000/275000/-

The cost incurred in procuring these motors was very high. Moreover due to long process of procurement meant that a large inventory was required to be kept for immediate replacement. The motors are used in such application where even temporary breakdown meant damage to the process equipment. Many a times production needed to be stopped as the hot stand by motor or drive was not ready due to maintainance at the time of breakdown. The tangible benefit of the motor failure was calculated by the approximate cost of procurement of each motor yearwise. Cost of procurement of motors Compressor Drainage Pump DeAerator Pump Recirculation Pump Fy 07-08 900000 980000 534000 550000 Rs 29.64 lakhFy 08-09 Fy 09-10 Fy 10-11

600000 100000 100000 560000 0 140000 267000 178000 267000 275000 0 0* Rs 17.02 lakh Rs 2.78 lakh Rs 5.07lakh*

*Excludes 3 RCP motors submerged due to flooding after fire in dec2010 No of motors burnt in 2007-08 Cost of motors No of motors burnt in 2010-11 Cost of Motors 24 Rs 29.64 lakh 4 Rs 5.07 Lakh

Cost of DMPR Total cost of 19 nos DMPR installed

Rs 8000/Rs 1.52 Lakh

Cost saving in Fy 10-11 as compared to Fy 07-08 is 29.64-(5.07-1.52) = 23.05lakh Intangible benefits


1. Recirculation pumps are lifeline of the furnace as it feeds cooling water to pipes

inside furnace. Breakdown of both drives in operation meant permanent damage to the furnace costing several crores rupees as well as production loss from the furnace. 2. Drainage pumps evacuate the process water collected from HSM and Slabbing mill. Stoppage would have resulted in flooding of mills and complete shutdown for many days. 3. Manpower required for each motor change was very high. With fewer motor change required they can be utilised better for preventive maintenance 4. Knowledge gained on protection system for different types of loads. This is being used for further study of other motor failures.

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