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Home>Energy Management>Motors and drives>Holistic approach: Bottom line benefits

Holistic approach: Bottom line benefits

04 September 2013

Richard Hale, managing director of Deritend Industries, explains how a more holistic approach to the maintenance of electrical and mechanical equipment can deliver tangible benefits to the bottom line.

Plant engineers can expect a number of clear trends over the coming years. Firstly, energy efficiency will continue to rise up the agenda, driven by the environmental and financial implications of energy usage. Secondly, expectations will be high for more efficient and productive equipment and operations. And finally, facilities and maintenance teams will have a critical role in delivering against these priorities.

Opportunities to make dramatic improvements in terms of energy efficiency, costs and productivity should be attractive to any organisation. Taking an holistic approach to the repair, maintenance and operation of electrical and mechanical equipment holds the key.


Asset management approach 

The greatest results can be achieved when maintenance and repair work forms part of a wider asset management programme, which regularly evaluates the performance and maintenance needs of motors, pumps and gearboxes and the processes they drive. Proactivity is a central consideration. By monitoring and servicing mechanical and electrical equipment proactively, engineers can pre-empt equipment failure. There will be occasions when reactive repair cannot be avoided, but the benefits to the bottom line of reducing its frequency can be huge. Add to this the chance to observe maintenance and operation trends, cut energy requirements and improve OEE, and it becomes difficult to ignore the advantages of an asset management approach.

The proactive asset management approaches at Hammersmith Hospital and Tees Transporter Bridge highlight the benefits in practice. 

Reducing energy consumption was a high priority for Hammersmith Hospital in London. By assessing equipment and processes, Deritend identified opportunities to reduce the energy required for the fixed speed fans and pumps which served the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning plant.  


With equipment varying in size from small 5.5kW pump motors through to 75kW units for the main air movement fans, our engineers installed high efficiency EFF1 motors and CFW09 variable speed drives from WEG. We worked closely with the hospital’s facilities team to ensure that the work did not disrupt the busy hospital, or impact upon systems’ reliability. The new motors provide combined energy savings of up to 25%, and the cost benefits will provide payback and savings in the coming years.

The installations have also helped the facilities team take a more holistic asset management approach. With complete visibility of the new equipment’s performance via a Trend Building Management System using SCADA style PC visualisation, the team can accurately identify maintenance requirements and opportunities for greater efficiency.

The benefits of a proactive, asset management approach can be achieved across a range of sectors and types of maintenance project, as the major motor refurbishment at Tees Transporter Bridge demonstrates.

The travelling gondola suspended from the Tees Transporter Bridge can transport 200 people across the river between Middlesbrough and Port Clarence in 90 seconds. It is the second largest remaining example of its type in the world. To ensure the bridge was in full working order for its 2011 centenary celebrations, Middlesbrough Council commissioned Deritend to carry out a series of major refurbishments on its electric motors.  The team designed a bespoke mechanical drive solution, enabling the bridge’s existing listed drive to remain in its entirety with only the need to disconnect the coupling bolts on both motor couplings. The majority of the work was completed off site at Deritend’s Middlesbrough facility, ensuring a swift, high quality and safe operation.


The motors supplied and installed by Deritend are 3- off 45 kW 4- pole machines (two to be operational and one as a spare) from WEG’s W22 high efficiency range. They are equipped with 1024 PPR encoders and are controlled by two WEG CFW-11 inverters. 


This planned maintenance work minimised risk of equipment failure for the centenary celebrations.  It has provided fast, precise control with high levels of energy efficiency and has helped reduce operating costs, improve carbon footprint, and significantly reduce future closure time for routine maintenance.


The value to plant operations of proactive maintenance cannot be underestimated. For plant managers juggling the growing demands of energy efficiency, cost and productivity, this method of managing and maintaining assets will only become more important.