Month: May 2016

Challenges Involving Aging Equipment Part Two

In our previous article we discussed the impact that aging equipment has on running a business.  We talked in-depth about how proper maintenance and regular electrical component part replacement, electrical equipment can continue to function properly.

Power circuit breakers require regular maintenance to guarantee accurate function while sustaining equipment warranties.  The scale of maintenance recommended on power circuit breakers includes the following:

  • Regular physical assessments
  • Ongoing cleaning and lubrication
  • Consistent equipment adjustments
  • Examination of overcurrent protective devices
  • Routine circuit testing
  • Dielectric testing
  • Speed and time assessment

New surplus or reconditioned electrical components are often needed to be installed to restore circuit breakers to like new operating condition.

Some facilities choose to recondition electrical components on their equipment in house.  In order to refurbish a circuit breaker they are tested in comparison to ANSI standards and then disassembled from top to bottom, scoured and examined.  All damaged parts are then repaired, refurbished or replaced.  After this step is performed the points of pivot are all scrubbed and lubed.  The circuit breaker is then reassembled and retested.

Additional repairs may be needed depending on a number of things such as how old the equipment is, the location it is being used in, how readily replacement components can be found, cost associated with the ongoing upkeep and new technology becoming available.

The dependability of electrical equipment comes down to this; it isn’t a question of if there will be a failure or malfunction it is a question of when it will occur.  Plant managers need to consider the cost of maintaining aging or obsolete equipment verse replacing equipment that takes advantage of updates in technology.

One such update in electrical circuit breakers comes with the addition of switchgear. Switchgear is a combination of electrical components such as disconnect switches, fuses and circuit breakers.  The switchgear is used similarly to the main disconnect in a circuit breaker box; the switchgear will energize and de-energize electrical equipment.

The current of electricity needs to be controlled in electrical equipment for a multitude of reasons.  Whether upgrading to switchgears or staying the course, maintain the current electrical circuit breaker it is crucial that the component continues to function properly to maintain the safety of equipment.  When performing maintenance on electrical equipment or replacing refurbished electrical components within commercial equipment the electrical power flowing to the machine must be completely shut off.  To avoid electrocution the current of electricity needs to be completely shut off.  The equipment and maintenance personal should also take safety precautions to ensure that they are properly grounded in case even the slightest current is still stored within the circuit.

J&P Electrical is a full service electrical equipment company.  At J&P, we supply contractors, end users and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned and obsolete electrical equipment. Contact us today at for all of your bus plug, circuit breaker, switchboard, fuses, disconnects and more.

Challenges Involving Aging Equipment

Utility companies continue to face challenges involving future outlook, governmental regulations all while providing safe, secure, reliable and reasonably cost electricity to consumers.  Aging equipment used in the distribution of electricity is faced with a unique set of challenges including: population growth, technological advancements, personnel reductions and becoming obsolete.

Proper reinvestment strategies need to be in place to facilitate the challenges that are faced in making sure that equipment remains effective for the increasing consumer demands.  Operation and maintenance budgets should consider creating a comprehensive plan involving repairing, refurbishing and replacing equipment as it progresses through its life cycle.

Each piece of equipment used in the distribution of electricity deteriorates at its own pace.   Strategic planning needs to be put in place considering where the current equipment in place is within its own life cycle.    For instance, a piece that is fairly new may only need to be budgeted for general maintenance where as mid life cycle equipment should include budgeting for refurbished parts and labor to repair it.  While pieces at the end or nearing the end should budget for complete replacement or refurbishment.

Electrical distribution performed with underperforming, unreliable or faulty equipment puts the entire operation and distribution process at risk.  Without a detailed maintenance plan in place, in regards to continued equipment care companies risk employee safety, expense equipment damage, untimely equipment repairs or replacements and/or facility downtime.

Facilities of all sizes, including electrical utility companies must detail for their facility staff an action plan assessing and monitoring current equipment performance.  A thorough proposal must include a plan that takes into consideration modifications and corrective actions.

The INPO, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, set in place a structure to help ensure equipment dependability.  This is known as AP-913.  Six major areas involving equipment consistency create the AP-913 including:

1)      Essential Component Identification

2)      Performance Monitoring

3)      Remedial Actions

4)      Continued Equipment Consistency Development

5)      Life Cycle Management and Long Term Planning

6)      Preventative Maintenance Implementation

Many companies, not just electrical utility companies, are putting actions in place to follow AP-913.  It is a common belief that predictions can be made by analyzing historical data kept on manufacturing equipment.  Using this information can help companies gather information on when to perform general maintenance.  Predictions help prevent equipment failure and downtime as well.  If certain parts fail during the same time frame in the equipments life cycle companies can decide ahead of time the best course of action to provide minimal downtime.   Should the part that fails be sent in to be refurbished, should it be replaced with a new surplus or refurbished component or should the equipment be replaced all together.

Equipment replacement is usually a last resort because it tends to be cost prohibitive.  Repairing equipment is most often the likely option.  Certain equipment, because of new technology can become obsolete.  If this dies occur new surplus parts are difficult to find. Refurbished electrical components help conquer this dilemma.

With proper planning and systems in place companies will be able to minimize the impact of equipment failure.  Proper maintenance and preventative repairs are a huge element in keeping companies properly functioning while operating within the given budget.

J&P Electrical is a full service electrical equipment company.  At J&P, we supply contractors, end users and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned and obsolete electrical equipment. Contact us today at for all of your bus plug, circuit breaker, switchboard, fuses, disconnects and more.