Quantcast Benefits of an EPM Program

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of electrical systems and equipment. It explains the benefits that can be derived from a well
administered EPM program and explains the function, requirements and, economic
considerations that can be used to establish such a program. This section discusses these factors,
but not in such detail as is provided in ANSI/NFPA 70B.
8.3.1 Need for an EPM Program. The need for an EPM Program, of electrical equipment, is
not apparent. The deterioration of electrical equipment occurs at a normal rate, however,
equipment failure is not inevitable. As soon as new equipment is installed the process of
deterioration begins. Unchecked, the deterioration process can cause malfunction or an electrical
failure. Deterioration can be accelerated by factors such as a hostile environment, overload, or
severe duty cycle. An effective EPM Program identifies these factors and provides measures for
coping with them. In addition to deterioration, there are other causes of equipment failure that
may be detected and corrected through EPM. Included in these causes are load changes or
additions, circuit alterations, improperly set or selected protective devices, and changing voltage
conditions. Without an EPM program, management assumes a much greater risk of a serious
electrical failure and its consequences. A well planned EPM program will reduce accidents, save
lives, and minimize costly breakdowns and unplanned shutdowns. Impending troubles can be
identified and solutions applied before they become major problems requiring more expensive
and time consuming solutions.
8.3.2 Benefits of an EPM Program. An effective EPM program provides both direct and
indirect benefits. Direct benefits are generally measurable economic benefits derived from the
reduced cost of repairs and reduced equipment downtime. Indirect benefits are less measurable,
but very real, benefits. Benefits that are difficult to measure include safety, improved personnel
morale, better workmanship, improved productivity, reduced interruption of production, and
improved insurance considerations. To understand how personnel and equipment safety are
served by an EPM program, the mechanics of the program (i.e., the inspection, testing, and repair
procedures) should be understood. Improved morale will come from personnel awareness of
management effort to promote safety by reducing the likelihood of electrical injuries, fatalities,
electrical explosions, and fires. While the benefits resulting from improved safety are often
difficult to measure, direct and measurable economic benefits can be documented by equipment
repair cost and equipment downtime records after an EPM program has been placed in operation.
In many cases, the investment in EPM is small compared to the cost of equipment repair and
production losses associated with an unexpected equipment shutdown. Insurance statistics
document the high cost of inadequate electrical maintenance. A study compiled by the Factory
Mutual Insurance Group showed that in a two year study period one-half of the losses associated
with electrical equipment failures could have been prevented with an effective EPM program.
Several case histories have been documented relating preventable electrical equipment failure
that resulted from the lack of a maintenance program. Among them included a transformer
failure and fire that was caused by transformer insulating oil contamination. The transformer
oil had not been tested in several years. The cost of the repairs alone would have paid for the
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