It is hard to imagine an industrial building or factory of any type that does not have motors operating various functions – from conveyor belts to lifts, cranes, and garage doors. One of the most ubiquitous motors is the 3-phase squirrel cage motor. Working with and troubleshooting motors is an incredibly common task in any plant or factory. That is why at Simutech, troubleshooting motor controls is part of our core learning modules.
Motors bring added complexity to troubleshooting. For example, how a 3-phase motor is wired, and how load affects a motor introduces a new level of complexity to the troubleshooting process. So does the fact that current is now an added consideration when troubleshooting.
Our approach to troubleshooting motors allows the learner to explore all topics related to motor operations and troubleshooting in a virtual lab environment, and proceed to practice what they learned in a troubleshooting simulation where several faults are introduced to a garage door setting.
The Motor Control Components Learning Lab is a comprehensive overview of 3-phase motors, how they operate, and how they are wired, and it teaches the learner how to approach problems related to 3-phase motors.
The learning lab has five main sections. In the first four sections, the learner is provided with the learning along with practice exercises required to operate and troubleshoot motors. In the last section, the learner is given hands-on experience by interacting with motors in a virtual setting.
In the first section, time is spent understanding the difference between Wye and Delta configuration and learning how to measure winding resistance. This is achieved using video, images and virtual interactive workbenches.
The workbenches are used in several exercises and allow the user to interact with the components, take measurements using a virtual meter, read schematics, adjust and change components as needed. The virtual benches allow the learner to apply load to a motor and observe the impact, take amperage measurements, observe how contactors and overloads behave, etc.
The lab also allows a user to understand how current and motor behaviour are related. For example, the learner is shown and is able to measure inrush current and compare that to running current using their virtual multimeter.
Load plays a major part in the performance of a motor. We dedicate a section in our learning to understand how load impacts motors and components that interact with it. The learner is introduced to Overloads and Contactors in this section. The learner is also taught how to read schematics and wiring diagrams related to motor operations.
In the final section, the learner is shown the typical issues related to motor failures, from mechanical issues to opens, shorts, malfunctions circuits, and more. This section provides a lot of interactivity with the virtual workbenches and by the end of it, the learner show has all the tools needed to troubleshoot motors.
In the next module, our troubleshooting simulation, a learner puts all of these skills to the test by troubleshooting over 40 faults related to motors in our garage door simulation, but more on that soon!
How do you approach troubleshooting 3-phase motors, what are some of the common issues you see and how do you go about fixing them? Let us know at [email protected]