Electric Motor Testing: Components and Methods

Electric motor testing is made for one specific purpose: to assess the integrity of an electric motor. This is done through the use of computer-assisted equipment or tools that determine trends in that motor. Electric motor testing ascertains what hidden problems lie within and aims to prevent unnecessary failure of the motor. When speaking of electric motors, motor testing it helps to evaluate static parameters like wire damage, electrical current leakage, and insulation. Dynamic parameters are also tested for temperature fluctuations, distortion, and balance.

Components and Methods of Electric Motor Testing

Test equipment has been developed and created over the years to fall in line with today’s most exacting standards. Electrical test equipment that we utilize includes the Zero Insertion Force Connector, which tests algorithms and automation designed to minimize cycle time. Tester configurations that we use at TPI are:

  • Stop Station Floor Mount
  • Stop Station Overhead
  • Online Tool Rail
  • As well as a variety of line tracking options

Many motor testing techniques exist when it comes to electric motor testing. Most are in one of two categories:

Online Dynamic Testing

This testing is done while the motor is running. It empowers technicians to run data on power quality and all operating conditions of the electric motor. Data collected for this type of testing includes voltage level, power condition, voltage imbalance, harmonic distortions, load levels, current levels and imbalances, torque, and rotor bar signatures. Through online dynamic testing, the data collected and then undergoes analysis. The test can reveal problems such as motor condition, power condition, performance, operating efficiency, and load assessment.

Offline Static Testing

This type of electric motor testing determines how components with a motor are performing. For example, the windings of the rotor bar need to function at certain levels. Offline static testing will often find problems such as loose or broken rotor bars, issues with end rings, unequal air gaps, and misalignments. At TPI, our testers provide complete electrical testing of sub-assemblies, including:

  • CAN / LIN communications
  • Resistance
  • Voltage / Continuity
  • Serial data
  • Current draw

At the heart of our test systems is a Solid State I/O board. When an electric motor is being tested, it signals the device to be modified via software control. Test signals, power feeds, and grounds can all be modified without wiring changes and mechanical relays, where failures are often found. Our equipment can adapt to changes in the electric motor testing performed. We can then send all test results to a plant network, database, or a PLC system for your record keeping. The TPI team at our Michigan facility is here for all of your electric motor testing needs. Contact us at 586-997-9600 or email at jbergmann@TestProd.com.