M&C’s large motors test facility rated among top of its kind in Africa after comprehensive upgrade

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M&C’s large motors test facility rated among top of its kind in Africa after comprehensive upgrade

Marthinusen & Coutts (M&C) recently completed a comprehensive upgrade and modernisation of its high voltage rotating machines load test facility at its Cleveland, Johannesburg, works.


Following the upgrade, which was completed in September this year, the facility is now one of the most modern dedicated large motor test facilities in Africa.


“One of two major advances that have been achieved through the upgrade is that temperatures and vibrations are now measured automatically and continuously while a machine is being tested, representing a huge leap forward from the previous system, in which these measurements had to be acquired manually,” said Rob Melaia, M&C’s Engineering &Technical Executive.


The other major advancement is that acquiring and communicating the test data is now automatic and virtually instantaneous, as well as being made available remotely to M&C’s test technicians and the customer alike. “A further advantage is that the new system is not exposed to the risk of possible misreading of the data that the previous communication system – being partly manual – was subject to,” pointed out Johannes de Lange, M&C’s Test Department Manager.


Besides being faster, more efficient and more user-friendly, the upgraded and modernised systems are also safer than the former systems used, as they don’t require the test technicians to work in close proximity to the high voltage and fast rotating machines while under test, as previously.


Prior to purchasing and installing the new automatic systems this year, M&C had a dedicated “customer room” built on top of the existing test facility control room to enable customers to watch tests in progress. “Previously in order to do so a customer would have to join the test technicians in the control room, which sometimes got too crowded for comfort for both parties,” Johannes remarked.


Customers can now enjoy a bird’s eye view of the test proceedings through the large windows of the customer room and have immediate access to the automatically generated test results data and reports via the display screens installed there.


Included among the improvements to the communication and data display system is a display on a single computer screen window of all the main test results presented in schematic form for easy reading at a glance. The results provided here are: current, voltage, power, apparent power, reactive power, winding and bearing temperatures, vibration velocity and acceleration and motor speed.


Rob said: “A key aspect of the new system that is worth emphasising because of its great convenience is the fact that results of tests are accessible remotely, which means a customer can view them in his own office on a computer screen or smartphone as they become available.”