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What’s the most common reason for electric motor failure?

When an electric motor fails, it can save time if you know the most likely source of the problem. With this in mind, ABB has produced a guide called Motors don’t just fail… do they?, part of which categorises motor failure.

Bearing issues are comfortably ranked as the most common reason for motor failure, with windings and external conditions the next most likely according to ABB. Here are the figures in full:

  • Bearings – 51%
  • Windings – 16%
  • External conditions – 16%
  • Others – 10%
  • Rotor bar – 5%
  • Shaft coupling – 2%

It’s no surprise that problems associated with bearings account for more than half of all electric motor failures. The demands placed upon this crucial component mean that unless regularly inspected and maintained, a number of potential faults may develop, including:

  • Overheating
  • Shaft overload
  • Misalignment
  • Inadequate lubrication
  • Vibration

Whatever the reason for motor failure, unplanned downtime is a very expensive inconvenience, with every minute your process is inactive costing you more money in lost production.

So if you’ve experienced an electric motor breakdown and require immediate assistance, call Gibbons on 01621 868138 or email We offer free collection and delivery within a 50-mile radius of our workshop and provide an emergency next-day service wherever possible.

Electric Motors

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