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Introduction to PEARL Standard Section 1500 Revision 6
Inspection, Reconditioning and Testing of Low Voltage Motor Control

I. Introduction
Elevators, conveyors, pumps, compressors, hoists, blowers, fans, and machine tools all rely on electric motors. Manufacturing in particular invests heavily in electric motors. For every motor, there is a control center -- a motor starting device or system.

PEARL Section 1500 Low Voltage Motor Control Center Buckets and Enclosed Assembly reconditioning standards include:

  • 1510 Low Voltage Motor Control Centers
  • 1520 Low Voltage Motor Control Center Bucket
  • 1530 Low Voltage Magnetic Starters
  • 1540 Low Voltage Magnetic Starters Combination

    II. Components
    Part and assemblies to be reconditioned under Section 1500 Low Voltage Motor Control Center standards include but are not limited to:

  • Frame or Enclosure
  • Back pan
  • Operating Mechanism for disconnect
  • Pilot devices-pilot lights, pushbuttons, selectors, meters
  • Relays-timing, control, overload
  • Contactors, starters
  • Control Power Transformer
  • Instrument Transformer
  • Wiring Harness
  • Primary buss disconnect or "stab assembly"
  • Conductive metals
  • Wiring Harness

    III. Testing and Inspection
    PEARL Section 1500, Low Voltage Motor Control Center Buckets and Enclosed Assemblies begins with the definition of the term "Reconditioning" as "the process of returning electrical equipment to safe and reliable operating condition based upon the design of the original manufacturer at the time of manufacturing." This is followed by reference tables used to calculate test results and tolerances and the necessary test equipment required by the PEARL Section 1500 Low Voltage Motor Control Center Buckets and Enclosed Assemblies. The Low Voltage Motor Control Center Buckets and Enclosed Assemblies continues with a "Recondition Evaluation," which is a detailed inspection of all parts of the low voltage circuit breaker, including but not limited to the components listed above.

    Section 1500 PEARL standards refer to magnetic motor starters that are enclosed, enclosed with disconnect and or circuit protection, or motor control center buckets or modules. PEARL anticipates creating motor control standards for solid-state reduced voltage and solid-state variable frequency drives at a future date. Because motor control centers are an assembly of components and accessories (see "Components" above), Section 1500 references PEARL standards related to those components, including:

  • Section 1100: Low Voltage Disconnect Switches
  • Section 1200: Low Voltage Circuit Breakers
  • Section 1400: Low Voltage Transformers, both control power and instrumentation
  • Section 1700: Protective Relays
  • Section 1800: Low Voltage Contactors and Relays
  • Section 1900: Apparatus Accessories

    Within each of these sections mentioned above are numerous standards relevant to the specific type of component. For example, within Section 1100 are several standards, including Low Voltage Disconnect Switches Manually Operated Air Non-Fusible (1110) and Low Voltage Disconnect Switches Manually Operated Air Fusible (1114). The technician must choose the relevant component standard based the components within the motor control center. Section I for PEARL Section 1500, Low Voltage Motor Control Center Buckets and Enclosed Assemblies, begins with reference table identification and identification of the test equipment necessary to complete the standard, including:

  • AC Voltage Supply
  • AC Current Supply with means of timing test
  • AC 3-Phase Voltage Supply
  • DC Voltage Supply
  • Digital Low Voltage Resistance Ohmmeter (10A unit)

    Section II Recondition Evaluation-Inspection and Testing identifies each component and assembly part that must be inspected to determine the components viability and scope of reconditioning required to bring the component back to original operating condition. Results and notes from the pre-reconditioning inspection and test are thoroughly recorded in the PEARL Reconditioning Evaluation and Test forms that accompany each standard.

    IV. Reconditioning
    Section III Reconditioning Procedures describes how to recondition each component and assembly, beginning with the disassembly of the motor control unit down to its major subassemblies and components. Reconditioning for Low Voltage Motor Control Center Buckets and Enclosed Assemblies includes:

  • Disassembly
  • Cleaning
  • Degreasing
  • Deburring
  • Plating
  • Painting
  • Lubricating
  • Adjusting

    Assembly of the reconditioned components and subassemblies is followed by final inspection and testing. As with all testing, inspection, and reconditioning operations, final inspection and test results are recorded onto the Evaluation and Test forms included with the standard. If a PEARL certified technician follows the reconditioning standard, the motor control center assembly is eligible for a Blue PEARL Reconditioned Quality Seal.

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