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‘Best Practices for Electric Motor Storage’

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Following on from our blog ‘Look after your Motors and they will look after you’  by our associate Mr Mark Gurney, we have discussed with Mark some of the best practices associated with electric motor storage. I am sure we have all seen poor practices when it comes to electric motor storage at some stage of our careers…….here is Mark’s advice……..

The sole purpose of holding electric motors on site is to reduce response time in the event of a motor failure.

Often electric motors held on site are managed in a way that impedes response time, to a point that questions the benefits of a store. If your Asset Strategy recommends holding an electric motor it must be fit for use ALWAYS, easily accessible, and have the correct consumables.

The common impediments to response time are:

  1. Identification of the motor specification. Nameplates take forever to identify in a breakdown situation.
  2. Having one storage location. If motor stores are poorly managed, it promotes squirreling away of motors by tradesmen
  3. Poor storage conditions that aren’t dry, under lit, no dew point control, subject to vibration,  poor access to shafts for rotation.
  4. No system of managing failed motors, new deliveries, and acceptance tested motors. Motors can be easily mixed up and unfit motors returned to the store, causing disastrous consequences.
  5. Lifting and moving motors under a breakdown situation can lead to back strain or trying to shift motors for identification, is time wasteful.
  6. Not booking out a motor under breakdown event, because the CMMS is in the office and its 2am. Motor is never re-ordered.
  7. Unique motors with gearboxes, or special shafts, etc not having “where used” or “BOM” information.
  8. Not having the correct consumables leads to substandard job that never gets reworked. Acceptance testing including links, emf rated cable glands, stefa-seals, gaskets, and shaft keys are the basics.
  9. Limited access to the tools, and sealant.
  10. Stores cluttered with spares from redundant assets.

Motors are the most common asset type and require unique storage conditions & procedures.

A well-managed motor store ensures a fit for use spare which can be depended on.

The recommended approach to gain control is a motor management programme, in which the motor store is a key player. The programme involves assessment of asset strategies, in service motor audit, rationalization of spares, purchase specification, overhaul specification, acceptance testing of motor windings, identification & movement procedures, and requirements for storage.


This shipping container motor store has been installed with lights, racking on wood, lifting trolley, ventilation and dew point control. Motor shafts faced inwards taped for corrosion control and rotated quarterly.










Motors are sorted by speed, kW rating, and frame size for easy identification.

Inspection label shows this motor has passed motor circuit analysis test and is fit for use.

A tradesman requiring a motor writes the asset number on the shaft in the booking out sheet hanging on the container door. The storeman checks the sheet each morning.

The container is placed on wooden bearers, for both condensation and vibration isolation. Each electrician has a key to the container and is responsible for maintaining the procedures.


Regards – Mark

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