How to Reduce the Frequency of Alternator Failures

Alternators need to be kept in a good working condition if your heavy material handling equipment is to work efficiently. This article discusses some measures that you can take to reduce the frequency at which alternator failures occur. 

Select the Right Belt

It is important to always make sure that you install a belt that meets the specifications of the alternator manufacturer when you replace a worn belt. Furthermore, you should know that no schedule exists to determine when that belt will become damaged. It is therefore necessary to inspect the belt during all preventive maintenance sessions. Those inspections will help you to detect any signs of wear, such as fraying and cracks. You should then replace that belt before it causes the alternator to fail.

Keep It Clean

Another way to prolong alternator life is to keep all debris, dirt and dust away from that alternator. Any form of dirt can cause the alternator to overheat due to the limited circulation of air around it. This overheating can cause the alternator to be less productive. Overheating also causes various alternator components to wear out quickly due to accelerated metal fatigue. Inspect the engine bay frequently and remove any debris or dirt that can interfere with the functioning of the alternator.

Keep It Aligned

Another way to reduce how frequently the alternators of your machinery fail is by making sure that their alignment is proper at all times. The vibrations that are caused by the movements of those machines can throw the pulleys operating the alternators out of balance. Alternator failures can almost become inevitable if the crankshaft pulley is misaligned with the alternator for an extended duration. Normal wear and tear can also cause the pulley to gradually shift out of alignment. Ample attention therefore needs to be devoted to checking the alignment of the alternator with other associated components so that nothing sabotages its performance to the extent of causing it to fail. The alignment can be checked on a monthly basis, for example.

The electrical system of your material handling equipment largely depends on the effectiveness of the alternator. It is therefore prudent for you to design an effective maintenance programme for the alternators so that preventable defects are kept at bay. Periodically invite external experts to assess the health of those alternators so that any defects that couldn't be identified by your in-house team can be rectified to reduce equipment downtime due to alternator failure.