Maintaining industrial and commercial machinery requires many tasks. One of the most significant responsibilities is inspecting, maintaining and repairing electrical motors. You need to ensure facility tools meet safety standards and efficiency requirements, and choosing a suitable electric motor is a key part of that job.
Electric motors power numerous industrial and commercial applications and support many functions, like powering machine compressors, pumps and tools.
However, not all electric motors are equal, and some suit specific applications better than others. Considering factors like speed, torque, duty cycle, load compatibility and maintenance requirements can help you select a compatible electric motor for your industrial facility.
Suitable torque is necessary for driving electric motor startup and acceleration speeds. Applications require varying amounts of force to start up and accelerate load to a specific rate in a set time. You’ll need to consider a piece of equipment’s torque requirements when choosing an electric motor to ensure it can operate without excessive strain.
Your electric motor’s output speed must be compatible with your needs. Some electric motors suit high-speed applications, while others are better for moderate- to low-speed processes. Your application might also require adjustable controls that accommodate specific increments. Understanding different motor designs and output capabilities is vital for selecting a suitable range for your applications:
Do you need an AC or DC motor? Selecting a suitable power source is vital for running your equipment effectively. DC motors allow for fine speed control since their rpm output is directly affected by the amount of voltage supplied. AC motors require a variable frequency drive for speed variation but offer greater efficiency. An AC motor tends to excel in low- to medium-speed operations, while DC performs better when higher speeds are needed.
Does the motor offer different speed ranges and control settings? Some applications require a definite operating speed, while others need adjustable rates. You can add a controller or drive to your DC or AC electric motor to manage torque and rotation. A controller can also regulate different application speeds, weights and loads.
The motor’s operating lifetime determines the life span of a product or tool. Consider how long you’ll need the motor to last and how much time and money you plan to put into maintaining it. Brushless DC and stepper motors have fewer wear components and tend to last longer, while brushed DC motors deteriorate more quickly.
The duty cycle determines how long the motor can run over production cycles. You might run applications continuously or over short periods. A longer run time will require a motor with a higher duty cycle to ensure you don’t lose power. You can use a smaller motor if you only need it intermittently and it will have enough rest time to return to ambient temperature.
The environmental temperature will affect a motor’s duty cycle, as the objective behind limiting run time is preventing overheating and any resulting damage.
The enclosure ranking depends on the conditions a motor must operate under. Consider the environment surrounding the installation — will the motor be exposed to moisture, dirt, debris or extreme heat? Neglecting to provide proper protection during installation is one of the most common causes of motor failure.
You’ll need suitable protection for your motor depending on your working conditions. For example, food and beverage industries might need stainless steel castings to protect machinery motors from spills, corrosion and wear.
Some electric motors can run on batteries or a power outlet. Depending on the facility, you’ll need to decide if you’ll connect a motor to the power grid, inverter or batteries. The voltage must be compatible with your motor if you use a wall socket or outlet. Smaller tools and lower power applications can use standard voltage, but you will likely need to draw more power for industrial motors.
Depending on your working conditions, a motor can require climate protection. Consider the temperature of the facility. Is it a hot or cold environment? Understanding the climate will help you select a motor with suitable materials or coverings.
Some applications require both backward and forward rotation. Some motors do not have multiple reverse or rotation capabilities, so be sure to choose a motor that can do everything your tasks require.
Electric motor capacity and size will impact operational efficiency. An electric motor must offer sufficient torque for your application’s load without generating more heat than the insulation present can handle.
A key factor in selecting motor size is whether you will be installing it permanently or in a system you plan to move often. You can get a bigger motor for equipment that will remain in one place, like a large lathe in an industrial building. Anything you need to transport often will call for careful consideration.
Whether noise is a concern will depend on where you’re using the motor. You might select a model geared for noise reduction if the installation will be in a public area like a hospital.
Motors have different maintenance requirements. Consider the motor type and if you can maintain and repair it yourself or need professional services. DC motors tend to be more challenging to maintain and require expert knowledge.
Having a way to collect data on motor performance can enhance your applications. With encoders or sensors, you can get feedback on how well the motor works and adjust speed and other settings for better performance. Data components offer diagnostic capabilities to indicate wear or damage so you can schedule maintenance, preventing breakdowns and downtime.
A motor’s operating costs depend on its life span, maintenance requirements and initial price. You’ll need to decide which model will offer the best value for your money or return on investment. Weighing potential costs is necessary before selecting an electric motor for your commercial facility.
Deciding on an electric motor for your industrial or commercial facility requires you to look at many complex factors. If you want to ensure you select the best model based on your unique circumstances, it’s best to consult a professional. Industrial Electrical Company specializes in various electric motor services, including installations, preventive maintenance and repairs.
Our certified technicians are experts in their craft. We’re also committed to delivering exceptional customer service, and we’ll answer your calls 24 hours a day. Whether you want us to evaluate trouble signs with an existing motor or assess your requirements and help you choose a new model, our team will make sure you have everything you need.
Contact us to learn more about our electric motor services.
Our motor shop is located right in the Central Valley and can complete any job from total welding services to custom modifications. To learn more about our services, classes and products, contact us online today.