How Advances In Industrial Motors And Controls Can Boost The Bottom Line

How advances in industrial motors and controls can boost the bottom line

June 13, 2023
Sheila Kennedy says revolutionary approaches in design and technology yield unique benefits.

Motor and drive providers are moving forward with new solutions for persistent challenges. Thinking out of the box, they are embracing business, technological, and environmental opportunities to help their customers improve operations and maintenance and boost the bottom line.

Innovative motor designs

Sustainability, reliability, and maintainability are common aspirations for motor designers. The Aircore EC motor from Infinitum, designed for efficiency, reliability, and performance, delivers reduced energy consumption, extended life, and minimal waste. For instance, the integrated motor and drive is smaller and lighter than traditional iron core motors and its printed circuit board stators use 66% less copper than conventional wire-wound stators.

“Fewer raw materials and modular design simplify maintenance for industrial plant professionals and allow for remanufacturing and reuse, while an integrated VFD made with silicon carbide technology results in unparalleled control of the motor, and can save upwards of 65% of energy use, depending on the application,” says Ramon Guitart, vice president of engineering at Infinitum.

Download "Designing Electric Motors for Intrinsic Reliability"

The HydroCool XT water-cooled motor from ABB delivers higher power density in a smaller footprint than similarly sized, totally enclosed, fan-cooled motors. Water-jacket cooling offers higher thermal conductivity than air cooling and eliminates the need for fans, air filters, and associated maintenance. Offered in NEMA frame sizes 360 to 5800, the motor is available in an induction design, reaching IE3 efficiency levels, or a permanent magnet design reaching IE5.

HydroCool XT’s internal shaft grounding reduces shaft currents, and its positive lubrication system (PLS) “ensures proper bearing lubrication in all mounting configurations, allowing the bearings to run 5-7 °C cooler than standard bearings, increasing the life of motor components,” explains Matt Felt, global product manager for engineered motors at ABB.

The new AKMA servo motor from Kollmorgen, specifically designed for medium to heavy washdown environments such as food and beverage processing, is built for durability, reliability, and high-performance motion control. Its smooth, hardened surface and “one-piece” rounded housing are cleanable and prevent contamination droplets from pooling. The surface is also more scratch resistant than a painted motor and will not flake.

“With its lightweight IP69K design and anodized aluminum housing that provides strong chemical resistance, these motors deliver exceptional value and performance, meeting a wide range of motion requirements in challenging and harsh operating conditions,” says Jon Spensieri, Kollmorgen product manager.

The QUANTM pump by Graco has a new electric motor design that is more efficient than a standard pneumatic pump. Dan Purkat, worldwide industrial product manager at Graco, lists several design differentiators, including its FluxCore technology with a specially designed transverse flux motor, which uses up to ten times more electrical motor poles and reduces electrical losses with low resistance coils.

Additionally, Purkat observes, “The motor design is gearbox-free, eliminating mechanical losses and reducing maintenance and control system costs. Encapsulating the windings within the housing improves electromagnetic flux utilization and leads to a more consistent and stable overall field, resulting in continuous torque force up to eight times higher than equivalently sized AC induction motors.”

Download QUANTM + FluxCore: A Revolutionary Electric Pump

Modern motor control and maintenance

New industrial drive designs improve deployment and control. The Armor PowerFlex drive from Rockwell Automation is a scalable, On-Machine motor control solution that helps reduce the challenges seen in cabinet-based solutions.

“Armor PowerFlex is not a repackaged drive, but rather a Smart, On-Machine product carefully designed to be an integral part of a complete automation solution,” explains Michael Harris, senior commercial project engineer at Rockwell Automation. “The compact design not only provides a rich feature set, like functional safety and security, for today’s demanding applications, but also saves our customers money by reducing cabling and installation costs with its local IO and power feed-thru with integral branch circuit protection.”

To improve drive management and optimization, DrivesMatrix from IndustrialMatrix is a remote monitoring, troubleshooting, and control solution available to both OEMs and end users. Dashboards are customizable with more than 1,000 operating parameters to choose from. A complementary module, PDMMatrix, facilitates real-time, sensor-based predictive maintenance.

DrivesMatrix “redefines industrial connectivity by offering manufacturers the ability to put any machine online while providing a flexible platform where customers can set their own rules,” says Steven Pamensky, founder and CEO of IndustrialMatrix. “It unlocks the vast potential of cloud computing, facilitating online data logging, remote monitoring, troubleshooting, and autonomously generated insights and notifications,” he adds.

About the Author

Sheila Kennedy | CMRP

Sheila Kennedy, CMRP, is a professional freelance writer specializing in industrial and technical topics. She established Additive Communications in 2003 to serve software, technology, and service providers in industries such as manufacturing and utilities, and became a contributing editor and Technology Toolbox columnist for Plant Services in 2004. Prior to Additive Communications, she had 11 years of experience implementing industrial information systems. Kennedy earned her B.S. at Purdue University and her MBA at the University of Phoenix. She can be reached at [email protected] or

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