Featured Articles

Rotor Retention and Loss-Reduction for High-Speed Permanent Magnet Motor Generators

A.T. Andonian and Co. Huynh, Calnetix Technologies

Electromechanical systems with permanent magnet rotors can operate as motors to convert electrical power into mechanical movement or as generators to convert mechanical movement into electrical power. High speed motors/generators are commonly used in different systems such as expanders in Organic Rankin Cycle waste heat recovery systems, flywheel-based energy storage systems, and electric turbo-charging and supercharging systems for marine engines and high performance vehicles. Design details of these systems are beyond the scope of this paper. The focus will be placed on the high-speed rotor which is a critical part of many integrated motor generator systems. Continue reading

The Importance of Thermal Protection for Torque Motors

Brian Zlotorzycki, HEIDENHAIN Product Specialist, ETEL Motors

When talking about high-end machining or manufacturing applications dealing with direct drive technology, one of the biggest key advantages of going with this particular transmission method is its endurance.  Because of the nature of direct drive motors, they are able to operate at peak performance levels indefinitely without any kind of wear or aging as long as the motor isn’t pushed past its capacity.  Unfortunately, because this isn’t a perfect world, unexpected things can happen which can cause the motor to overheat.  Whether it is through a parameter being input incorrectly or an unexpected external force causing more resistance than expected, it is important to have certain forms of thermal protections put into place.  Since torque motors are built in a way where they cannot be repaired and keep their efficiency at the same time, it is vital to prevent any overheating so that buying a new one won’t be necessary. Continue reading

Accelerated Optimization & Advanced Analysis for Electrical Machines and Drives Boost Motor and Drive Testing Productivity, Capability and Data Analysis

Mike Hoyer, Applications Engineer • HBM Test and Measurement

Evaluating motor efficiency has become extremely important since significant efforts are focused on more efficient electrical machines and drives. The main issue is how to implement an accelerated procedure that obtains the motor or drive efficiency for all operating points safely, accurately and rapidly. Ordinary test methods using a typical power analyzer only offer inadequate numerical results. To get beyond numerical results, all electrical, mechanical and physical signals must be acquired simultaneously at high sample rates coupled with advanced real-time custom analysis and fast data transfer to automation systems making it possible to accurately and rapidly perform electric motor and drive efficiency mapping and almost any type of advanced analysis. Continue reading

Common Mode Chokes or Cores Cannot Prevent Bearing Failure in All Motors

H. William Oh • Electro Static Technology

In recent years, manufacturers of common mode chokes or cores (CMCs) have increased their efforts to market these devices as a means of preventing bearing failures in PWM VFD/inverter-driven motors. CMCs are not new; they have been applied to power electronics for decades. This article will discuss the basic principle of how CMCs work and their effectiveness in mitigating bearing currents. Continue reading

Switched Reluctance: How Intelligent Motor Control Improved a Technology

Jennifer Calantone, Marketing Executive • Striatech
Sabrina Latimer, Business Development Associate • Striatech

Companies that ignore innovation and avoid technological progress are the ones that fall behind. In an increasingly connected world driven by smart devices consumers seek sophisticated products that maximize efficiency and ease of use, and the electric motor industry is no exception. Those seeking to buy and use an electric motor typically seek high efficiency, wide variable speed range and compactness,  characteristics that make a product drastically better but result in a high price tag. Continue reading

Opportunities and Limitations of Industrial Internet of Things for Small Motor Drives

Mark Lewis, VP Sales & Marketing • Dart Controls, Inc.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is generating a lot of buzz.  Basically, the IoT concept is to add ‘smarts’ to a device for the purpose of getting it connected to the internet.  Once connected the benefit is the ability to monitor or control it.  The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a more specific application of the concept, most often thought of in a factory setting.  Factory automation has been advancing for decades, dramatically in recent years.  IIoT is enabled by adding sensors generously throughout a facility to directly measure and communicate information that may previously have been estimated, calculated, or not measured at all.  The goal of course is to do (whatever it is) better, faster, and more efficiently. Continue reading

PC-Based Control Enables Cloud-Connected Motion Systems

Matt Prellwitz, Drive Technology Application Specialist • Beckhoff Automation

Literally and figuratively, data is all around us all the time. A never ending flow of information is continuously sent in all directions via wired and wireless connections, from e-mails, to notifications and text messages, streaming music, online videos and more. This vast collection of data moves, via the cloud, to computers, mobile devices and an increasing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices nearly instantaneously. Similarly, connected devices found in industrial operations create data at an increasingly exorbitant rate, and motion control systems and devices certainly create a large amount of this data. This information can include production data and throughput figures, temperature and energy measurements, operating efficiency and more. Major manufacturers and machine builders hope to better integrate cloud connectivity and IoT solutions into their operations in order to make best use of resources, while working toward continuous improvement initiatives at their company. Continue reading