When buying electric motors, you might run into an unexpected obstacle: there are so many options that it can be hard to know where to begin.
Especially since the definition of a motor is so broad, any device that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy could be and probably is marketed as a motor.
The following five points are designed to help you narrow the field and find the motor right for your application.
1. Understand the Types of Motors
The first step to narrowing the field is understanding the types of motors available to you.
The two most common types are the AC and DC motors. These two varieties are both electric, but function quite differently and have their own strengths and weaknesses.
AC motors are the most popular by far, owing to the fact that they’re cheap, simple to build, require only infrequent maintenance and have long lifespans. This makes it ideal for situations where a motor needs to be running constantly for extended periods, and when precise speed control is not a high priority.
DC motors, by contrast, have the benefits of being accurate and having precise control, are generally faster, have high startup torque, and can be quickly started, stopped, and reversed. Their main trade-offs are being less well-suited to high-intensity applications and having many working components that can wear out.
The next is the stepper motor. These convert an electric current into an angular movement. They are useful for situations requiring open-loop position control.
And finally, there are air motors, which have some unique benefits over their more common electrical counterparts.
They have a higher power density, generate little-to-no heat while running, don’t consume power when not rotating, and are among the most robust resilient motors available. Gast air compressor motors especially come advertised as being built for demanding environments.
2. Determine Which Is Right for Your Application
With that rundown in mind, now you need to think about the tasks required of your motor.
If you need a motor to run continuously with minimal maintenance, an AC motor is the way to go. For precise positioning, a stepper motor is unparalleled—and so on.
It all comes down to your priorities.
3. Know the Technical Specifications and Size You Will Need
The next step is determining the tech specification that you will need to meet your task. Namely, torque, power, and speed of the motor.
This is another instance where the type of motor will have a role to play, so plan accordingly.
4. Take the Industrial Environment into Account
The amount of wear that your motor will sustain cannot be overlooked.
While some, like the air motor, can stand up to harsh conditions, more complex motors tend to be more delicate.
That said, most manufacturers do take this into consideration, and produce a range of options built to be waterproof, shockproof, and so on.
5. Select for Energy Efficiency
Lastly, some motors are more energy-efficient than others. This is somewhat an optional concern, but it bears remembering.
That said, more efficient motors also tend to be less expensive.
Buying Electric Motors to Meet Your Application Needs
As with any industrial application, the question of buying electric motors is a matter of picking the right tool for the job.
Some motors will serve your well in high-intensity capacities but are a poor fit for steady regular work. For others the exact opposite is true. ANd there’s a solution for every need in between
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