Electric motors are used across a diverse range of industries due to their efficiency, reliability, and adaptability. From cars, manufacturing, aerospace, consumer electronics, HVAC, marine, healthcare, renewable energy, and robotics. Their widespread applications highlight their importance in powering modern infrastructure and technologies across various sectors.
Taking proper care of your electric motor is crucial for optimising investments and minimising downtime. While all motors differ and depending on their application, operating environment, and usage, when proper care is taken an electric motor can last more than 10 years, here our top 10 tips to help you extend the life of your electric motor.
#1 Choose the Right Motor for Your Application
When it comes to selecting the right motor for your application, considering factors like load requirements, torque, speed, power, and duty cycle is essential. In addition to what size and space constraints you have, and what control and automation your project requires.
#2 Regular Maintenance
Just like any other mechanical device, electric motors require regular maintenance. Routine inspections to check for any signs of wear, loose connections, or unusual noise are worthwhile. Cleaning the motor and making sure all the venting is free from debris can also help increase the lifecycle of your electric motor while preventing overheating and improve its overall performance.
#3 Proper Lubrication
Adequate lubrication is vital for reducing friction and preventing premature wear and tear of the motor. Always consult the manufacturer's guidelines to determine the appropriate lubricant and intervals for application. Keep in mind that over-lubrication can be as harmful as under-lubrication, so be sure to follow the recommended quantities.
#4 Temperature Management
Electric motors generate heat during operation, excessive heat can lead to insulation deterioration and reduced efficiency. To help extend the life of your electric motor, ensure proper ventilation and cooling mechanisms are in place. Monitor the motor's temperature regularly and take preventive measures such as adding cooling fans or relocating the motor if necessary.
To assist with this, EMP’s range of brushless motors can incorporate temperature sensors within the windings and we will also be able to recommend under what conditions the motors will require fan cooling.
#5 Voltage Stability
Fluctuations in voltage can negatively impact the performance and lifespan of an electric motor. Electric Motor Power suggests you invest in quality voltage regulators and surge protectors to maintain a stable power supply, ensuring consistent voltage levels will contribute to smooth motor operation and prevent electrical stress.
#6 Balanced Loads
Uneven loads on an electric motor can cause mechanical stress and lead to premature failure. When setting up your application, ensure you’ve accounted for distributing loads evenly among multiple motors if required. You can also consider implementing soft starters or variable frequency drives to reduce inrush currents and provide a smoother start-up and employing overload protection can further safeguard the motor.
#7 Balance and Alignment
Misalignment and imbalance are common causes of motor wear. Regularly check the motor's alignment and balance to avoid unnecessary strain on the bearings and shaft. A misaligned gearbox installation can often be the reason for shaft failure, with the forces on the shaft distributed unevenly. Laser alignment tools and dynamic balancing equipment can be used to ensure precision.
#8 Invest in Quality Components
Choosing high-quality components, such as bearings and belts, for your electric motor can make a big difference to the lifecycle of your motor. Using subpar parts can lead to increased friction, heat, wear, and tear, which can negatively impact the motor's lifespan.
#9 Use Proper Operating Conditions
Electric motors come in an array of different configurations and capacities, so make sure you adhere to the motor's specified operating conditions outlined by the manufacturer. Avoidance of subjecting it to conditions outside its design parameters will help extend its longevity and performance.
#10 Environmental Considerations
Make sure your electric motor has adequate protection from harsh environmental conditions such as dust, debris, moisture, and corrosive substances. Installing weatherproof enclosures or covers to shield the motor, especially in outdoor or industrial settings will help protect it and extend its lifespan. EMP’s range of motors are rated to IP54 as standard, but this can be extended to IP66 rating for operations in outdoors wet & dusty conditions. Knowing where and how the motor is used will help to assist with correct motor selection.
In essence, common sense, regular maintenance, proper lubrication, and selecting the right motor for your application will help to significantly extend the lifespan of your electric motor. A well-maintained electric motor not only saves on replacement costs but also ensures the smooth running of the systems or applications it powers.
If you need any assistance choosing the right electric motor for your application or advice on how to maintain or repair your current Electric Motor Power electric motor, contact one of our experts for more information.