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Trade In Your Old Motor

12 September 2008

Got an old, inefficient motor you want to get rid of? This motor manufacturer has a proposal for you: let us build a highly cost-efficient motor to use as a drop-in replacement to fit in the space of the old motor. Believe it or not, this is much less expensive than trying to modify the existing motor foundation to adapt a standard motor.

Collahuasi Mine in Chile
Collahuasi Mine in Chile

RETAINING ASSET VALUE of investment in existing plant and equipment is aided by custom-made electric motor replacements which, according to Russell McCabe, Field Sales Manager at WEG Electric Motors UK Ltd., can match a wide range of outputs, voltages and speeds as well as most motor applications. The high efficiency drop-in replacement motors can be designed and manufactured to replace any standard or non-standard industrial electric motor.

“This WEG flexibility allows users to replace an obsolete motor in their plants with a modern, energy efficient drop-in replacement motor. Of course, this is more cost effective for higher value, and medium and high voltage motors,” says Mr. McCabe.

“Designing a new motor with better electrical performance, while maintaining the same mechanical mounting dimensions, is much less expensive than trying to modify the existing motor foundation to adapt a standard motor.

"The higher operating efficiency of new motors brings immediate energy savings, which could pay back the investment within a very short period of time and, over the motor life, the cost is usually much less than rewinding. Improved availability and lower maintenance costs also bring significant cost savings although they are more difficult to quantify.”

A modern motor is often capable of higher output in the same envelope and the availability of extra performance can assist in debottlenecking a process where throughput had been limited.

Other performance improvements from a replacement motor have included: lower noise levels; suitability for use with a variable speed drive; motor certified to latest ATEX hazardous area requirements.

Additional custom-made special features, such as special shafts, special sealing or ventilation, special insulation requirements and others, also allow the users to improve maintenance procedures, increase the lifetime of the electric motors and consequently decrease operational costs.

“Until now, customers with an obsolete, non-standard size motor were faced with a challenge – either modify a piece of machinery or the motor base to receive a new standard size motor or continue to rewind the existing motor, decreasing some of the important original electrical performances,” continues Mr. Russell.

“WEG capability and flexibility to design custom-made motors will enable these users to replace old motors and even upgrade electrical and mechanical performances, keeping the motors overall dimensions within the space constraints imposed by the existing installation.

“As an example, our engineers designed and installed the world’s largest TEFC one piece cast iron induction motor (photos) at the Collahuasi Mine in northern Chile, driving conveyor belts to remove copper ore. This motor, designed and manufactured in a 630 IEC frame with 2100 kW output, had an efficiency of 97.5%. WEG’s drop-in replacement motors are committed to meeting customers’ needs for cost-effective improved efficiency and reliability.”


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