Design guide helps reduce machine running costs

24 February 2015

A new Design Guide from Techdrives aims to help industrial designers and specifiers to reduce the running costs of their machines.The 30 page document focusses on energy savings in the drive train – motors, drives and gearboxes.

With more than 33% of the generated electricity across Europe being used by electric motors, the importance of energy saving is clear. Designers need to promote their machines with details of the running costs and particularly the energy consumption.  Incorporating energy-saving technology can give a competitive edge in the market for their machines.

The Design Guide looks at electric motors with the current EU regulations, the changes in 2015 and 2017 and offers predictions for further changes that will happen from 2018 to 2022.
The document also looks at  motors that are currently outside the scope of the regulations but can, nevertheless, offer significant saving potential. Selection of an efficient gearbox attached to the electric motor can yield significantly greater savings, in extreme cases by as much as 50%. The Design Guide covers this area and gives designers guidance on what to look for.

Reductions in energy costs are made possible by the use of variable speed drives. This is very much application dependant, but savings of 30-50% are often possible. The options include adjusting the motor speed to match demand; optimising the speed/position travel profiles; software to reduce motor currents under partial loads; and e-use of braking energy

The final section of the guide looks at the savings that result from accurate dimensioning of the drive. There is a tendancy for designers to play safe and go up a size due to uncertainty in the application requirements.  Dimensioning software that aids the selection process is now available and proven to be highly accurate.  It can be particularly effective with machines that have multiple drive axes and field experience indicates that energy savings of 10 to 35% are usually possible.  The software will also generate an Energy Certificate that details the electrical energy running costs of the machine for a year.

The new Design Guide is available as a free of charge download on the Techdrives website 

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