Technical specifications are fundamental for choosing the right gear unit. The more clearly defined, the better. Here, Marek Lukaszczyk, European and Middle East marketing manager at motor and drive manufacturer, WEG, explains why plant operators must analyse the line voltage versatility of a geared motor before a purchase. Gears are an important component in drive trains and are used alongside electric motors to set machines and systems in motion. Operators must consider several essential aspects to ensure the technology guarantees high plant availability and an optimum cost-to-benefit ratio. To assess the cost-effectiveness of a geared motor, engineers must analyse the key technical criteria of the gearbox and its areas of application. For example, for applications in challenging locations, such as heavy-duty industries like oil and gas and chemical, specialised designs are required to ensure motors can operate efficiently. If the motor needs to operate in hazardous areas, for instance, the use of suitable integral motors that comply with relevant regulations are essential. Similarly, if a gear unit is set to be used in an industry like cement processing, which is synonymous with dirt and dust, the design must be able to withstand the harsh nature of this environment.
The value of versatility
Another important specification is the line voltage versatility of a geared motor. A geared motor that is powered with a three-phase power supply from the grid must tolerate a certain amount of variation in the voltage and be able to handle changes in voltage without sustaining damage. However, there is no global standard line voltage for motors, as it varies depending on the country. For example, in Germany it is 400 V at a frequency of 50 Hz, while in the United States (US) it is 480 V at 60 Hz. Therefore, when purchasing a geared motor worldwide, plant managers should use a switchable integral motor that is suitable for most world voltages, ranging from 110–690 V – 50/60 Hz. A versatile motor, such as the EUSAS motor (Europe, USA and Asia) from WEG, covers a range of line voltages for use in major markets. Thanks to the large voltage range and simple voltage switching in the terminal box, the motors offer the flexibility required to be used globally for a variety of line voltages (110 V to 690 V) and frequencies (50 Hz and 60 Hz).