Brushless DC motors (mostly known as “permanent magnet motors”) save energy first through higher efficiency inherent in their design compared to conventional motors and second through their native ability to provide variable-speed operation. With the commutation between phases made electronically, this essentially “digital” solution also facilitates a variety of other system and control integration, non-energy benefits. The rub is that while non-energy integration benefits always remain, the efficiency advantages decrease rapidly with motor size. So while there are a variety of benefits to switching to a brushless DC motor solution, those benefits remain greatest in the sub-1 hp class of motors. This means that we will not see many of these in HVAC applications; however, there are a multitude of industrial processing machines with fractional horsepower motors, and the opportunity for efficiency gains should not be overlooked.
This solution for conveyor belts and packaging equipment is but one example…
SMI end-of-line packaging machines are equipped with brushless motors without using geared motors; brushless motors are high-efficiency motors, whose running speed is adjustable according to the real needs of each and every application, improving the overall performance of the production system.
Innovative solutions for end-of-line operations
For many years now, Smiflexi shrinkwrappers no longer mount any geared motors. The same solution was recently applied also to the automatic palletizing systems of Smipal’s APS series. The end-of-line system displayed at Interpack 2014 for secondary packaging, obtained by joining a Smiflexi packer with a Smipal palletizer, is driven solely by high-efficiency brushless motors (yield up to 98%), which ensure a marked reduction in power consumption, maintenance costs and noise levels. Furthermore, the conveyor belts used in the system are equipped with drives that regulate motor speed based on the machine’s actual operational needs; as such, they provide the system with only the amount of energy required a t a given time and ensure savings of up to 35% on power consumption.