Demand for Smart Motors to be Driven by their Promise of Improving Operational Effectiveness of Associated Devices and Networks

The landscape of manufacturing systems has seen a substantial change in the past years owing to the migration of industrial controls from manual toward intelligent and automatic devices. The declining costs of I/O mediums, smart communication channels, microprocessors, sensors, and memory have led to the easy integration of smart features into a variety of remote and distributed elements of a manufacturing processes. Electrical motors, which are central to the proper operation of all or most of industrial processes, are rapidly transforming into smart motors with the integration of smart processing features and intelligent/digital controls.

In this blog post, TMR analysts outline some important aspects of the global smart motors market.

Q. What features make simple electronic motors “smart”?

A. Most smart motors have a microcontroller integrated with the motor to detect the presence of load on the shaft and correspondingly adjust the speed or operations of the motor accordingly. Smart motors provide a compact package for distributed control in industrial setups, right from the capability of switching the motor on and off to self-diagnosing or monitoring its own health to relaying its operating status to central processing lines. These capabilities provide for establishing the health of the motor and its operation and help establish the future state of the motor. This not only grants the motor smart evaluation of safe working conditions, but also helps establish the health of the connected machineries and evaluate the performance of the entire production line.

Apart from basic load controlling operations, smart motors also enable cost and power effective operations owing to smart power handling mechanisms.

Q. What are the major application areas of smart motors?

A. Smart motors find major applications in sectors such as automotive, consumer electronics, production lines in industries, residential operations, and a variety of other commercial purposes. In the industrial sector, especially, smart motors are utilized across several application areas such as manufacturing, load controlling, testing, and assembling. Consumer electronic products are utilizing smart motors that guarantee maximum performance with high efficiency and reduced power consumption.

There is a plethora of consumer electronics fitted with smart motors; the latest device in line is LG’s new cordless vacuum cleaner. The device uses an innovative smart inverter motor, which is known to deliver high performance with high durability and efficiency despite the compact size.

Q. What factors have led to the demand for smart motors in industries?

A. In the past few decades, everyday processes in most industries have become increasingly complex owing to the convergence of elements such as digitally advanced devices, smart sensors, and modern communication lines. Proper management or upgrading of such infrastructure may take millions of dollars of investment. Add to this scenario the rapidly changing market demands, including the diverse product expectations from consumers. A single motor failure can wreak havoc to a business’ capability and potential of operating successfully to meet these goals. The capability of smart motors in relaying greater visibility into its operations and operating conditions help provide an increased level of transparency in overall industrial operations and leads to effective performance of the industrial infrastructure.

Improved visibility into the operations and operating conditions of motors in an industries, for instance, helps process supervisors in becoming more aware of the overall situation. With such information at the central processing line’s disposal, processes slow down to minimize harsh effects on production and the equipment in case of the failure of a motor or the reduction of performance of one of the motors in the production line.

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