Knowing the Application Requirements
Knowing the specific requirements of your application will help you determine if you need a DC or AC gear motor, and the specific type. Such requirements include:
- Environment: Application and ambient temperature, and ingress protection (IP) rating
- General requirements: Envelope size, side and overhung loads, lubrication type, mounting orientation and mounting type
- Input power source: maximum current (amps), frequency (hertz), voltage and control type
- Gear motor performance: Speed, torque, duty cycle, horsepower and starting and stall torque
- Gear motor specifications: Size, weight, desired noise level, desired maintenance level and life expectancy
Choosing the Right Motor
Use the list of application requirements that you gathered and compare them to the specifications of the DC and AC gear motors of interest, such as universal, brushless DC, AC induction and permanent magnet motors. In lieu of a pre-engineered motor, you may find that selecting a gearbox and motor separately may be best for your application.
Matching Performance Curves, Pull-Up Torque and Yield Strength to the Gear Motor
The right torque and speed is vital when selecting a gear motor. Use a manufacturer’s or vendor’s performance curves regarding torque, speed and efficiency to find a gear motor that matches your needs. After finding a few performance curves, yield strengths and pull-up torques that match the application’s needs, examine the design limitations, like thermal characteristics, to narrow down the choices.
After choosing an AC or DC gear motor, your job isn’t done. Run several tests to make sure the motor runs well in a typical operating situation and does not get too hot, stressed or noisy.