What Is a Motor Drive?

Motor drives, often simply referred to as drives, are equipment that may be paired with machinery in order to manage speed. Within the realm of industrial manufacturing, for example, assembly lines and industrial processes will typically vary in their speeds based on the product that is being worked on, and fans, pumps, and other parts will adjust their operations to facilitate a need. Motor drives fulfill this role of speed management for a variety of applications and machinery, coming in mechanical, electromechanical, hydraulic, and electric types.

AC electric motors and drives are those that may operate at a fixed-speed which is adjustable through the number of motor stator pole pairs and the alternating current supply frequency. In order to achieve varying speeds, some AC motors will take advantage of reconnecting the stator in order to affect the number of poles. For example, having 8 pole pairs can allow a motor to run with either 4 or 8 pole pairs, enabling two different speeds for operations. If changes to speed are rarely conducted, then motor parts may be manually adjusted when needed to change the operating speed. While pole sets may provide one to three speeds, any more than three will be inefficient for cost.

DC motors are also capable of having adjustable speeds, that of which is carried out through the management of the shunt field current. Speeds may also be affected if the armature voltage is adjusted as well. To create an adjustable speed drive, one typically requires a motor and controller that manages settings. As variable frequency drives are created with the use of electronics, older technology is quickly becoming obsolete.

Motor drives or adjustable speed drives can be an important equipment piece for many operations, providing process control and energy conservation which are both highly beneficial. As compared to various fixed speed modes of operation, adjustable speed drives are well capable of achieving smooth operations. Within sewage applications, for example, fixed speed pumps will typically enact a surge of operational changes when specific thresholds of materials are met. While this can allow for outflows and inflows to be matched, the surge of movement can result in high amounts of mechanical and hydraulic stress to the system. With adjustable speed drives, on the other hand, speed increases can be more gradual as levels increase, meaning that the operation is smoother as outflows and inflows are matched.

While process control is very important for efficient operations, energy conservation has quickly risen as an equally important objective. Motor electrical parts such as fans and pumps often require the highest amount of energy, thus it is important that they work as efficiently as possible to waste little power. While a simple method of accommodating varying process loads is to simply have a damper or valve in the fan or pump, this can result in an energy loss as pressure drops. With the implementation of variable speed drives for the pump or fan, supply and demand can be matched together while avoiding any excess losses.

The Motors and drives can come in many forms, including mechanical drives, hydraulic adjustable speed drives, electric adjustable speed drives, continuously variable transmissions, AC drives, and much more. Depending on their application, these varying types then can serve as motor starters, motor aviation parts, and other equipment. With any motor or drive, continuous operations can eventually result in wear and tear that must be managed with maintenance and part replacement. When you are in need of drive aviation parts, motor parts, or even a drive bearing assembly, there is no better alternative to Aerospace Orbit.


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