By Kerry Manworren
Every motion control system is different and unique. There is not a single universal answer, but there is almost always a possibility to increase your efficiency.
What is efficiency? Efficiency can be measured as:
First, look at every component of your system. Is the motor high efficiency? Are you using a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)? Are you using a chain, belt or direct drive? Is your gear reducer a worm, helical, cycloidal? Are you driving a ballscrew? Is it a rolled thread or a cut thread? Of course, there are other potential components to a system, but we will only tackle the ones I have mentioned here.
HIGH EFFICIENCY MOTORS
Let’s look at the motor first. Is your motor pre EPACT? If so, it could be as low as 70% efficient, whereas a new motor will be at least 90% efficient.
VARIABLE FREQUENCY DRIVES (VFD)
A Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) can help you get your speed exactly where it needs to be without using various other components to try to come close to the speed you need to get your highest yield
CHAIN, BELT & DIRECT DRIVES
Chain drives are about 98% efficient but are limited by feet per minute. Belt drives are about 95% efficient and are better for higher speeds. Direct drives are the most efficient but usually the hardest to use because of the lack of torque and the excessive speed.
WORM, HELICAL & CYCLOIDAL GEAR REDUCERS
If you are using a reducer, the type will determine your efficiency. A worm gear will be 70% to 76% efficient. A helical or cycloidal will be 90% to 95% efficient.
A rolled thread ballscrew vs. a ground thread ballscrew is 10 times less efficient due to the co-efficient of drag. Look at your bearings, quality comes at a cost but a ground thread ballscrew will provide you with 10 times more efficiency.
You can always make a motion control system more efficient by looking at not only the drive components but also the system components. Request a payoff calculation, formulated by your local OTP Industrial Solutions sales engineer. Our mechanical experts can help you assess and drive efficiency into your motion control system.