How To Select Motor Speed Controllers        Image Credit: Penta Power| Bodine | Ametek Motor speed controllers are electronic devices that control motor speed. They take a signal for the needed speed and drive a motor to that speed. There are a variety of motor speed controllers available.   DC Motor Power-Op-Amp Speed Controller. Video Credit: Engamsi      Drive Type Drive type describes the category of motor or system...
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Q & A on Motor Speed Controllers

We asked our users for their input on Motor Speed Controllers. Here are the results of 87 users familiar with Motor Speed Controllers.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice |

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing motor speed controller design?
13 answers
Answers:
Siemens has a block function, that can be used with an encoder on a normal ac motor, to make it closed loop control. This is with the s7 200 xp224xp plc.
~TREVOR ACKERMANN, Engineer, CENTURION, REP OF SOUTH AFRICA
There are two new technologies: linear servomotors and digital servodrivers and spindles.
~Technical Support/Services, Queretaro, Mexico
Energy efficiency ie fully regenerative drives in areas where energy recovery is possible.
~Richard W, Electronic Engineer - Retired, Capetown, South Africa
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative motor speed controllers?
14 answers
Answers:
I have only used Siemens, Omron, Yaskawa and Altivatr. The Omron /Yaskawa are the same and I find them user friendly. The Siemens micro master 440 is the only one that I have used and does not work from a domestic supply as the earth leakage current is high enough to trip the earth leakage . The Yaskawa a1000 sounds like a very interesting drive but local support does not meet the questions and answers that one needs to be able to use the device.
~TREVOR ACKERMANN, Engineer, CENTURION, REP OF SOUTH AFRICA
I am now retired so am out of the main stream and am pursuing some applications which are out of the ordinary to do with energy generation.
~Richard W, Electronic Engineer - Retired, Capetown, South Africa
There are many; for the CNC, we have Fanuc, ABB, Siemens, Indramat, Kollmorgen, Baldor, Allen Bradley, Sanyo, Yaskawa, etc.
~Technical Support/Services, Queretaro, Mexico
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used motor speed controllers for?
26 answers
Answers:
Countless applications like lift , hoist, packaging machines, fitness belts, extruders, woodworking machines, horse fitness, fans, pumps, compressors.
~Varsseveld, Netherlands
Packaging, Converting, Special Purpose, Robots, Printing, Water Treatment, Cut to length, Flying Shears, Nuclear, .... loads more
~Mike J, Engineer, Bridgend, Wales
Mostly fan and pump application that are variable torque, these are the best type for energy savings with ac drives.
~Marketing/Sales, Bethlehem, PA
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that motor speed controllers have been used for.
8 answers
Answers:
Switching between low and high speed depending on application, not necessarily varying the speed, but have two locked in speeds.
~Chick L, Technical Support, Ashburton, New Zealand
We currently designing a submersible and were planning to use a "fly by wire" control system.
~Roberto Cruz, Design Engineer, Navotas City, Pilipinas
I was looking for a big size Spindle motor and driver, and I can't locate them.
~Technical Support/Services, Queretaro, Mexico
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of motor speed controllers?
6 answers
Answers:
Yes, speed controllers in hoist application without special brake sequence contacts and protection parameters. The drive can lose the motor without even knowing and switching the brake.
~Varsseveld, Netherlands
Not so much incorrect usage, but effects of the controllers downstream or in the same vicinity or from the same supply.
~Chick L, Technical Support, Ashburton, New Zealand
Operator injuries due to a fail controller.
~Roberto Cruz, Design Engineer, Navotas City, Pilipinas

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
9 answers
Answers:
All brands and their models are proper for the operation. I don't think it is necessary to improve the design and/or feature. I mean, by today, we have many choices to select the proper device for a specific application.
~Technical Support/Services, Queretaro, Mexico
To be able to do position control with encoder. Speed control with encoder.
~TREVOR ACKERMANN, Engineer, CENTURION, REP OF SOUTH AFRICA
Very efficient compact 4 quadrant drives without feedback requirements.
~Richard W, Electronic Engineer - Retired, Capetown, South Africa
Much simpler operating codes for the common operator.
~Roberto Cruz, Design Engineer, Navotas City, Pilipinas
Electrical motor speed controller.
~Rathin V, Engineering Consultant, Mumbai, India
Smaller shape and high efficiency.
~Varsseveld, Netherlands
Higher torque at low speeds.
~Chick L, Technical Support, Ashburton, New Zealand
Accurate torque control
~Trevor G, Design Engineer, Cedar ck, Australia
Electronic
~Project Management, Lahore, Pakistan

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using motor speed controllers?
6 answers
Answers:
Always look at the rated current instead of nominal power of the speed controller.
~Varsseveld, Netherlands
Choose the right one not the cheap one, to save you from operational downtime.
~Roberto Cruz, Design Engineer, Navotas City, Pilipinas
To check for Harmonics generation by the controllers.
~Rathin V, Engineering Consultant, Mumbai, India
Don't buy offshore unless its European.
~Mark H, Facilities Manager, Concord, Canada
Do your mechanical sums first.
~Mike J, Engineer, Bridgend, Wales
Yes, buy telemecanique
~JUAN CARLOS A, Technical Support, BARQUISIMETO, VENEZUELA

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of motor speed controllers?
5 answers
Answers:
I wanted to use an inverter to provide a 3 phase supply from a 1 phase source. I purchased an inverter to do the job but obviously only got 220vac out. The supplier said that the inverter could be used to supply a setup transformer in order to get the supply voltage up to the required 380v. This does not work!!!!!!! The voltages went very high and went above 1000vac. A very expensive mistake.
~TREVOR ACKERMANN, Engineer, CENTURION, REP OF SOUTH AFRICA
Manufacturers like to give high rated currents in their specs but beware of the pwm frequency that goes with the current. This is the main difference between different brands and it is not always shown in the specs.
~Varsseveld, Netherlands
A driver speed is not a power supply. Some locals are not 3phase supply, and you can see a driver speed input 2lines, and the output in the breaker 3 lines from the driver speed.
~JUAN CARLOS A, Technical Support, BARQUISIMETO, VENEZUELA
Avoid the imitations
~Roberto Cruz, Design Engineer, Navotas City, Pilipinas
See above
~Mark H, Facilities Manager, Concord, Canada


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