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Friday, August 8, 2014

Product Highlight: Electric Motor Controls

No matter what you’re using them for specifically, your electric motors are an investment in your business and the longer they last, the better for you and your business.

Aside from regular maintenance, electric motor controls help to ensure your motors are not being driven too hard and are running at optimal levels.  PTJ Industrial offers variable frequency drives, full voltage starters, reduced voltage starters, and phase converters designed to keep your motors happy, healthy, and functional.  Our DC motor controllers are manufactured by top makers such as:
  • WEG
  • TECO
  • SMVector
Each electric motor speed controller is intuitively designed, easy to program and operate, and built with all appropriate protective coverings.  To view prices on the different models and types of electric motor controls available at PTJ Industrial, please visit us on the web today at www.ptjindustrial.com.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How Electric Motors Work

Take a look around and there’s a good chance a device or machine that’s powered by an electric motor is within eyeshot. Electric motors are simple, efficient, and small enough to provide mechanical power to just about anything. This quick tutorial will fill you in on all the basics about how these compact motors accomplish so much.

Two Types of Electric Motors

AC Electric Motors – Alternating current (AC) electric motors use a power supply that is generated by plugging the machine into a wall socket.

DC Electric Motors – Direct Current (DC) electric motors use a power supply that is generated by a battery, which provides current that flows in one direction only.

The Basic Parts of an Electric Motor 
Unlike some motors, an electric motor is fairly simple. Magnetism is what makes power possible in any electric motor. Magnets attract and repel one another to create rotation in the rotor that’s then converted into power.

Field Magnet –The U-shaped, permanent field magnet creates a constant magnetic field using two bar magnets of opposite poles that are placed on either side of the rotor. The field magnet is sometimes built into the can or body of the motor itself.

Rotor/Armature – The rotor, also known as an armature, is an electromagnet. Electromagnets use electric current to create magnetism. It is essentially a piece of ferromagnetic material with a wire coiled around it. When current is being passed through the wire the whole thing acts like a magnet. Electromagnets with various magnetic poles are needed in order to form the rotor. These electromagnets are able to flip poles, which cause the rotor to rotate in the motor.

Axle – The rotor has an axle built into it, which connects to the commutator.

Commutator – AC electric motors do not have commutators, but in a DC motor the commutator is made up of two plates that are connected to the axle of the rotor. They spin along with the rotor and provide the connections for the coils. The commutator along with the brushes allows current to flow through the coils, which causes the flip in the magnetic field that creates motion in the rotor (more on that below).

Brushes – Power is transferred from the battery to the commutator by way of the motor’s brushes. These are simply two pieces of metal or carbon that connect to the battery and make contact with the connections of the commutator. AC electric motors do not have brushes.

Power Supply – Electric motors must have an electrical energy to convert into mechanical power. This is provided by either a battery or by being plugged into a wall socket.

Putting the Parts Together
Once all the pieces above are put together, an electrical motor can generate power by spinning the rotor. The electrical supply runs a current through the coils of the rotor that sits between the two magnets of the field magnet. Now that the rotor is an electromagnet, the magnetic forces will come into play and cause the rotor to make a half turn as the opposite fields of the rotor and field magnet attract one another. The commutator spins along with the rotor and just as the half turn is completed, it hits a point that cause the electrons of the electrical current to flow in the opposite direction through the rotor coils, which causes the magnetic field of the rotator to flip.

The flipping happens at just the right moment to keep the electromagnet’s north pole constantly above the axle in between the magnets of the field magnet. This causes a constant state of attraction that allows the rotor to spin freely in complete turns, which results in mechanical power.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Electric Pump Motors

If you need a replacement electric motor for a vertical hollow shaft irrigation pump, PTJ Industrial has you covered with our high-quality electric pump motors.  Our pump motors are designed as direct replacements for many manufacturers’ motors including those from US Electric motors.

Available in as little as 10 HP and as high as 500 HP, these electric pump motors are 3 phase and feature WP1 enclosures, high starting and break down torques, and 1.15 service factors for severe applications.  Other standard features include:

·        3 phase, 60Hz operation
·        Voltage from 208 to 230 volts; 460 volts
·        Class "F" insulation
·        Designed for continuous use
·        Included coupling
·        Anti-rotation device (“ball type”)
·        Rubber dust curtain eliminates all filtered dust in junction box

Best of all, each motor comes with a 2 year warranty and ships for FREE to anywhere within the continental U.S.  To view more products from PTJ Industrial, please visit www.ptjindustrial.com.   

Monday, June 16, 2014

Why the Materials Used in Electric Motors Matters

When you’re looking at 3 phase electric motors, there are a lot of specifications to consider – horsepower and torque are two that everyone looks for first. But one thing that can easily get overlooked is the quality of the materials that are used to create electric motors.

Whether you’re searching for AC or DC electric motors, here’s why the material used to construct these motor matters. 

Electric Motors are Workhorses that Need to be Tough

Converting electrical energy into mechanical energy is no easy task. By the nature of the design, force is created within the engine in order to generate power and torque.

When you consider the forces acting on the individual pieces of the motor, the rotor construction should be a main focus. The rotor must continuously move to turn the shaft and create mechanical power. Unless you use an induction or permanent magnet, the motor commutator is also constantly revolving in order to reverse the current and apply power. Without this constant movement, the electric engine would stop.

Another fact to consider is that many 3 phase electric motors are subjected to constant use. Little to no downtime means quality construction materials can affect the longevity of the motor much more so than with motors that are used less often.

Quality metals for 3 Phase Electric Motors

To take on the force and constant use, 3 phase electric motors must incorporate heavy-duty materials. When you’re looking for a motor to take on a complex application, look for the following construction materials:

·        Cast Iron – This is an extremely durable material for the frames of engines that will see continuous use at just about any horsepower. Endbells are also typically constructed using cast iron.
·        Rolled Steel – A durable rolled steel frame can handle a lot of horsepower. This is an excellent option for industrial use where you need a heavy-duty motor that weighs less than a cast iron option. Rolled steel also has great magnetic performance. Cold rolled steel sheets are often used within electric motors to maximize performance.
·        Aluminum – Aluminum is sometimes used on the endbells of general-purpose DC electric motors. This material helps to make the motor more light weight while still maintaining acceptable strength.

PTJ Industrial’s motors are built with all of the factors above in mind, which is why they are crafted using only the most durable materials like cast iron and rolled steel. This makes their entire lineup of electric motors ideal for a wide variety of hardcore industrial applications.  To view and purchase their products, visit www.ptjindustrial.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Motors for Dangerous Environments

explosion proof motors

Certain work environments are prime for potentially explosive accidents. In areas where combustible gas, fumes, or dust are in the air in large quantities, precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of workers.

The use of explosion proof motors is one way of minimizing risks in such hazardous environments. There are explosion proof electric motors and diesel options that come in a variety of sizes for just about any type of application. These motors:

  • Meet certain National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements for grade, class, and temperature code
  • Are able to contain an explosion that happens within the motor itself
  • Prevent explosive gases and vapors from escaping

Features that make an engine explosive proof include:

Motor Enclosure
Explosion proof motors are designed with a heavy, flame-tight enclosure that keeps explosive vapors and gases around the engine from igniting.

Inverter Duty
Inverter motors are able to handle higher voltage spikes and work at slower speeds with a lower chance of overheating.

Class F insulation
Insulation affects the maximum operating temperature of a motor and its lifespan. The higher up the alphabet that the letter of the insulation is, the higher the temperature that it’s able to work and the more hours you’ll get out of it.

Thermostats protect against overload and offer thermal protection by shutting the motor down if it gets too hot. UL explosion proof motors must have quantity three (3) N.C. thermostats.

Certifications and Designation to Look for When Buying Explosion Proof Motors

Below is a list of designations to look for before you buy explosion proof motors. These signify that a motor has met all the appropriate standards to be considered explosion proof.

UL Listed
The UL is a non-profit, worldwide organization that’s dedicated to ensuring the safety of workers in all types of environments. They are a trusted resource that remains objective in all of their assessments. Explosion proof motors with a UL listing have been tested and found to meet the organization’s rigorous standards.

CSA Certified/Approved
A CSA Group’s mark of certification or approval signals that a product meets government and regulatory standards, including those of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In addition to looking for marks on the product, you can search for products on their website to verify whether or not they have gained CSA approval.

NEMA Premium
The NEMA Premium logo is a designator for energy efficiency motors that also meet the needs of users. The designation is a part of their NEMA Motor and Generator Section.

Rated for Class I and Class II Environments
Class I environments are those that contain flammable vapors and gases while Class II environments have combustible dust. Engines that are Class I and Class II certified have been found to be safe for use in these environments.

About the Author: PTJ Industrial has a great selection of explosion proof electric motors that meet the specifications listed above. They are designed to be reliable, efficient, and safe for use in all environments to improve the safety of your workplace. To view their inventory, visit www.ptjindustrial.com.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Product Highlight: AC Variable Frequency Drives

AC Variable Frequency Drives

Variable speed drives (also known as variable frequency drives or “VFDs” for short) are designed to govern two primary performance attributes of an AC motor:

  • Controlling the speed at which the motor runs
  • Increasing or attenuating the torque of the AC motor

Variable speed drives accomplish this by increasing or decreasing the input frequency and the voltage to the motor as needed at a particular time. While usually coupled with 3-phase AC induction motors, some VFDs will also work when paired with single-phase motors.

At PTJ Industrial, we offer variable speed drives from WEG, Teco, and SM Vector, all leaders in industrial motor control solutions. Our variable frequency drives are available with the following voltage and torque properties:

  • 120/240V – 1Phase Input, up to 1.5 HP (1.1 kW)
  • 200/240V – 1 or 3 Phase Input, up to 3.0 HP (2.2 kW)
  • 200/240V – 3 Phase Input, up to 20 HP (15 kW)
  • 400/480V – 3 Phase Input, up to 60 HP (45 kW)
  • 480/600V – 3 Phase Input, up to 60 HP (45 kW)

For more information on any of our products, including variable frequency drives, visit www.ptjindustrial.com.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Product Highlight: Adjustable Bases for Electric Motors

Your electric motor is an important part of your business, and proper maintenance is needed to keep it working optimally.  If you have ever tried to work around a fixed motor then you have probably wished you could just move it out of the way. PTJ Industrial’s adjustable motor bases make installation, tensioning, belt replacement, and other electric motor maintenance quick and easy. 

Made of heavy gauge steel and finished will a corrosion resistant coating, our adjustable electric motor bases are durable, built to last, and are available for a variety of motor frame sizes including:
  • 56 Frame
  • 143T Frame
  • 145T Frame
  • 182T Frame
  • 184T Frame
  • 213T Frame
  • 215T Frame
  • 254T Frame
  • 256T Frame
  • 284T Frame & more
Each adjustable base comes complete with appropriately sized adjustment screws and motor mounting bolts. To check out our full selection of adjustable motor bases, please visit www.ptjindustrial.com.