What Design Engineers Need to Know About Brushless DC Motor Technologies? https://www.automation.com/files/pluginfiles/item_99209/field_376/M_reg.jpg
By Walter Smith, Sensata Technologies
This is an exciting time for the electronics design industry as embedded electronic functionality extends to all facets of modern society. The groundbreaking growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Next Generation Smart Manufacturing, also known as Industry 4.0, requires developers to develop agile solutions that are powerful, small, precise and efficient.
Electric motors have existed for over a century (the electric car has existed since the late 19th century), but the first designs were inefficient, large and inaccurate. The advent of rare earth magnets and the advanced brushless DC motor (BLDC) motor design has a new range of motors small enough to fit in confined spaces, powerful enough to perform real work and efficient enough to be used in wireless or remote applications  The pressure to produce products that are both functional and cost effective means that an electronics engineer must get the best performance from any system they design. High performance BLDC motors can meet the performance requirements and economy required for today's demanding applications. This includes applications ranging from devices in a smart home, to self-propelled IoT devices, to industrial manufacturing halls, to wells for oil and gas drilling and extraction operations.
When it comes to industrial applications, the motors in robotic handling and mounting systems must be extremely reliable, cost-effective and cost-effective save space. Much of the technology that has made this new generation of engines possible has been used in a variety of scientific and mileage applications, but these core technologies have now become more cost-effective and are being integrated into a wide range of industrial solutions.
Figure 1: BLDC frameless motor designs such as Sensata's DIP34 model allow complete integration of the motor into an assembly
One way to streamline a packaging design is to incorporate the motor itself into the body of the product rather than attaching it to an external point of motion. A frameless BLDC motor, also known as a rotor / stator subset, allows full integration of the motor into a specific assembly, achieving the highest possible torque-to-volume ratio. For applications with limited space constraints, developers can choose between integration options and engine configurations. Depending on the application, either a normal cylindrical format or a flatter pancake motor can be used if the motion axis is spatially limited.
Most people think of airplanes or cars when it comes to unmanned or autonomous vehicles, but the field extends further into the depths of the sea. Advances in the Remote Controlled Underwater Vehicle (ROV) industry have created a market for the nimble machines used in applications such as search and rescue, maritime security, military, hydro industry, offshore oil rig inspection, and scientific research.
Figure 2: BLDC motors, such as this model from Sensata Technologies, are used in Inspection Class ROVs that operate at less than 10 horespower and rely on compact propeller motors that can be used for positioning purposes Propellers are attached.
Inspection Class ROVs used in such situations must be small and portable so they can be easily deployed and deployed at the job site where needed to ensure the best possible operator performance and inspection results. Vehicles of this type normally operate with less than 10 horsepower and use compact engine engines mounted directly on the propeller for positioning and navigation.
The motors used must have a low profile and function reliably in water, oil and other liquids. The latest generation of advanced BLDC motors not only meets the requirements of the ROV Inspection Class, but their small size, power and efficiency allow a streamlined design with low noise levels. Customizable motors serve this particular market segment with compact designs in both packaged and frameless mechanical configurations.
While there are still fossil-fueled autonomous vehicles in air and wheeled vehicles, more and more manufacturers are moving to purely electrical systems for smaller sizes and easy integration. The benefits of electric systems over fossil fuels include lower carbon footprints, less noise and fewer emissions. The lack of emissions and noise is beneficial for many other applications, such as police and military solutions requiring minimal size and acoustic signature.
Another overlooked advantage over electric and fossil fuel systems is the ability of an electrical system to function safely in almost any human environment, even in clean rooms. Such a capability is impossible with a system that emits exhaust of any kind. Automated forklift trucks, mobile equipment trolleys and parts baskets, factory scooters and other self-propelled devices also work much quieter with electric motors and make integration into the workplace easier.
A powerful electric motor that operates at a relatively high duty cycle places stringent demands on its power and storage system. In addition, the energy infrastructure must be as cost-effective as possible. Efficient Electric Motor Reduces These Demands
Maximizing battery life is critical to a variety of critical systems where the reliability and longevity of the equipment can affect the outcome of this mission. In battery-powered medical devices and remote-controlled military vehicles, the ability to last a few minutes in a demanding situation can make a significant difference. This need is not limited to critical systems. Increasing the life of a battery-powered system is now a key initiative for device manufacturers, from phones to cars.
To meet this demand, the latest frameless brushless DC motors in multiple configurations with different designs are available with extremely high operational efficiencies of over 90%. This allows a longer battery life over older designs. For battery-dependent applications, often the efficiency of the motor is critical, not the size of the battery, to achieve the longest operating time in a given application before the battery (or supercapacitor or reflow cell) has to be charged.
Hard EnvironmentsIn applications where a subordinate BLDC motor is used in harsh environments such as oil and gas applications, additional design requirements are made. To meet these requirements, motors for these applications must be rated up to 205 ° C and 30,000 PSI, with a shock load greater than 1000 g and a vibration resistance of 25 g RMS.
For example, the brushless DC motor in Figure 3 is designed for the most extreme environmental and printing environments. This BLDC motor has been validated according to some of the most comprehensive environmental test protocols available to ensure performance at these high ambient temperatures and pressures, while handling extreme shock and vibration loads in extreme applications. These motors have their own design, which is highly adaptable to specific requirements, available in a wide range of torques and speeds, and can be configured for transmissions or other feedback systems.
Figure 3: High-pressure, high-temperature BLDC motors such as Sensata's DII-15-60 can withstand extreme ambient temperatures and pressures.
One aspect of the growth of advanced oil and gas drilling and extraction methods is the need for high-efficiency, reliable and high-performance engines that can survive and work. This requires a rugged brushless DC motor (BLDC), which has been specifically designed to withstand the harshest conditions encountered in drilling operations.
The integrated motors used in oil drilling rigs must operate reliably regardless of conditions. Because oil and gas production is an industry in which one hour of downtime can cost up to $ 100,000. Replacing a motor or integrated equipment in a rig can take hours or even days, depending on the situation.
In this case, a brushless DC motor with high pressure and high temperature can be applied directly to such heavy bore applications such as mud pulse valves, stylus and sensor positioning. Engines of this type have been successfully tested to operate at temperatures up to 205 ° C and pressures up to 30,000 psi in continuous operation.
A custom design with winding variations is often needed to create a motor that not only covers a wide range of controller voltages and currents, but that can withstand the most extreme environmental conditions while still being optimally geared working on another feedback device.
The engine's rugged design can also serve other demanding applications in a variety of challenging and hostile environments. Failure or poor operation is not an option.
The spread of advanced automation technology in manufacturing is progressing rapidly, with both old and new ones new facilities to implement the latest developments in intelligent manufacturing and intelligent robotic systems. The need for precise motion control is dictated by many requirements now being placed on the production line, from movement of products in the shop floor to a variety of workstations, to the logistics of moving the finished product through a facility. The right motion solution can greatly reduce this pressure for the designer.
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