Buying a ruggedized electric motor drive, 3-phase or single-phase is no easy task these days. Ruggedized motor drives fall within the overall category of variable frequency drives, but the similarity stops there. Ruggedized motor drives are designed to meet extreme operating conditions for temperature, altitude, shock, etc. Off-the-shelf motor drives are designed to meet general commercial and industrial operating conditions and to withstand common carrier and UPS shipping conditions.
Many companies go through numerous off-the-shelf drives before they realize they need a custom, ruggedized motor drive. The telltale signs of this are, failure during deployment, failure after traveling to a site, not starting in the winter, over-temperature tripping, downtime, sup-par operating performance, customer complaints, and more. Finding the right motor drive to meet your demanding requirements can be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack, but once you find the right manufacturer and right ruggedized motor drive, you will be rewarded with a lower total cost of ownership and higher customer satisfaction.
Ruggedized motor drives are custom variable frequency drives, designed to meet specific operating requirements. Examples of extreme motor drive requirements include:
- Input/output frequencies up to 400Hz
- Temperature range down to -40C, -40F. Up to +55C, +60C, +65C
- Continuous Vibration up to 2grms
- Shock (drop, near detonation) up to 40g
- Humidity up to 95% non-condensing
- Stall prevention
- Auto restart
- Operation at Altitudes up to 14,000 ft.
Invention House builds American-made ruggedized motor drives that as a baseline are designed to meet one or more of the above specifications. These conditions also form the basis of military specification (mil-spec) motor drives. If a drive is built to meet mil-spec conditions, it will likely survive any industrial or commercial application.
Invention House ruggedized motor drives go one step further. Our motor drives are built with integrated functionality to reduce the number of boards in a system, increasing reliability. Onboard intelligence can take input from the command and from sensors to control not just the motor but also relays, and solenoids. In some cases, our drive is the only electronics necessary in the system. For example, one client needed a motor controller to maintain a constant air-fuel ratio at a high altitude. We designed a drive to do that and to test the performance of the ruggedized motor drive, the client strapped the running blower onto the back of a truck and drove it up Pikes Peak – the drive performed flawlessly and the blower speed automatically adjusted as the altitude increased.
Another important factor when sourcing a ruggedized motor drive is the nature of the supplier. Large motor drive suppliers and smaller divisions of a large, multinational company typically avoid custom motor drive work. Large companies need volume to keep their lines running. Smaller companies make the best independent motor drive manufacturers because they are more adept at meeting custom drive requirements. In addition, when working with a smaller, independent motor drive manufacturer the buyer will have direct access to the drive designer and company leadership – a huge plus when trying to get your custom motor drive needs to be met. Invention House is just such a company with over 22 years of experience designing and manufacturing custom, ruggedized motor drives. Invention House meets Federal “small-company” purchasing requirements and our customers have the luxury of speaking directly with our drive engineers and leadership. If your company is searching for a ruggedized motor drive supplier, we invite you to connect with Invention House.