Brushless motor paves way for construction equipment

For several years, Groschopp Inc., Sioux Center, Iowa, has supplied customized universal ac motor components to a manufacturer of concrete vibrators used in the construction industry. It recently upgraded the design to IPX4 rating (washdown duty), installing the components in a plastic housing that withstands thermal extremes as well as vibration. Working with the manufacturer, Groschopp engineers offered design expertise and collaborated with the OEM to develop a venting system that lets cooling air in while minimizing water ingress and mitigating its effects.

An even bigger improvement, still in development, will replace the ac motor components with a brushless dc solution. Eliminating brushes means the new design will be maintenance-free. It will also take up less space and, because it doesn't require cooling air, it can be fully enclosed, preventing water ingress entirely (IP67). The brushless dc solution is also expected to increase product life (by a factor of four), while improving energy efficiency, possibly to the point of battery operation. For more information, visit www.groschopp.com or call (800) 829-4135.

Washdown standards drive conveyor company's decisions

Founded in 1974, Kamflex Corp., Carol Stream, Ill., manufactures stainless steel, sanitary conveyors for companies that handle a wide range of products, from snack foods, meat, dairy, and frozen foods to beverages, pharmaceutical, and personal hygiene items. The company prides itself on understanding the stringent requirements and regulations its end users face.

For example, Kamflex conveyors meet USDA-3A dairy standards, are USDA-accepted for meat and poultry plants, and are used in applications with up to Class 100 pharmaceutical cleanroom conditions. When the company began researching motion management options for its newest machine offerings, its goal was to develop conveyors that improve product handling and throughput, while reducing operating costs, floor space, and scrap. And — in addition to requiring a cost-effective solution that allows its conveyors to remain competitive — Kamflex needed enclosed NEMA drives that could withstand washdown.

Kamflex selected the NEMA 4X SMVector drive from Lenze-AC Tech, Uxbridge, Mass., for its new line of stainless conveyors. The drive's high starting torque, advanced low-speed control, and dynamic braking were among the technical reasons. Another big reason, according to John Tomaka of Kamflex, is its user-friendliness. A simple four-wire connection between the drive and a remote LED keypad lets users set and program key operating parameters, including start, stop, direction, and speed. For more information, visit www.lenze-actech.com or call (800) 217-9100.