Baldor Electric Co., Ft. Smith, Ark., recently completed a new 22,000-sq-ft laboratory for designing, developing, and reliability testing industrial electric motors and drives with capacities as high as 1,000 hp. The new lab is in the Baldor Drives Center which opened in 1998.

Lab personnel work closely with design engineers to develop and test advanced electronics and drive components from 1/50 to 800 hp before introducing them into the normal product-development phase. The lab also tests electronic subassemblies, prototypes, and software during product development to make certain that all new drive products meet or exceed design specifications. Moreover, Baldor's customers and sales personnel use the lab facilities to test and simulate specific applications.

Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) and highly accelerated life tests (HALT) are just two of the many critical tests and analyses that are carried out in the lab to ensure products of the highest quality and reliability are put into production.