If you plan on building an automation system, the first thing you need to do is buy an electric motor. The motor for automation is probably the most important part of every automation system, because it is the device that converts the electrical energy into a mechanical energy, which is the driving force for systems and machinery involved in performing various applications.

However, if you have little or no experience in this matter, regardless if you need to look for large or small electric motors for sale, you need to learn the basics of electric motors. To choose the right one for your applications, you must learn more about the different types of electric motors, their main features, working principle as well as purpose of use.

Furthermore, you need to weight the options available on the market, which includes discovering the most reputable manufacturers, brands and retailers. In order to help you make a good choice, we’ve made a simple guide to buying motors for automation. Read on to comprehend the most important things that determine the functionality of large and small electric motors for sale available on the market today.

How to Choose the Right Motors for Automation

  • the three most important factors that you need to consider are:
    the specific speed and torque requirements of the applications performed on your work site;
  • motor speed and torque control requirements;
  • the features of the environment under which the motor will operate.

Types of Electric Motors

The basic classification of electric motors is based on the type of electrical current they are powered by. Hence, the two general motor types, AC (Alternating Current) and DC (direct current) motors.

AC Motors – There are two types of AC motors: general purpose AC motors and inverter/vector duty AC motors. Both types come in a power range between 1/3 and 100 Hp (horsepower).

  • General Purpose AC motors have two important functions in machinery and automation systems: increasing the torque and drive speed; enabling the machine to operate at multiple speeds and increasing the control and flexibility of the motorized drive systems. The main components of electrical motors that contribute to providing these functions are: direct shaft mechanism, pulley and belt system, gearbox and VFD (Variable Frequency Drive). This type of motors for automation is used for driving devices such as ventilation fans and water pumps.
  • Inverter/Vector Duty Motors – In comparison to the general purpose motors, inverter duty motors have several technical advantages: a better cooling capacity, insulation, windings and harmonics with higher voltage capacity. Another important feature of this type of AC motors is the ability of continuous low-speed operation without any over-heating issues. Similar to inverter duty motors are the vector duty motors. They are used for industrial operations and applications that require a high level of precision for speed control. Both, the inverter and vector types are used in a range of applications that require a control of water flow, temperature, air, etc.

DC Motors – DC motors are simple electric motors that are similar to AC motors. Brushless motors are the most commonly used type of DC motors. The three main components from which these motors are comprised include: a permanent magnet external control, hall effect sensors and three-phase driving coils. While looking for small electric motors for sale, consider buying a brushless DC motor if you need an electric motor for applications that require high-precision speed control. Some of its most notable advantages are: decreased bearing wear, ability to operate efficiently at very low temperatures and ease of use and maintenance.