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5 ways you can save money with electric motors

If you’re looking to save money in your plant or process, electric motors should be one of your first considerations. As you’ll see, the potential for cost reduction in motor-driven applications is huge and could make a significant impact on the productivity and profitability of your business.

Use energy-efficient motors

Motor-driven systems account for around two thirds of all electricity consumed in industry, so upgrading to a premium-efficiency machine will provide significant savings.

From 1 January 2015, all electric motors sold in the EU must conform to IE3 efficiency, or IE2 if coupled with a variable-speed drive. Users are often put off premium motors by the purchase price, but when compared to the potential energy savings during the motor’s life, you’ll be better off within, at most, two years on average.

Ensure your motor is properly sized

When ordering a new electric motor, some users tend to err on the side of caution and select a motor that’s oversized as they believe it will comfortably satisfy their requirements. However, oversized motors draw more power than is needed, meaning a great deal of energy is needlessly wasted. Because motor cost rises in line with frame size, for every size over specification, the more money you’re wasting. Work with your electric motor supplier to ensure you’ve got the ideal size for your application.

Have motors rewound

When a motor fails, in many cases it is more economical to have it rewound rather than scrapped and replaced. However, should a rewind cost be more than 60% of the price of a new motor, ordering the new machine may be the most cost-effective option.

Motor rewinds, if carried out by experienced engineers, should see the machines retain their original efficiency and continue to perform for years to come.

Connect motors to variable-speed drives

In industries such as processing lines and machine building, precise speed control of motor-driven equipment (fans, pumps etc) is crucial, but this cannot be provided by an AC electric motor as it runs at a fixed rate. Coupling a variable-speed drive with an electric motor gives the user precision control over their process while offering energy savings of up to 60%. Even the smallest reduction in motor speed will have a significant impact on energy use, with payback achievable within a matter of months.

Implement a maintenance programme

Regular motor maintenance will prolong the life of your equipment and ensure it provides the highest possible level of energy efficiency. Checking your motor’s alignment, ventilation and lubrication are all simple measures which will help you get the most out of it while preventing future failure.

Gibbons have a comprehensive range of ABB motors and variable-speed drives available direct from stock for next-day UK and Europe delivery. We’ve also been offering electric motor rewinds for 45 years, carried out in our Essex workshop by highly-skilled and experienced engineers. So if you’d like more information on how we can help you save money with electric motors, call Paul Scott on 01621 868138 or email

Variable-Speed Drives, Electric Motors

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