SEW Eurodrive has proactively expanded its comprehensive portfolio of AC motors by adding new IE3-accredited units, says the company’s general manager for engineering Conrad Pilger.

Electric motors worldwide are estimated to consume up to 40% of global electricity supply. With increasingly-stringent environmental legislation and unreliable energy supply, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has established regulations set out in its IEC 60034-30:2008 standard.

The IEC standard focuses on single-speed, three-phase 50 Hz and 60 Hz AC cage induction motors in the 0.75 kW to 375 kW power range – the most widely used range of motors. According to this standard, motors are produced and categorised as IE1: ‘Standard Efficiency’, IE2: ‘High Efficiency’ and IE3: ‘Premium Efficiency’.

As of January 1, 2015 the European Economic Area officially prescribed that all asynchronous AC motors with squirrel-cage rotors be classed as IE3.

“Although the SEW Eurodrive DR modular motor system has been available since 2008, it became IE3-compliant in 2014, after being optimised in dimensions, weight and performance. The systems can be integrated easily into existing machines and systems to enable greater energy-efficiency.”

The DR series is now the only system of its kind worldwide that satisfies the requirements of all efficiency classes, from IE1 to IE3, in a single product range. Despite the recent optimisation, the IE3 motors are compatible with the same components, which simplifies the stocking of spare and wear parts.

“This represents a significant cost benefit for suppliers and end customers. The new DR motors are as compact as an IE2 class motor of the same power rating. The motors are available in the power range between 0,75 kW and 200 kW, and can be combined with SEW Eurodrive gear units using direct mounting, or as stand-alone motors,” Pilger continues.

While IE1 and IE2 motors are still commonplace in South Africa, Pilger indicates that rising electricity costs and continued load-shedding are factors prompting local industries to invest more money upfront in energy-efficient motors, in order to ensure long-term savings.

“The new motors from SEW Eurodrive set standards in terms of global innovation and sustainability. Given that efficiency regulations are expected to get stricter worldwide, these new solutions will be recognised as the ‘motors of the future’ for the next 10 to 15 years,” he concludes.

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