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Motors & Motor Control

Industrial applications often use an AC motor for its sturdiness, efficiency, and compatibility with standard Alternating Current (AC) power supplies. In this common category of AC machines, we have two main types of AC motors— ac induction motors and synchronous motors. The well-known standard across the industrial world of electric motors is the induction motor, which uses a rotating magnetic field to generate torque. And a very close runner-up in terms of industrial motor popularity is the synchronous motor.

Motor control is enhanced by variable frequency drives (VFDs), which serve as a key component. The VFD achieves the control it needs to match an electric motor's speed and the torque it develops to the demands of what it powers. A few decades ago, the control strategy just described was mostly the domain of big industrial and commercial facilities with large electric bills. But in recent years, the relatively low cost of VFDs, combined with their ease of use, has led to a proliferation of VFD installations for smaller-scale applications in electric-power conservation.

Safe and reliable operation is the key requirement of motors. They can and must only run using devices that provide not only for their startup but also for their engineered stop. A motor can be started and stopped using several methods. The usual method is through contactors. These are contractible switches that under normal conditions deliver full power to the motor. Contactors are controlled in a control cabinet. Most of the time, contractors and control cabinets are used together in a "motor starter."