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Case Study
A long-used servo motor was discontinued, and it was hard to find an alternate...

Equipment retrofitted with custom products

Auto Parts Manufacturer Company C (900 Employees)
Problem
  • A long-used servo motor was discontinued, and it was hard to find an alternate.
  • Environmental durability was required to prevent dust and mist from damaging electronic components.
  • Wanted to reduce the replacement cost of the motor.
Solution and Results
  • The shape of a new motor was customized tailored to the equipment used.
  • Special coating provided environmental durability against dust and mist.
  • Customizing the winding enabled an amplifier with lower capacity to be used, resulting in cost reduction.
Service life of outdated machines can be extended by retrofitting them. Since some production equipment is used for several decades, its parts become obsolete and discontinued over time, raising a compatibility issue with the equipment when replacing parts.

Problem

A long-used servo motor was discontinued, and it was hard to find an alternate...

Company C, an automotive parts manufacturer, uses a large number of servo motors in the production equipment in their factories. A few years ago, the company was notified of the discontinuation of the DC servo motors it had been using for many years, and was looking to replace them. However, after research into motors on the market, they found that none had the right size for their equipment they were using. Mr. of the company shared his story:

"The motors were designed many years ago and the dimensions were not compatible with the motors on the current market, so installing a new motor would require major redesign including rebuilding the drive unit. However, we were instructed by our superiors to keep the budget as low as possible, so we could not afford major modifications."

Environmental durability was needed to prevent dust and mist from damaging electronic components.

Also, motors and electronic components need to have high environmental durability. "In our factory, the dust and mist generated in the manufacturing process was causing premature damage to electronic components, so we needed environmental durability not only for the motors but also for the amplifiers," he explained.

Wanted to reduce the replacement cost of the motor.

Moreover, Company C operates its business globally. "Since the equipment was used in our factories all over the world, and the total number of replacements would be considerable. We needed to keep the replacement cost per unit as low as possible," he said.

Solution and Results

The shape of a new motor was custom-tailored to the equipment used.

Mr. D, who was having a hard time finding a compatible servo motor, was introduced to SANYO DENKI by a trading company with which he had done business before. Then he met a sales representative of SANYO DENKI to discuss his problems. The sales rep then proposed an AC servo motor, SANMOTION R, and suggested customizing its shaft shape tailored to the equipment used.

"The sales rep. said that the new motor could be made compatible with the equipment only by modifying the shaft shape, without changing the equipment. SANYO DENKI was the only company to offer such a customization," he said.

Special coating on electronic components for dust and mist protection

The SANYO DENKI sales rep. also studied the need for protection against dust and mist. The new motor came with IP65 protection as standard, which was sufficient enough. However, the amplifier powering the motor needed environmental durability with special coating for the substrates in it. Mr. D hoped that this would provide sufficient durability to withstand the operating environment at their factories.

Customizing the winding enabled an amplifier with lower capacity to be used, resulting in cost reduction.

Further meetings were held to discuss the problems, and SANYO DENKI had proposed various solutions.

"SANYO DENKI's technical support team calculated the required motor torque based on the operating conditions of the actual equipment in our factory, and did the selection once again for us. The calculation showed that an amplifier with a lower capacity could be used by customizing the windings. This proved to be an important proposal that led to a reduction in replacement cost.

In addition, SANYO DENKI had also made the following useful proposals: use of a servo motor with a built-in battery-less absolute sensor for an easier motor restart after an outage, and replacing a DC servo motor, which require periodic brush replacement, with an AC servo motor would lead to maintenance-free operation. I found these benefits much appealing," he said.

Satisfied with these benefits, Mr. D decided to officially use the SANMOTION R servo motor and installed it in their equipment right away.

"Consequently, we successfully replaced the motor and amplifier without changing the operability or interface of the equipment. The replacement man-hours was also reduced much more than we had initially expected. We plan to deploy the replacement in all of our factories around the world, so we will continue to count on SANYO DENKI's support," he said with a smile.

Date of publication: June 18, 2021

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