Why did ebm-papst develop the new ECI motor?
Motors with so-called safety extra-low voltage up to 60 volts are becoming more and more popular in industry since they’re easy to work with and to integrate electrically for several reasons. But limiting the voltage to 60 volts confronts us with a physical limit affecting motor power because of the high currents. Our idea was to develop a motor that comes very close to this limit, one that delivers high power even at low voltage. And we did it. The ECI 80 reaches an impressive output of 750 watts, more than twice as high as its currently available little brother, the ECI 63.
And who needs this kind of powerful motor?
The ECI 80 is particularly well suited as an industrial drive solution for automation and medical equipment. During its development, we had an eye on two fields of application in particular: intralogistics and medical equipment for hospitals. More and more often, drives in high-bay warehouses or driverless transport systems, shuttles and cross-belt sorters in factories are supplied with power by a battery. Here the ECI 80 can improve applications by making the most of its high power at low DC voltages. The same is true for mobile medical devices such as movable X-ray machines. For operating tables, it can perform tasks that used to be reserved for hydraulics. That lowers costs for the technical infrastructure in operating rooms considerably.
What other specific benefits do customers get?
The ECI 80 is extremely compact. While developing it, we made a special effort to ensure that the motor wouldn’t induce any vibrations in the individual frequency bands while accelerating. So the drive works very quietly. With a few refinements in the motor design, such as optimized air gaps, and by using high-quality neodymium in the magnets, we were able to considerably improve its dynamic behavior. For short periods, it can deliver more than triple the rated torque.
Don’t customers usually want a complete drive axle and not just the motor alone?
That’s why we strictly adhered to our modular design concept during planning. ebm-papst also offers matching transmissions, encoders, brakes and controllers and other components for the ECI 80. Now, with Industry 4.0 in mind, we’re working on integrated drive controllers and bus interfaces.