Improving the efficiency and long-term reliability of motors will continue to be the focus of motor manufacturers worldwide, says electrical equipment supplier Zest WEG Group Durban branch manager Taylor Milan, at the company’s medium-voltage (MV) motor seminar last month in Durban.
The company shared new MV motor development trends with the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) market at the seminar, including international trends in MV motor technology, the latest design techniques, software tools that are available to manufacturers and the impact these have on the development of a product.
Also discussed were the insulation systems of direct-on-line and variable-speed drive applications for improved reliability during a MV motors operational life span.
Specific application trends of induction, squirrel cage and slip ring motors, as well as synchronous equipment, updated manufacturing techniques and the latest practices, were presented to those in the industry.
The seminar also highlighted available test procedures that comply with current international standards when certifying product quality and the procedures for improving the installation and operation of MV motors, as well as the correct practices for long-term storage and how these impact on the reliability of the product.
Milan notes that much information was shared during the seminar, which benefited those who attended. The event also established open-door relationships, strengthening the level of trust between supplier and user.
At the seminar, the Zest WEG Group also highlighted the presence of its KZN branches to both manufacturers and end-users in the province, and emphasised not only its MV motor offering to the local industry but also its full product scope and those of WEG Brazil.
The seminar highlighted the latest strategies and design trends in MV motors, as well as trends in manufacturing, testing, installing, operating and maintaining MV motors.
The Zest WEG group is highly active in KZN, with a fully stocked branch that has been offering a full bouquet of products and support services for 22 years.
Milan says the group has a very good installed base of motors in the KZN market, but continually searches for new opportunities in markets where there is a need for high-quality products. He adds that developments in Africa will continually be a focus, as well as the local water, sugar and oil & gas industries in KZN.
“The MV motor seminar aimed to create better awareness of Zest’s MV motor offering to KZN. Zest understands the interface among the various products in an MV installation and is able to provide a single point of contact for a comprehensive MV solution,” he states.
Another objective of the event was for Zest WEG MV specialists to gain feedback and recommendations from the over 200 attendees to the three events and to incorporate the suggestions appropriately in future product ranges.
Milan says the group uses a large proportion of its resources to focus on research and development. It continuously explores new and improved technologies in order to improve the reliability of products as well as reduce maintenance and downtime for companies.
He believes that reducing the maintenance of products using new and improved technologies is one of the vital solutions to some of the challenges experienced in the motors industry.
Milan adds that the industry is faced with a skills shortage and to counteract the impact this has on potential customer’s willingness to invest, companies need to offer a total solution from the date on which an order is placed through to the commissioning and maintenance of the products.
Speakers at the seminar included WEG Research and Development Engineering Manager Carlos Grillo and WEG service manager Glauco Cisz, both of whom have extensive experience in working with large electric machines, generators and synchronous motors, as well as Zest WEG Group product and projects manager Edson Cristofolini, who is working on the development of products based on new requirements from the market for both LV and MV motors.
“In preparation for the seminar, three technical presentations were submitted to the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers for validation purposes. Zest was granted Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation for the seminar and delegates were able to claim one CPD point according to the Engineering Council of South Africa’s CPD policy,” Milan concludes.