Picking an electric drive for robotic applications is a delicate matter—and a real headache. Sometimes it’s easier to order a custom motor for your robot instead of buying a standard one.
Of course, you can always obtain a conventional drive model from a well-known manufacturer and ask for modifications. However, here comes the downside: such changes are typically expensive, and you’ll probably have to wait longer for them to be made. For a hardware startup building a prototype, long delays can be a dealbreaker.
Meanwhile, a custom electric motor can save you lots of your time, money, and nerves. What is more, a made-to-order engine is a better fit for an advanced product with peculiar dimensions and specifications. Such a solution may have extra protection to endure specific environmental hazards.
However, when you have no clear picture of what you should get, ordering a custom motor may seem too complicated. To ease your worries, we at Rozum Robotics have come up with a list of recommendations to consider before filling out a custom motor request.
If you want to get a custom electric motor, you’ll have to review some technical specifications for your product first.
Here's what we suggest paying attention to and put down in a checklist for a tailored drive (you may not know all of them, but that’s no problem—even identifying some of them can be of huge help):
Check out your power supply parameters first. Are we talking about single-phase electric power, three-phase one, or DC?
Do you know the intended nominal supply voltage of your system? If yes, inform the manufacturer about it.
Before ordering a custom engine, you have to think about how it’s going to fit. Take all the necessary measurements, such as height, width, depth, and weight. If known, add to these parameters the diameter and length of the output shaft end.
There are at least three things to consider: the material of your application housing, the insulation class of your stator windings, and the Ingress Protection Rating of the electric motor you want to have. The rating is used to define the protection level against water and dust.
One of the most important steps is to identify required motor ratings. To do so, answer the questions below:
The environmental impact determines the life cycle of a drive, so it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the conditions your drive will operate under. Have you established the operating temperature range? What about humidity? Is the environment corrosive or explosive? All these things matter when developing a reliable custom motor.
When it comes to the control system, you need to take a closer look at your controller. Is it an in-house solution or a purchased product from a third-party provider? If yes, who is the manufacturer? What is the model of this controller? Do you need feedback control?
Another important thing is to define the commutation type of the motor. Is it trapezoidal or sinusoidal?
Do you require inbuilt sensors to detect temperature changes so that the motor can shut off power and prevent overheating from happening?
The needs of hardware startups vary. Your custom motor may need some additional features not mentioned in this article. If you’re pressed for time or on a shoestring budget, you may also want to include these facts in the list of demands.
It’s always challenging to find a credible custom motor manufacturer able to deliver engines on cue.
To avoid pitfalls, we recommend having a detailed conversation with a potential partner and focusing attention on the following points:
Don’t hesitate to verify all the possible information about prospective suppliers—the precaution will save you from unnecessary trouble down the road.
If you’re a startupper trying to take the world by storm, you know how important it is to get a personalized engine for a prototype. In this case, ordering a custom motor can provide you with many benefits since you’re getting a solution adapted for your application. Although it requires some preliminary fieldwork, such a step can help you get ahead of competitors and build something awesome along the way.