Press Release



(Press Release, February 2011)

Experts answer questions of installers

Air motor operation at the highest energy efficiency


Q & A - Air Motors - Installation and Assembly made easy

Do you plan on using a high-torque stainless-steel motor in an agitator system to mix paint and coatings, or as a compact power pack for an innovative roller transport device? An air motor is in many ways the right choice when it comes to specifying a drive system for a manual device or a complex industrial system. Compact and light weight, an air motor represents only 1/3rd of the size and 1/5th of the mass of a standard electric motor with the same power output, offering outstanding power density. Due to numerous model variants, simple design, favorable performance to weight ratio, large speed range, or the inherent combustion safety feature, air motors can be employed in a wide application spectrum. Their rugged design and durable performance combined with ease of installation, service and assembly speak for themselves.

Air vane motors operate according to one basic principle. Compressed air, generated by a compressor, induces the motor to rotate. Here vane motors, turbines and tooth gear motors, differ in their design and application areas. The efficiency of the respective motor type depends critically upon the volume of air and the correct air pressure.

DEPRAG SCHULZ GMBH u. CO. KG based in Amberg, Bavaria, has for decades been a reliable consultation partner with respect to air motors and air tools. With new innovations and continuous optimization of existing product lines, the engineering company has developed into an industry leader. A high priority is placed upon competent consultation and advice from the full service provider. DEPRAG Product Manager Dagmar Dübbelde responded to the following frequently asked questions from technicians responsible for the installation of air motors and their energy efficient application. “With a little basic knowledge of the functionality of air motors, installation can be a simple task”, confirmed the expert.

Question: “I would like to install a reversible ADVANCED LINE air motor. It provides one air connection each for right hand and left hand rotation. There is also a connection for the exhaust of the air motor. How do I connect this air motor?”

Dagmar Dübbelde: “The air inlet connection which is named R (for right hand rotation) should be connected to the main air supply. It is important that both the air connection for the left-hand rotation (named L) and the exhaust port remain open open or are at maximum covered with a filter. This is the only way for the motor to start without problems and achieve it full power capability”.

Question: “I have installed a 900 W BASIC LINE motor. It does not achieved the desired power level. What can be the problem?”

Dagmar Dübbelde: “Please check the air supply connections. Air distributors, pneumatic valves, quick couplers and air hoses can often be specified with too small a cross section. The minimum required hose and port diameter for the 900 W air motor is 13 mm, this specification can be found in the product description catalogue. This minimum requirement will not be realized if the air supply is regulated or throttled anywhere in the system. This also applies to the air pressure. Only with a sustained pressure of 6 bar directly to the inlet port can the air motor deliver the specified power. A pressure drop of 1 bar causes a performance loss of 23%.”

Question: “Air Motors are controlled by air pressure or the regulation of the air supply. Which valve types apply in this case?”

Dagmar Dübbelde: “To control an air motor in one direction a simple 2/2-way valve is all that is needed. Reversible motors require either two 3/2-way valves or one 5/3-way valve in order to provide the necessary exhaust fort he unused incoming air.”

Question: “The air motor requires oil. What type of oil and how much should be applied by the oiler on the air maintenance unit? Can any motor oil be used?”

Dagmar Dübbelde: “With proper lubrication the maximum life and optimum performance of the air motor can be achieved. Only an acid and resin free oil is suitable. One to two drops of oil per cubic meter of compressed air is all that is required. The specific air motor air volume requirements can be found in the product catalogue or the air motor operating instructions.”

Question: “For applications in the food processing or chemical industries the air motor must be oil free for reasons of hygiene. Is that possible? What issues are important?”

Dagmar Dübbelde: “The stainless steel and sealed ADVANCED LINE motor series are specifically designed for applications in a clean room environment and also operate oil free. A resulting power penalty of approximately 15% should be taken into consideration for the design of the drive system.”

Question: “Air motors are very robust. The motor vanes must be replaced periodically on a preventative maintenance schedule. How much effort is required for this?”

Dagmar Dübbelde: “It can be done fast and easy. Our BASIC LINE vane motor for example, equipped with a rugged cast iron housing and a power range of 200 W, 400 W, 600 W, 900 W und 1.2 kW, allows the exchange of the motor vanes without the need to remove the air motor or to disassemble the housing. With its unique and patented “Vane exchange system”, direct replacement of the vanes is possible in minutes. After loosening the cap-screws and removal of a cover, the worker only requires a pair of tweezers in order to exchange the vanes. Highly trained personnel are not required.”

Question: “Air motors can be seamlessly adjusted by regulating the air volume. What is the best way to realize this?”

Dagmar Dübbelde: “Basically the air motor is very flexible. The speed of the air motor automatically adapts to the load changes on the drive shaft. This means that at low load (low torque) the speed of the motor will be close to the specified idle speed and with increased load (increased torque) the speed decreases. If you wish to reduce the speed of the motor without reducing the torque output, it is recommended to regulate the motor exhaust output. If you wish to regulate both the speed and the torque then, it is recommended to regulate the incoming air supply.”

Question: “Can I also regulate the air motor by manipulating the air-pressure? “

Dagmar Dübbelde: “The optimal performance of Deprag air motors is based upon 6 bars of air pressure. By adjusting the pressure in the range of 3 to 6.3 bars you can manipulate the speed, power, torque and air consumption of the motor without problems. In practice or from experience, the control of air and pressure is combined effectively. Respective performance data can be obtained from the manufacturer.”

Question: “Today energy savings are more important than ever before. How can I make my air motor operate at its peak energy efficiency?”

Dagmar Dübbelde: “You should consider the following rule: An air motor achieves its maximum power when it is operating as close as possible to its rated speed (50% of the rated idle speed). The energy balance is best in this area, the compressed air is used efficiently and the motor makes optimal use of the energy supplied. Theoretical power curves are available for all DEPRAG air motors. It is also very important to select the correct size air motor for the application in the planning stages. Our expert consultants will be very happy to support you in selecting the best motor for your application.”

DEPRAG SCHULZ GMBH & CO. KG in Bavaria, is an internationally leading supplier of air-motors. A broad selection of air motors are offered in the BASIC LINE, the ADVANCED LINE, the INDIVIDUAL LINE and the POWER LINE series in a customer friendly, service oriented and value for money environment. Turbine and gear motors are also designed and built to fit specific applications. Deprag operates worldwide in over 50 countries with 600 employees.

Press Contact:

Dagmar Dübbelde
Carl-Schulz-Platz 1
D-92224 Amberg
Tel: 09621 371-343
Fax: 09621 371-199

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