Design News talks to John Malinowski, Product Marketing Manager for AC & DC Motors at Baldor Electric Company (Fort Smith, AR), about industry trends and developments in today's motor market.
DN: What trends should design engineers be
concerned with today and why?
Malinowski: Design engineers should look beyond the product design and consider the ability of the supplier to deliver the product. As business gets better, many suppliers that cut back production or moved offshore during the downturn may not be able to respond quickly to customers needs. The engineer needs to partner-up with the right supplier or his new product may be doomed.
Q: What should engineers attending NDES this year
be looking for?
A: Engineers should look for solid suppliers that are responsive and willing to work with them during the product development cycle and that can supply what they need with short lead times when the design goes to production.
Q: What's new in any technology area of
motors (control, materials, etc) you'd like to
A: Baldor continues to offer the customer many choices of motor technology. For example, some customers are still very comfortable with dc motor and drive technology and if that is what they want, we're pleased to supply it. Other customers that want the fastest, most responsive motor technology specify linear servo motors and drives in their products. Baldor continues to develop the motor and drive products that our customers are demanding in all technologies.
Q: What is on the horizon in, say, the next five
A: End users are becomingly concerned about reducing plant downtime. As business gets better, energy costs will continue to increase. Manufacturers will need to differentiate themselves from competitors by selling life cycle costs as part of their product. A more expensive product may be a bargain if it costs less to operate and lasts longer.
Q: How are your customers' needs changing and how
are you meeting those needs?
A: Customers want motors that last longer in rugged applications and consume less energy while doing so. More customers in many different process industries are beginning to use severe duty motors built to comply with IEEE 841 standards (IEEE Standard for Petroleum and Chemical Industry - Severe Duty Totally Enclosed Fan-Cooled (TEFC) Squirrel Cage induction Motors - Up to and including 370 kW (500 hp), IEEE STD 841-2001). Baldor offers a complete line of these 841 motors and ratings of 1 to 250 HP in 2, 4 and 6 pole designs are available for immediate delivery from stock.
Also, Baldor just introduced a new Dirty Duty Washdown motor for the most severe and corrosive applications in the processing industry and others requiring intense high-pressure washdown. The new DirtyDutyWD(r) utilizes an all-new exterior surface coating that is bonded to the steel frame, cast iron endplates, conduit box, and base of the motor.
Customers want quick delivery on motors. Baldor offers over 7,000 catalog numbers of motors, drives and gearboxes available for same-day shipment. Our lead-time is 10 days for custom items.
Q: How does Baldor leverage its website for design
engineers and customers?
A: Baldor has two websites for customer use. Baldor's main website www.baldor.com has complete data and information about all Baldor products. Our www.BaldorProSPEC.com website that was introduced at NMW 2003 is geared specifically for specifying engineers and has more technical data and white papers. The ProSPEC site has an "Ask the Engineer" e-mail to allow the specifying engineer to ask a technical question and get an answer within one business day. This has been a very popular feature.
Q: What do you see as the value of trade shows,
such as National
A: Trade shows are becoming very segmented and specialized. Perhaps there are too many shows that are too similar. Some of these shows need to evaluate what they offer and consider switching from being held every year to every two or three years. When an engineer wants to research a new component or material, he can't wait for a trade show, he looks on the web and then gets his local representative to come and visit. People can no longer wait for trade shows to see all the new products.