New MEPS regulations? Let your motor supplier take the strain
January 1, 2017 is an important date for all users of electric motors rated from 0.75 kW to 375 kW.
That date sees the final stage for the European Minimum Energy Performance Standard (EU MEPS) from which motors with these ratings must conform to IE3 or IE2, if fitted with a variable-speed drive (VSD).
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and machine builders who use electric motors are asking themselves some searching questions. Will I need to redesign my products? Can I get my normal range of motors in IE3? Which of my products will need to use a VSD? How will all this affect my supply chain?
To get the right answers to these questions, you need the right motor supplier. Choose one carefully; one that can offer a complete range of IE3 motors, so you can get everything under one roof.
Another way to save time and costs is to choose a company that makes both motors and VSDs, as this provides the best way to ensure that the combination is perfectly matched. While this is important for variable torque applications, such as pumps and fans, it is even more critical for constant torque installations such as conveyors. Installing a VSD and IE2 motor may not be the best choice for conveyors, where variable motor speed is not needed. In this case, going straight to an IE3 motor could be the most cost effective option.
And what about other design aspects? Ideally, you don’t want to have to change your machine’s dimensions or connection points to use IE3 motors.
The best suppliers will have thought of this and, for example, will offer IE3 motors with the same shaft height as the IE2 version. They will have taken the implications on board and will alter their products and services to suit you.
The trick is to meet with your suppliers and decide how the regulations will affect you and how you will work with them to get the best for your organization. That best may well mean new, innovative motor technologies that push the boundaries of efficiency even further.
Motor suppliers should be more than vendors of commodity products – they want to build a long-term relationship with you and advise you on MEPS – investing in the future of motor technology are good ways to build that relationship.
Because make no mistake – the changes to motor efficiency rules don’t necessarily end on New Year’s Day 2017.
There are new proposals in the pipeline that could expand the scope of the current regulations. These could include introducing IE3 requirement for large motors both in low voltage and medium voltage from 375 to 1000 kW, as well as smaller single and three-phase motors, removing the current option of using an IE2 motor with a VSD and expanding the types of motors included, such as explosion proof and brake motors.
The message is that good motor suppliers will make it easier for you – build a relationship with one now and they will do all they can to take the strain of making your motor driven products and systems more efficient.