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Pancake motors will compete with standard designs

01 February, 2010

A British motor-maker that specialises in pancake motors has developed a new generation of motors that, it says, will compete on price with conventional DC and universal motors. Through a combination of “intelligent” design and efficient manufacturing techniques, Hampshire-based Printed Motor Works (PMW) says it has cut the cost of its low-profile motors substantially.

Pancake motors – also known as servodisc DC motors – are characterised by their rapid response capabilities, long brush lives and low electromagnetic emission levels. They are also claimed to be the only type of motor with no torque ripple.

But they have typically been produced is limited volumes using processes involving a lot of manual labour, resulting in relatively high prices. PMW says that its new manufacturing techniques have allowed it to cut production costs as well as producing motors that are easier to install, quieter, more efficient and even thinner than their predecessors.

The new motors, which will enter production in the second quarter of this year, span ratings from 40W–1.6kW. A 70W version (shown above) is just 19mm thick, while a 1.6kW model is 41mm thick.

The previous pricing of pancake motors has limited their use mainly to specialised applications. PMW believes that the new lower pricing will open up a market for general industrial applications such as fan and pump drives.

As well as its standard motors, PMW also produces custom versions for specific applications.

The new motors will be produced at PMW’s Alton, Hampshire site. The company, which has been manufacturing pancake motors since the 1960s, recently changed hands.

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