Technology evolution: from relays and wires everywhere to smart motor starters

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

I remember when I started to learn about motor control, and my first class was really boring, today this statement could be a little confusing since I am now a product manager for motor control and protection components in Chile.  But those days as a kid learning about a white contactor with a simple coil that switches on or off a complex (and messy) wiring control system, with a lot of different tags and names just to start an electric motor… were really awful.

Today as I’ve said, I’m proud of being in charge of such an important product family and to have the privilege of being responsible for all the devices that have changed the way we control our industries, our machines, and almost everything that uses an electric motor inside.

CCS_Energy_2_CORFrom small HVAC equipment to giant mining machinery, electric motors are part of our everyday life, and the devices that make it possible to start all this movement are amazing, from a simple contactor for switching, to intelligent direct on line starters with different communication protocols, integrated logic programming and other kind of features that I didn’t know until I discovered the motor control offer.

When I accepted the product manager postion for this offer I told my new boss, “I’m an automation engineer and I like to manage intelligent devices” and his answer was: “well, we need you to manage these new products in Chile, and that’s part of automation” and almost automatically I left behind the closed view of contactors and expanded my mind to new ways to do the same with intelligent D.O.L. (direct on line) starters and motor management relays, an evolved way to do the same as I (bored) did a lot of years before in school.

I always expect to see evolutions in big PLC systems, as an example, with social behavior, a mind controlled HMI, or anything with complex electronics, instead I’ve discovered that technological evolution doesn’t depend only on our biggest dreams, it also depends on the need for simple and smart grid solutions for everyday problems, as to know how many times a motor was started or why it failed.

I’ve see that technology evolution can occur as in human beings, anywhere, with any device, or for any process, the trigger is just the need to be smart, and simplify our life as human beings.

What kind of technological evolution would you like to see soon?


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  • If you personify a motor (or any other device for that matter) and consider that that device might have a mind of its own then this might open the doors to future functionality. For example, if the motor failed because it felt like it at the time, then perhaps one could influence that decision, or perhaps the motor could advise someone that it was considering failure and how and why. And perhaps the motor could watch how it was being used and complain (without failing). Maybe it could tell its manufacturer about things that would make it stronger / happier. Maybe it could collaborate with other motors, not just for continuous flow control, but to warn each other of a system issue. Maybe the motor could tell the control system how it could operate better (rather than the other way around). Maybe this could be accomplished today with KEEL Technology.

  • Martin Gallardo

    11 years ago

    It could be great to listen to a motor complaining about its temperature…

    As I’ve said before, I’ve surprised about the little changes that affects big things in our life, with stunning intelligent motor starters, or completely configuration-free motor protection relays with FDR (faulty device replacement) technology.

    In the same way I proposed a “social PLC”, I think that the best way to make grow and evolve our technology is just dream about it without prejudices, but also try to make real all those dreams and never giving up in our try.

  • blessus kataya

    9 years ago

    l nd to know more abt the s
    mart starters and if we cn use them on slip ring motors

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