Motion Control & Drives


High efficiency electric motors for mining

April 2023 Motion Control & Drives

BMG’s highly experienced team of electric motor designers and engineers has worked closely with global electric motor specialists to develop high efficiency electric motors that set the benchmark locally for arduous duty, high efficiency motors. The flagship Synergy range of asynchronous cast iron motors complies with the efficiency requirements as stipulated in SANS 60034-30:2009 and has SABS certification, which translates into production efficiency advantages for the local market.

Standard Synergy 3-phase asynchronous cast-iron motors encompass the latest technology in electric motor design and are used in many industries, including mining and metallurgy, pumps and water treatment, petroleum, chemical, cement, sugar and paper milling. BMG supplies a full range of Synergy IE3 motors ex stock and can also supply IE4 and IE5 units from the factory to meet exact requirements on each mine.

“Almost two thirds of the power consumed by the mining sector is associated with electric motors, particularly those used for pumps, fans and conveyors. The majority of motors on the mines are not optimised for maximum efficiency,” says business unit manager, Graeme Neilson. “Apart from energy saving – a critical issue facing southern Africa – Synergy motors have important advantages over other electric motors. These benefits include longer service life, suitability for voltage variation applications, reduced temperature rise and minimal maintenance requirements. Synergy motors also have reduced noise and vibration levels, higher reliability, greater flexibility and lower cost of operation.”

Synergy IE3 motors incorporate high level specifications and features, including an IP66 rating for protection against the ingress of dust and water and an oversized terminal box with a removable gland plate for easy replacement of the cables. Class H insulation, with a Class B (80°C) temperature rise, means the insulation can safely withstand heat that is higher than the motor’s operating temperature at full load. Motors from frame size 80 to 132 have sealed bearings and all motors 160 frame and above have re-greaseable bearings. The standard lubrication nipples are manufactured from brass or stainless steel material and are suitable for all environments. These motors have a rated voltage of 400 V and 525 V and rated frequency of 50 Hz. The efficiency and power factor values of this range ensure cost efficiency, with a return on investment of between three and five years. An important performance feature is that Synergy motors are most efficient when running between 75% and 100% of full load.

An electronic soft starter − which controls parameters like current and voltage − ensures the starting sequence is efficiently controlled. Standard motors operate at fixed speed, regardless of the actual output required, while Synergy motors can operate efficiently, without cogging at low speed, in conjunction with a variable speed drive (VSD), reducing energy consumption by over 50%. VSDs are designed to manipulate power from a constant 3-phase 50/60 Hz supply, converting it to variable frequency. This enables the speed of the motor to be controlled to achieve maximum efficiency at the required load.

The Synergy IE3 motor has undergone surface treatment to ensure extended service life in harsh mining conditions. For maximum flexibility during installation, both integrated and removable feet are available. Solid motor feet provide a more resistant structure against vibration, while removable feet can be placed on different positions of the motor frame. The latest design allows the terminal box to be mounted top, right or left and the cable entry can be rotated 360°, without disassembling the complete motor. This minimises modification time and reduces stocks. An SPM bearing monitoring device is an option that can be installed for continuous monitoring of the bearing condition.

Synergy has also developed aluminium housing motors with cast iron end shields for frame sizes up to 180. Advantages of this design include a robust structure and reduced noise.

BMG’s electromechanical division is uniquely positioned to meet the exact gear drive and motor requirements of contractors, designers and the end-users in diverse industries. A team of technicians with extensive experience offers a technical advisory and support service and a substantial stockholding is held at BMG World for quick and efficient delivery throughout the entire southern African region.


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