Electric motors come in all shapes and sizes – from induction and brushed DC motors to innovative interior permanent magnet motors, with a range of products in between.

Ashwoods Electric Motors is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of IPM motors. With market-leading engineering and production capabilities, Ashwoods supplies clients with motors for use in a wide variety of applications. In fact, we’ve written about electric motor applications in more detail previously – you can read that article here.

But first, we should assess exactly why electric motors are the smart choice for businesses.

Ashwoods’ unique Interior Permanent Magnet AC technology means that the motors we produce are a third of the size and weight of typical induction and brushed DC motors, whilst also providing every one of the benefits that traditional permanent magnet motors offer. These IPM motors incorporate magnets directly into prefabricated slots on the rotor.

So, what are the types of electric motor you can get from Ashwoods?

IPM 120 series

Ashwoods’ IPM 120 series are the smallest IPM motors produced at Innovation Valley, and the smallest for its performance class currently on the market.

The IPM 120 series are often fitted in hydraulic systems, traction systems, and a variety of IEC/NEMA applications.

IPM 200 series

Ashwoods’ IPM 200 series is the next size up in the IPM range and are almost 33% smaller than other IPM motors on the market and boast efficiency of up to 94%. Designed to be scalable and adaptable, with improved high-speed performance thanks to field weakening, Ashwoods motors offer an unbeatable overall package.

The IPM 200 series’ pump interfaces have been developed to enable our motors to work seamlessly with a range of pump manufacturers. Thanks to our partnerships with many transmission manufacturers, Ashwoods motors are easily integrated with OEMs.

On-engine generators

Ashwoods can provide innovative, market-leading on-engine generator technology to clients of all shapes and sizes, in all locations around the globe.

Our on-engine generator solutions offer great improvements in efficiency, vehicle installation, and ease of packaging – above and beyond any alternatives on the market.

Through extensive work with OEMs, Ashwoods has developed bespoke on-engine generator solutions. We can work with you to develop bespoke solutions from proof of concept through to production units. Our experienced team can provide on-engine generators that directly couple to the engine crankshaft (offering a permanently-coupled electric motor solution) or integrated clutch systems (allowing for decoupling of the motor to operate in an electric-only mode).

If you want to learn more about Ashwoods motors, including axial flux motors, visit the products page of our website now.

Electric motors are becoming more and more prevalent in industrial applications. As their engineering has become increasingly precise, their efficiency has skyrocketed and the proof of their efficacy is becoming greater with every new motor in use.

But what are these applications? And in which areas are electric motors – and IPMs, specifically – most frequently used?

Automotive

Elon Musk might not be sweating yet, but Ashwoods IPM motors have been making waves in the automotive industry. Predominantly found in two-wheel and three-wheel applications, Ashwoods products deliver huge benefits for automotive manufacturers – including increasing vehicle range and reducing battery pack size.

Some of the most common Ashwoods products used in automotive include on-engine generators, pump motors, and motors with gearboxes.

Materials handling

Making Class II and III lift trucks more efficient, longer-lasting, and cheaper to own has put Ashwoods at the forefront of the materials handling market. Having provided motor solutions to some of the largest OEMs across the globe, Ashwoods are market-leaders in supporting the materials handling sector.

As with automotive, three of the most frequently used products in materials handling applications are on-engine generators, pump motors, and motors with gearboxes.

Golf, utility and lawn care vehicles

The off-highway markets are perhaps where the greatest number of Ashwoods motors can be found. Offering traction, auxiliary power and generator solutions for a wide range of vehicles across many off-highway applications, electric motors increase performance and reduce costs for OEMs.

Ashwoods motors with axles or gearboxes, as well as on-engine generators, can be found in off-highway applications across the globe.

Aerial work platform

IPM motors can be utilized across various machine architectures providing traction motors, pump motors and generator systems. With a global OEM customer-base and significant experience, Ashwoods is able to meet a dedicated range of applications, as well as delivering on bespoke orders.

On-engine generators, pump motors, and motors with gearboxes are all Ashwoods products that can increase efficiency and decrease running costs.

Two-wheel

The modular and scalable Ashwoods motors offer compact and highly efficient solutions for use in various bike and scooter applications. An Ashwoods motor will offer best-in-class performance across L1 and L3 category 2-wheeled vehicles.

Two-wheel applications are the perfect fit for our innovative and pioneering 200 series and 120 series motors.

Ground support equipment

Offering traction and generator solutions for the GSE markets has changed the game for OEMs, increasing efficiency and helping customers meet packaging requirements by integrating a variety of Ashwoods products. Ashwoods partners with leading drivetrain and power electronic suppliers to provide optimised solutions.

Axle- and gearbox-fitted motors are the perfect product for GSE applications, as well as on-engine generators

Marine

Marine applications require light, highly efficient, and advanced motor technology. Guess who’s got that covered? Ashwoods motors are the perfect fit for marine applications – both inboard and outboard – due to their optimal weight and efficiency compared to traditional AC motors.

Everything from pump and gearbox motors to on-engine generators can be found improving performance in the marine sector.

Automated guided vehicles

Compact and efficient motors can be utilised to provide OEMs with increased vehicle runtime and system cost reductions. IPM motors can be fitted in various machine type applications, providing traction and pump motors. The results are transformative, reducing packaging constraints, cost of ownership and battery pack size, whilst simultaneously increasing vehicle range and performance.

Ashwoods pump and gearbox motors are used across the AGV sector, placing the company at the forefront of this revolution.

Construction equipment

Offering traction, pump and generator solutions, lighter, more efficient electric motors can provide significant improvements in performance for dumpers, excavators, telehandlers and more. On top of this, industry-leaders such as Ashwoods work in collaboration with leading power electronics and drivetrain suppliers to increase run-time, machine efficiency and eliminate packaging limitations. Electric motors, coupled with products and expertise from other market-pioneers, can provide a holistic solution to construction equipment OEMs.

Ashwoods’ AW series motor with gearbox, pump motor, and on-engine generator solutions all prevalent construction equipment solutions.

For more information on the many applications of electric motors, visit our applications page.

Josh Roles, Engineering Technician Team Leader at Ashwoods Electric Motors, joined the ranks of the Advanced Engineering Team at Innovation Valley from McLaren. Having been with the business for over half a year and already got hands on with visits to the Netherlands and Spain, it is fair to say Josh displays all of the core values we hold so dear at Ashwoods.

Josh started his journey at 17 in the Royal Navy. A helicopter engineer for six years, Josh continues to operate in a very ‘hands on’ role today as he runs the workshop at Innovation Valley, ensuring all projects are delivered on time and resources are appropriately allocated.

At McLaren, Josh was initially an engine builder for McLaren GT before moving into Formula 1, where he worked for three years.

“I don’t think you can imagine the fast-paced nature of the working environment and the pressure until you’ve experienced it yourself – and that is from someone who’s been in the military!”

As a mechanic in Fernando Alonso’s garage, Josh worked directly with motor racing royalty in the highest-octane environment, travelling all over the world thanks to the expansive global nature of the racing calendar.

Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and to be part of the team was fantastic with the camaraderie involved, through the good times and the bad. Those are memories I will have forever”.

Sitting at our award-winning office space in the Devonian countryside, in some ways Ashwoods couldn’t be further from motor racing. In other respects, it is not a million miles away.

“The innovation and knowledge base at Ashwoods is incredible. Everyone trusts each other and there is great scope for anyone in the business to drive ideas forward and make a real difference.”

Now actually able to enjoy weekends and Bank Holidays, Josh is finally enjoying catching up on some friends and family time – as he points out, it’s been non-stop travelling since he was 17!

Living in Exeter, in his spare time Josh is a keen road cyclist as well as enjoying any and all forms of sport.

Another ex-Formula 1 employee in the team at Innovation Valley… The pipedream of an Ashwoods-powered racing car edges ever closer.

 

Over the course of a glorious May Bank Holiday, members of the Ashwoods Electric Motors team (as well as some members of fellow Innovation Valley outfit, Lightfoot) took to the water as a boat trip was very kindly organised by the Senior Management team.

The brainchild of Managing Director, Lloyd Ash, and Engineering Sales Manager, Louis Coker, the excursion involved charting a vessel out of Port Hamble Marina for the team’s private use throughout the day.

After a fairly early start for most to get the coach from Innovation Valley to Hampshire, the team met up on the River Hamble at 09:30 and did not return to terra firma until 17:00. This being the Sunday, and therefore ‘middle day’ of the first May Bank Holiday, some of the party had partaken in festivities the previous day to the fullest extent. Therefore, the bacon sandwiches, pastries, hot drinks and orange juice available on arrival were a particularly welcome surprise!

With both a complimentary Pimms on the top deck and a safety briefing quickly dispatched, we were soon underway and enjoyed the views of the adjacent marinas, ports and countryside before reaching a designated jet ski area.

All members of the party were afforded the chance to use the jet skis which was one of the highlights of the day for many. Following this, lunch was served before a stop off to a public house near Beaulieu to rest the weary sea legs for an hour!

Back onboard after the pitstop, the boat meandered its way back towards Port Hamble, with dessert and more drinks on offer.

The weather held out on the Solent and it remained dry throughout, but there were enough rays of sunshine to punish those members of the party with fair skin and who were not as well versed in the ritual of sun protection as others. Overall, it was a hugely enjoyable day and thanks go to Lloyd and Louis for making this possible.

 

We are now officially in the season of Spring, so now seems an opportune time to review which blogposts and articles on our website were the most popular over the winter period. Ranked by number of views gained, here are the articles that made the prestigious top 5 for Winter:

 

  1. Noah – the world’s most circular car

Ashwoods are proudly the power behind a very special and sustainable car – Noah. A real success story for the business! If you missed out on learning about this fascinating project from our friends at the Eindhoven University of Technology the first time around, read more here!

 

  1. My Ashwoods Life: Iain Gillam

We sat down with our Project Manager, Iain Gillam, to talk about his Ashwoods experience so far as well as his hobbies and previous employment. We weren’t disappointed! A graduate of Imperial College London with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Iain worked on a championship-winning Formula One car with Mercedes, as well as competing in high level triathlons!

 

  1. Continued growth at Ashwoods Electric Motors

This is a piece we are particularly proud of. With all the fast-paced developments and growth of the business, it can be hard to appreciate just how far we’ve come in a short space of time. In this blogpost, we attempt to take a step back and truly reflect on just how impressive the rapid – and sustained – growth of Ashwoods Electric Motors has been over the past twelve or so months.

 

  1. Ashwoods Electric Motors’ global sales team

Our sales team get everywhere. Over the past few months, we have established presence, as well as ‘boots on the ground’, across the globe. In this piece, we profile each of our sales and support team, what they do and where they do it. From Europe to North America and Asia and with in-house linguistic skills, if there’s a country that doesn’t yet have an Ashwoods motor, they will do soon enough! If this article is of interest to you, why not also read this piece about a snapshot of the sales team’s customer visits?

 

  1. Ashwoods Electric Motors unveils the 200-100 IPM motor

Our first motor reveal of 2019 proved to be a popular one! The fourth generation of the IPM 200 series, the 200-100 is the largest motor in this series. With a distinctive ‘fin’ design and best-in-class technical capability, the newest motor out of Innovation Valley has a peak efficiency of 96% and a maximum speed of 7000RPM. The 200-100 can run continuously at 18kW and with a peak power of 42kW, will be focused on applications such as lift trucks, ground support equipment, excavators, aerial work platforms, lawncare products, two and three wheelers and golf cars.

Colyton Grammar School’s VEX robotics team, sponsored by Ashwoods Electric Motors, have made it to the national finals for the second consecutive year. The AimBot 622D Team again linked up with Innovation Valley-based Ashwoods Electric Motors to build on the successes of 2018.

The VEX Robotics Competition enables students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects to enhance their skills and develops future engineers. The students are tasked with designing, building and operating a robot to compete in various challenges; testing teamwork, leadership and communication skills as well as the intricate engineering element.

After winning the Devon regional tournament without taking a single loss (as well as bagging the design award to boot), the team secured their place in the national final. Prior to the national championships, the team made some modifications to their robot to enable the placing of caps on tall posts. Unfortunately, this change rendered the robot less reliable than previously, so the team reverted to the original design and system for the first day of the competition. After day one, the students made one more minor alteration and added a middle set of wheels – thus allowing the robot to more easily climb onto platforms and, subsequently, bank points. They also worked iteratively to improve their autonomous code.

The team reaped the reward of these tweaks and had a very successful second day of the championship with a number of victories, before eventually bowing out at the quarter final stage in a hard fought 19-15 loss. From everyone at Ashwoods Electric Motors, we pass on our congratulations for progressing so far for the second year running. We now look forward to welcoming the students to Innovation Valley this Spring – the engineers of tomorrow meeting our engineers of today!

Ashwoods Electric Motors are pleased to announce that it is an IPM 200-33 that is the driving force behind Noah – the world’s most circular and sustainable car. Noah, built by a team of students at the Eindhoven University of Technology, features an Ashwoods motor and fully optimised drivetrain to provide ultimate performance and maximise efficiency.

Noah is an electric city car with two comfortable seats and spacious boot, possessing a top speed of 110 kilometres per hour and a total range of 240 kilometres. Built from bioplastic made from sugar and flax fibre, the chassis and interior are made of particularly strong sandwich panels. The body is made of flax mats that are injected with a bio-based resin. These biological and particularly light materials use up to six times less energy than usual lightweight car materials when produced. At the end of its life, Noah can be recycled with the bio-composite being ground and used as a raw material and the non-organic parts being included in the existing recycling chain.

In other words, Noah is completely sustainable and part of the world’s circular economy. According to a survey by the TU Eindhoven team, there is no other car on the road that has just as low an environmental impact over its entire life cycle, not even a prototype.

Noah is a wonderful piece of innovative, cleantech engineering, and we at Ashwoods Electric Motors are very proud that it is an interior permanent magnet motor produced at our high-volume manufacturing facility in the UK that is power behind it.

What seems like an age ago (or quite literally last year) the staff at Ashwoods Electric Motors were treated to a fantastic afternoon and evening of entertainment. On Friday 21st December, Exeter Fun Casinos came to Innovation Valley and very quickly turned the Ashwoods and Lightfoot offices into a casino.

They took great care of us by setting up blackjack, roulette, and wheel of fortune tables across both stories of Innovation Valley, while M Welsh Catering Services set up an outside bar and fantastic hot food offerings – Christmas themed of course.

Alongside sister company Lightfoot, each member of staff started the evening with a set amount of company-branded ‘money’ and its fair to say some fared better than others over the evening. Unconfirmed reports of high interest loans and a black market photocopying operation surfaced, with some experiencing the boom and bust of professional imaginary more intensely than others.

Buses were put on to shuttle people home safely, or into Exeter city centre to continue the festivities and celebrations on what is sometimes known as ‘Builder’s Friday’ in the UK, being the last Friday before Christmas.

On behalf of all staff, may I take this opportunity to say thank you to our Directors for making this fun evening possible. We are now refreshed and ready to hit the ground running in 2019!

As we start to wind down for the Christmas break at Innovation Valley it feels like the perfect time to review the most popular blog posts of this year. In what has been a seismic year for Ashwoods Electric Motors with our move to Innovation Valley (more on that later…) we have also seen our head count more than double and demand for our motors and engineering services continue to grow. As we head into the seasonal festivities, here are the most popular blog posts of 2018!

  1. New starter – Elliott Johnston

Starting our top 10 is a blogpost from way back in January, welcoming Elliott Johnston to the team. Elliott joined as a Design Engineer and is now a crucial part of the Engineering team at Ashwoods with a specific focus on the 120 series Interior Permanent Magnet motor.

  1. Ashwoods welcomes Daniele Vescovini to the team!

In the spring of this year we were very pleased to announce that Daniele Vescovini joined the Ashwoods Electric Motors team as European Sales Director. Covering Europe for the business from his base in Italy, Daniele has a wealth of experience in the industry, after spending over 15 years at C.F.R Srl covering markets all over the world.

  1. Ashwoods Electric Motors’ on-engine generator technology

The first technical article of the countdown, in September we published a post all about our on-generator technology and the upcoming Stage V regulations. If you happened to miss out on reading first time around then fear not as you can catch up here.

  1. Introducing Ashwoods Electric Motors’ stator production machine!

Way back in the summer, in the midst of the heatwave that gripped the UK, we introduced our stator production machine to the world. Our state-of-the-art stator production machine can wind up to six teeth simultaneously at 300rpm while the positioning of the wire can be controlled to 0.01mm and the automated ABB robot is accurate to 0.0mm – around the third the width of the average human hair.

  1. Working for Ashwoods Electric Motors

Coming in at #6 is the blog post all about us and why we’re a great place to work. Our Innovation Valley base has quirky offices and a cutting-edge production floor with brand new machinery. We’re putting manufacturing and engineering in Devon, and the wider south west, on the map and you can read more on why we’re a great place to be here.

  1. Innovation Valley is nearing completion

Over the spring, news and developments about our new facility were hot topics, so it is no surprise that one of these updates ranks at #5. Being published in early April the interest in the ‘big move’ was heating up, with this particular update bringing exciting news of the metric airline system, the roller Perspex shutter doors and the mezzanine installation within stores.

  1. Ashwoods welcomes Paul Sanders, Engineering Director, to the team!

Just missing out on a podium finish, but ranking very highly at #4 was the announcement that Paul Sanders joined the Ashwoods Electric Motors team as Engineering Director. Making the transition to Innovation Valley from McLaren where he was Technical Engineering Manager in Spain developing the P1 Hypercar, Paul previously worked extensively in Formula One racing and also at Bosch.

  1. Innovation Valley: We’re in our new offices!

Taking the bronze medal of most popular blog posts of 2018 is, somewhat unsurprisingly, another update about the ‘big move’. This article outlined our unique and award-winning office space, shared with sister company Lightfoot. If somehow you missed this on original publication in June, catch up here.

  1. Ashwoods IPM 120 motor is launched

Marginally missing out on top spot but proving one of the most popular blog posts of 2018 was our launch of the 120 series IPM motor. Complete with functional data, a concise history of the technology, performance curves and suggested applications, this post says all you need to know about the smaller, lighter and more efficient motor.

  1. A brief overview of IPM technology

Coming out as #1 is our article about the history of IPM technology from February. An informative and engaging article, looking back as far as the 1820s to the present day, it is not hard to see why this post proved so popular. Perhaps it will return in a different guise in 2019 – wait and see!

 

Ashwoods Electric Motors, the manufacturers of innovative electric motors are very pleased to announce their sponsorship of the 1st Chudleigh Scouts Group, and the completion of their first sponsored event!

1st Chudleigh Scouts run activities for children of all ages via their Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts network and are a long-standing part of the Chudleigh community. Scouts learn valuable skills through exciting activities such as: kayaking, climbing, outdoor skills, and many more.

The first event of this nature took place this December, with a sponsored abseiling session taking place at Haven Banks Outdoor Education Centre. The Scouts were treated to two hours of abseiling from varying heights up to 20 metres into the wintery sky above the Exeter Quayside. Those not quite ready to brave the wall watched on accompanied by hot drinks and mince pies as refreshments.

The evening of fun was made partially possible by the donation from Ashwoods Electric Motors, based in Chudleigh at Innovation Valley, along with some other generous sponsors and fantastic fundraisers. Manufacturing and Operations Director Chris Bew had this to say about the sponsorship:

“As a resident of Chudleigh, I know the incredible work the Scouts group does for local children and I am also aware of the problems with sourcing funding. To be able to ease that in the long term, not just on a one-off basis, is fantastic – especially as the business itself is now a part of the community.”

Chudleigh Scouts are currently looking for volunteers to support the group’s activities and further enhance their provision. Volunteering for Scouting is easier than you think, whether you can spare an hour a month or a day a year, and there are lots of opportunities both behind the scenes and working with young people. To find out more the group can be contacted via: secretary@1stchudleighscouts.org.uk