The journey of an Ashwoods electric motor

Have you ever considered the journey of an Ashwoods’ electric motor? Our innovative electric motors are renowned in the industry for being smaller, lighter and more efficient than our competitors’, and with our move to a brand-new manufacturing facility, they are now produced with automated equipment.

Ashwoods Electric Motors are constantly developing motors – new and existing alike – and therefore are able to develop designs from concept to simulation through to prototype and production swiftly.

The first step of the journey sits with our sales team. Our sales team will meet with the customer and discuss their application and motor needs. It may be that this is not a standard motor that we manufacture, and in this case our reactive team will get to work on producing a custom and high-performance motor for the customer.

The first stage of this advanced engineering process is motor sizing, with specific regard to the customer’s requirements. Ashwoods have a range of motors to suit various applications. Our motors are optimised to be cost-effective and provide the best package regarding performance, durability and efficiency. Therefore, when we size a motor for a new project we often utilise the experience of our application engineering team to size the system with the customer. We offer a range of IP ratings to suit harsh environments and cooling options – whether it is none, self-cooling or liquid cooling, stator winding, rotor magnetics or stack lengths. All of these variables are optimised for the projects that require it, to a finite detail.

Our vastly experienced Electromagnetic Design team will then perform detailed electromagnetic designs on the motor – including the geometric design of the motor. This is the heartbeat of the motor and the electromagnetic system, consisting of a set of magnets and windings – usually made of copper and ferromagnetic laminated cores. The design process is conducted via Ashwoods’ in-house developed software as well as commercial software.

Experimental and competitional analysis is also performed on the motor to maximise efficiency using ratios such as kW per cubic metre and high torque per kilo.

Following on from this intensive electromagnetic design and simulation, it is time for our Advanced Engineering Team to get to work on the motor drawings. At this stage of the project, the Mechanical Design Engineers use CAD systems such as Solidworks to create advanced and detailed drawings of the desired motor. In this prototyping phase, Ashwoods utilises our in-house prototyping capability which sits alongside the high-volume motor production facility. Ashwoods Design Engineers draw on a specifically chosen group of development suppliers, chosen due to their ability to turnaround new components with fast lead times while maintaining a high level of quality, which enables Ashwoods to have the ability to take projects from concept to completion more rapidly than competitors with an unrivalled level of innovation and expertise.

After receiving the drawings from our Advanced Engineering Team, the Production and Manufacturing Team get to work. For our standard motors, our production team manufacture in high volumes thanks to our recent move to a brand-new facility. This facility includes a state of the art advanced robotic automated line, meaning Ashwoods motors can be manufactured in large quantities. For our bespoke motors, pre-production prototypes are made. These prototypes follow the same journey as our standard motors, and after testing will be built to the customer’s requirement.

The next step in the life of an Ashwoods Electric Motor is a trip to our “Dyno room” to be tested on our dynamometers. The Ashwoods testing facility has capabilities from 24V – 700V up to 10,000RPM and 500Nm (or more if required). The programmable control and data acquisition systems can run standard and custom duty cycles for long periods of time, as much as 24 hours a day if required. This can include on-engine applications with the ability to replicate on-engine conditions for the motor, using a temperature-controlled coolant system where it is possible to heat and regulate coolant temperature dynamically. This detailed, precise and varied testing allows the advanced engineering teams to evaluate every aspect of the motor design from its magnetic performance to its structure and thermal characteristics.

Following this, the motor will be tested with the customer. We take into account the drive cycle, environment, duty, vibration input, NVH, EMC emission and immunity and other application specific parameters to run simulation and cell testing when required to produce accurate reports detailing the losses, cooling requirement, motor, controller and battery sizing and more! Once the motor has passed these rigorous tests, it can be built in high volume by our dedicated and experienced production team, at our brand-new state of the art manufacturing facility – Innovation Valley.

Finally, after the last quality check by our experienced team of Quality Technicians in one of our dedicated Quality Inspection Rooms, the latest in a long line of innovative electric motors is ready to go out of the door and revolutionise that particular customer’s product!

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