External Heating or Internal Heating?

dew-by- Claudio MatsuokaIf your servo motor is in a warm, humid climate, when your servo is stopped you might run into issues with condensation forming on your servos when the temperature is close to the dew point. Dry environments like Arizona or Utah have dew points as low as freezing temperatures during even the hottest of months whereas in areas like Louisiana or Florida, dew points can be just a few degrees below the air temperature.

While servo drives are (or at least should be) protected inside of cabinets that are closely monitored for temperature, motors can prove more complex since they’re usually out in the environment instead of in a controlled area. When servo motors are off, however, you can encounter some big problems if they’re in really humid conditions. If your plant shuts down for a week of scheduled downtime, you can come back to servo drives ruined by moisture. How do you solve this issue?

There are two approaches but both revolve around elevating the temperature above the dew point so condensation doesn’t occur inside of the cabinet. The first and more popular option is to keep the drive warm by running a small amount of power through it to keep the motor moving to keep it above the dew point. The problem with this is if you need to do maintenance that requires the motors to be completely off or you’re unable to provide power to your motors during downtime, it can pose issues. You also don’t necessarily want to run current through your motors all the time since that can wear them down more quickly.

The second solution is to externally heat the motor to keep the temperature higher. There are different ways of doing this, from stick-on strips that heat the motor to encasing the motors in a heating compartment made for downtime.

We’ve heard of this issue happening with an MAD130 but if you need help solving your moisture problem, give us a call.

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