10 Things You Should Know Before You Buy Your Next Gear Motor

Does your current gear motor supplier give you the tools and support that you need to quickly, easily, and reliably do your job?  Make sure your supplier can answer these questions that will address your concerns when selecting the right gear motor from the right supplier.  If they can’t offer you what you need, it may be time to look someplace else.

I) How do I select the gear motor I want?

  • Standard:  Paper catalog – Searching through a paper catalog is time consuming and you typically have to know exactly what you want and where to look for it

  • Better:  Online catalog – More readily available than a paper catalog but still difficult to use

  • Best:  Configuration wizard – Take the guesswork out of selection. A wizard guides the user through a series of questions to appropriately size and configure a gear motor for the application at hand. Typically, 2D and 3D CAD models and full technical descriptions that are easily communicated to your purchasing group are also provided.

3) Do you provide the 2D dimension drawings and 3D CAD models that I need when designing? Is it free to access without having to sign up for an account?

  • Models should be available in a variety of universal file types

  • Make sure you are getting the exact geometry of the gear motor you intend to order, not just a 3D model with “similar” part geometry

5) Will my gear motors arrive when promised?

  • Your project deadlines center around this agreement being upheld

  • Look for a supplier with high delivery reliability

7) How do you help me keep track of my gear motor inventory?

  • RFID nameplates allow service technicians to quickly, easily, and safely read gear motor data from a distance

  • Smart Numbers completely identify each unique gear motor configuration down to the mounting position and paint color
    - Minimize spare unit inventory
    - Zero guesswork - Order an exact duplicate gear motor

9) What kind of support is offered post-sale?

  • You need a company that is going to be there when you have questions

  • Support should be offered in commissioning, troubleshooting, and retrofits

  • Support for all the products you purchase from that vendor should be serviced from one point of contact

  • Ask about the length of the standard warranty period
    - See if an extended warranty is available if you incorporate additional products from this supplier into your design

  • Ask about international support and facilities

2) How do I get a quote or contact someone to learn more?

  • Supplier should have a large distributor network

  • Look for 24/7 customer service and support

  • Website should offer a quick and easy way to find a distributor, connect with a salesperson or request a quote

4) What is your standard delivery time?

  • Standard delivery should be days, not weeks
    – You want a custom configured product with off-the-shelf availability

  • Look for local assembly in the US

  • Look for large parts inventory and state-of-the-art production systems

  • Confirm that order tracking is offered

  • Ask if price discounts are offered on extended delivery orders

6) Do your gear motor designs incorporate the latest and most innovative technology?

  • Add value to your machine assembly or system by taking advantage of new technology in its components

  • Look for high energy efficiency
    - Options for NEMA Premium Efficient motors
    - Ability to get high ratios with minimal gear stages

  • RFID nameplates and Smart Number identification

  • Keyless tapered hollow shaft locking systems

8) How long will it take to get my gear motor repaired or replaced?

  • Every minute your machine is not running means lost revenue

  • Make sure your supplier has a complete inventory of spare parts stocked locally and internationally

  • Look for 24/7 customer service and support

  • Look for highly standardized design that eliminates special parts

10) Do you only make gear motors or do you also make other drive train and automation equipment?

  • Using one supplier for all of your drive train and automation needs ensures system compatibility
    - Avoid over-engineering
    - Increase system efficiency
    - Minimize communication challenges
    - Easily upgrade, expand, and retrofit
    - Use one source for maintenance, service, and warranty

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