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Bauer Gear Motor – Guide to IE4

Learn how IE4 classification changed the motor market.

The IE2 regulations effectively cleaned-up the lower efficiency end of the market; if an application requires a motor to operate rarely, then its energy consumption is not so critical. Users just want the cheapest machine they can buy that will be reliable in that application, the IE2 regs are intended to make sure that new motors being supplied into these conditions meet a minimum standard of efficiency.

IE4 is something many manufacturers are talking about and fewer are actually delivering. There is a cost premium to these motors, but the market uptake is not being driven by legislation, rather by shear economics. For a small to medium sized electric motor that is running close to capacity for the majority of the time, used in a continuous manufacturing process for example, then the additional investment in terms of purchase cost is quickly outweighed by the energy saving.

Motors that meet IE4 energy efficiency standards, such as BAUER’s PMSM range, are usually permanent magnet arrangements, where the permanent magnets maintain their own persistent magnetic fields and are generally made from rare earth metals. Conversely, the materials are not particularly rare, they just happen to come from the class of metals known as rare earth metals. They are, however, more expensive to manufacture and significantly more powerful than standard magnets. When used in a motor application, the motors usually require an inverter drive to power the motor, but the efficiency can be very high, of the order of 96%.

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