Brushless DC electric (BLDC) motors have been in use for nearly 50 years, but have only recently been employed in smart actuation. Their adaptation is key to improving process control and plant safety systems.
Safety and efficiency are critical in the control of plant systems, as each field device is expected not only to meet but to exceed user specifications. The growth of fieldbus technologies has enabled real-time component performance tracking and the need to optimize networked responses.
As a result, previously acceptable levels of performance for electric actuators no longer satisfy user expectations. Better precision, safer and quieter electrical operation, and improved longevity are now minimum requirements. All of these attributes are integral to electric valve actuators with BLDC motor technology.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the latest innovations in these motors, consider alternatives, and discuss how to make an educated decision regarding when and where to use BLDC motor technologies.