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Grain Mill Upgrades to Soft Start Technology

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Ocean City Electric was commissioned by a local Eastern Shore grain mill to upgrade a number of magnetic starters with soft start technology to prolong the life of the motors and related downstream equipment.  A solid-state soft start controller controls the starting torque and current of an AC motor electronically.  Contact OC Electric LLC for more information on the benefits of using soft start controller technology. 

Soft Starters can be used in almost any fixed speed application such as:

• Commercial—HVAC fans and pumps

• General industrial—fans, pumps, conveyors, material handling, and processing equipment

• Other—forest products, mining, metals and printing

Why do we want to use a reduced voltage soft starter?

The first reason is to limit the inrush current that a motor draws from the utility when it is first started.  This is a concern because the large starting current may cause the line voltage to dip, impacting other loads that are sensitive to low voltages.  There may also be a concern if the utility limits the peak current that can be drawn or charges for exceeding the limit.

The second is reduced mechanical system stress.  When the large inrush current occurs, there are significant magnetic forces created in the motor windings.  These cause some parts of the winding to be attracted to each other and to other parts repulsed.  This mechanical shock can damage the winding insulation leading to early failure.  The mechanical shock of the high torques produced with the large starting current can cause failure of system elements such as the motor shaft, belting, gear box, and drive train, and damage to fragile product.

Benefits of using soft start starters

• Controlled starting—Limited starting current, reduction of power line disturbance on starting, and lower power demand on starting

• Controlled acceleration—Soft start, adjustable acceleration based on time or load, and reduced motor size for pure inertial load acceleration

• Adjustable torque limiting—Protects machinery from damage, and protects process or product

• Controlled stopping—Soft slow down, timed stopping, and fast reversal with much less stress on AC motor than plug reverse

Typical fixed speed applications

• Conveyors, belts, chains, screws, bulk material, and packaged material

• Fans, blowers, compressors, and pumps

• Machine tools, grinders, lathes, and stamping presses

• Custom machinery, labelers, packaging machines, bottle washers, wire drawing, textiles, and the like

• Extruders

• Process machinery, kilns, grinders, blenders, and agitators. See the section on load types for particular evaluation of specific loads

Contact Ocean City Electric for all your commercial, residential, or agricultural electrical needs.  Comprised of tri-state certified Master Electricians, we are eager to bid your next electrical project.

Ocean City Electric LLC is dedicated to prompt customer service.  Please fill out the form below and you can rest assured that you will receive a prompt response.

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