Considerations When Selecting Drive Technology

Technical performance is clearly critical when specifying technology for an application. It is also important to understand the impact of other criteria that must be taken into account when selecting the best drive technology. The information in the table below is based on practical maintenance experience and will give you some guidelines. Please remember that this information must be evaluated based on the priority of the criteria for your planned project (e.g. energy cost and maintenance cost). Due to Moog’s expertise in both electric and hydraulic technologies, our engineers can assist you when selecting the right solutions in complex applications.

Note 1): As a rule, electric drives (including gearboxes, ball screws etc.) are very reliable and need a low level of maintenance activity during operation. But when there is a problem the repair is very expensive (e.g. new gear box) and time consuming (typically several days to repair a gear box).As a rule, hydraulic and pneumatic drives often need more continuous maintenance activity than electric drives but at a low level (e.g. replace filter, replace valve, replace pump etc.). The typical repair time is short (hour) and cost effective.

Note 2): For machines which have a high peak power requirement at each cycle (e.g. transfer lines) the drive technology has to be carefully selected. For electric drives the whole electric distribution system in the building has to be sized for the maximum peak power, which means a significantly higher investment in the electric infrastructure of the plant. Additionally engineers must consider the higher costs of the electric drives themselves. Hydraulic systems get their peak power from accumulators, what means a continuous low load for the electric distribution system. Due to this, hydraulic drives have advantages at applications with high peak power, because it is easy and cost effective to store hydraulic energy.