How to Use Your Motor Nameplate

November 16, 2023

Your electric motor's nameplate is a valuable resource, providing you information on your motor's capabilities, features, and efficiency.

In this series, we cover:

  • The most important information on your motor's nameplate.
  • Why we need a picture of your motor nameplate when helping you find a replacement motor.
  • How to find the catalogue number for cross-referencing.
  • How to use the nameplate information to cross-reference your motor.
  • How to catch aftermarket modifications on your motor.
  • How to use the motor nameplate to find bearing replacements for your electric motor.
  • What to do if your motor doesn't have nameplate.

Episode One: The Most Important Information On Your Nameplate


So, for us to assist you in the best way the information we really require is the motor horsepower, the voltage, the RPM, the frame, and the enclosure. These 5 criteria really set the stage for what motor you need and what applications it can be used for. There are other criteria that may come into play, and you can look at those on the website or we can certainly help you out with those. One of those, as on this motor, would be a c-flange. It's not always dictated on the nameplate. But with pictures and a conversation, we can always sort out what exactly you need and what motor would work best for you.

Episode Two: Why We Need a Picture of Your Nameplate


The biggest thing with nameplates and why we always ask for a picture is there are some things on specialty motors where we just look and them, and we know that it is a specialty motor or it's an OEM for a custom brand. Whereas you, the general user, would never know those things. The other one would be in IEC motors or European style product. They don't really list a frame; it's always in the part number. And we know that because that is all we do. But you, as a customer, would struggle with that a lot.

Episode Three: How to Find the Catalogue Number on Your Nameplate


Identifying the catalogue number can be really easy, depending on the brand. On a Baldor, it's very good. They list it as a catalogue number. The spec number is also very good, and they call it a spec number. Other brands will call it a model. Usually, the serial number is not a great help cause it is a very generic number only in their system. We can't search by it in a catalogue.

Episode Four: How to Use the Nameplate to Cross-Reference Your Motor


So, the website is set us really good. If you look for the motor you have, the cross-referencing tools involve all the information on the nameplate. As long as you have all of the specifications correct, - the frame, the RPM, the voltage - if all those criteria meet the same levels, we can usually cross it to either a cheaper brand maybe, something more readily available in your local area, or maybe just a better product for your specific application.

Episode Five: How to Catch Aftermarket Modifications on Your Motor


So, another thing to look out for on motor nameplates is: sometimes the technicians, if they add a modification, they'll scribe into or etch into the nameplate, say, a "-C" if they added a C-Flange. Sometimes it's just a "-M," which means it was modified. In the frame number, if there's a "Z" or some other number, it can dictate that the shaft was modified or even the actual mounting of the motor was modified.

Episode Six: How to FindBearing Replacements for Your Motor


Another question we get a lot is, "what bearings would go on my motor as a replacement?" Most motor nameplates actually list the bearings. Right here they are listed as "DE" and "NDE." So, "Drive End," which would be the shaft end, and "Non-Drive End," which would be the fan-cooled end of this motor.

Episode Seven: What to do if Your Motor Doesn't Have a Nameplate


If your motor doesn't have a nameplate. Say it got ripped off or fell off. Please give us a call. Sometimes we can step you through to try and figure out what exactly your motor is and what a good replacement option might be.

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