After combining with Electric Machinery, Ideal Electric plans to create even more business in the generator and motor manufacturing industries. Mark Devaney reports.
In mid-March, Ideal Electric acquired Electric Machinery (aka EM) and created a powerful team in the motor/generator manufacturing industry.
Each company brings a wealth of resources and an excellent reputation to this relationship,” said Michael Vucelic, CEO of Ideal Electric and CEO of Electric Machinery. “Taking advantage of the strengths of both companies, we will provide products and services exceeding the total capabilities of either company working independently.”
Ideal Electric, the market leader in medium power generators for gas, steam, and hydro turbines, and diesel engines up to 20 MVA, manufactures various types of industrial switchgear and rotating equipment. Ideal’s capabilities include hermetic induction motors from 125 HP to 1,500 HP, synchronous motors from 1,000 to 25,000 HP, induction motors from 1,000 to 12,000 HP and synchronous generators from 2 MW to 14 MW.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better business partner than Ideal Electric,” said Mibby Proper, director of product engineering at Electric Machinery. “The synergy that exists will allow both companies to provide a broader range of products to our existing customers while extending into new markets.” Electric Machinery’s applications include synchronous and induction motors up to 30,000 HP to drive pumps, reciprocating and centrifugal compressors, blowers, fans, and rod and ball mills. The company’s line of magnetic drive, variable speed couplings are used with fans and pumps to 2,500 HP.
Electric Machinery also offers the E-M Duraguard, a vacuum pressure impregnation insulation system for greater reliability. It is Electric Machinery’s pressure impregnation process that is key in void-free coils. The system is standard for all form wound apparatus rated 480 volts through 15,000 volts. Its benefits include: full class Fahrenheit (155C) capability; outstanding dielectric properties; superior moisture and chemical resistance, the mechanical integrity of an epoxy resin system and a “B” stage that provides all the advantages of a full impregnated winding for stators too large for post-impregnation.
A characteristic of Electric Machine’s resin system is that it can be partially cured (“B” staged) in a controlled manner, then completely cured at a later time. This process allows partially cured coils to be wound into the stator slots and cured in place. “We used to do a lot of outsourcing, but Electric Machinery offered us high quality manufacturing capacity,” said Michael Colangelo, Ideal Electric’s vice president of marketing and engineering. “Now, instead of outsourcing, we do more manufacturing internally, which brings more work under our control. In addition, we think Electric Machinery has certain technologies that will prove beneficial to our customers. The company’s motto, “two companies with one mission,” further solidifies a commitment to excellence that really began at the turn of the century.
Created in 1903 out of the Card Electric Company, the Ideal Electric Company began in a 2,500 square foot plant in a converted horse carriage shop. Through the guidance of founder and first president Glen Vinson, Ideal Electric grew steadily and consistently through the years. Ideal’s first product was a split-frame motor developed for streetcars. Later, production expanded to include DC motors up to 50 horsepower, electro-plating generators up to 4,000 amperes, and elevator motors.
After World War I, Ideal pioneered two products for the electrical industry. The first was large, slow-speed synchronous motors and generators. Ideal built the first synchronous motors to use across-the-line starting. The second was the poly-phase capacitor induction motor.
In the 1950s, Ideal Electric led the move to brushless excitation of synchronous machines. Other achievements include the largest hermetic motor for refrigeration compressors (2,000 HP), generators for the Navy’s Aegis class ships, and the largest wind-powered turbine generator. Ideal Electric also developed both synchronous and induction motors for use with variable frequency drives.
Due to Ideal’s success producing hermetic motors for compressors, in 1976, Carrier Corporation acquired Ideal Electric from the Vinson family. United Technologies (U.T.) then acquired Carrier in 1979. As part of a restructuring, U.T. divested Ideal Electric in 1986, Vucelic then led a management buyout of Ideal Electric along with 16 of Ideal’s employees.
Ideal’s plant is located on a 29-acre site with more than 280,000 square feet under roof. The company’s new test floor allows for complete testing of synchronous motors and generators in the vertical and horizontal configuration and full load testing of induction motors up to 8,000 HP, at voltages from 480 volts to 13.8 kv and at 60 Hz and 50 Hz.
Motors, Generators And More
Ideal offers a range of motors for many applications. Synchronous motors are available from 100-1,800 rpm with a range of 1,000-25,000 HP. Motors are designed to match existing machines, space limitations, shaft heights and mounting foot locations. The stator frame is engineered, welded and machined to withstand forces exerted by electrical and mechanical stresses. Induction motors from 1,000 to 7,000 HP can be supplied at speeds of between 240-3,600 rpm.
“Synchronous motors are well suited for a variety of applications, especially when high efficiency and power factor are a concern,” said Colangelo. Applications for synchronous motors include industrial and general industry, paper industry and reciprocating compressors. “Synchronous motors can be designed to operate at unity power factor, or when overall system power factor correction is desired, they can be operated at leading power factor.”
“Our brushless excitation system includes all the excitation control and field application equipment needed for synchronizing, and similar equipment can also be supplied with a static excitation system,” added Colangelo. Ideal’s squirrel cage induction motors employ copper bar rotors and provide years of reliable service with extremely low maintenance requirements.
Ideal supplies generators for high speed engine and gas, steam, and hydro turbine drives in the 600 to 1,800 RPM range. These units em-ploy laminated spiders and dovetailed poles (except 1,800 RPM). Bracket mounted sleeve bearings are generally supplied, with anti-friction bearings available for some applications. Thrust bearings are used when required.
Induction generators are available from 500-5,000 KW at 300-3,600 RPM, and can be furnished with a complete range of construction features and accessories.
Dresser-Rand,a division of Electric Machinery, also offers a larger capacity vacuum prssure impregnation (VPI) chamber, a larger oven and other significant system modifications to enhance and upgrade the range of its VPI capability. The VPI upgrade provides a larger diameter and deeper chamber which can be used on larger units, including motors up to 18,000 HP and generators to 35 MW. The new equipment also incorporates system improvements that reduce the process cycle time and simplify the system’s maintenance while providing outstanding vacuum performance.
World Class Rep
Ideal ships approximately 37 percent of its product overseas, according to Colangelo. Equipment manufactured in Mansfield, Ohio, often has a US content greater than 90 percent. “The increase in international business, along with our commitment to excellence led the way to international ISO 9001 certification in 1996,” said Colangelo. Ideal is one of the few generator manufacturers who build their own switchgear and is the only U.S. manufacturer to supply space-saving generator-mounted epicyclic gears.
“We provide custom designs and can supply complete packages, including motor starters and controls,” said Colangelo. “We have the resources to handle almost any size project while still providing the personal attention customers appreciate.”