Industrial Automation Terms You Should Know


Are protection which can be placed over openings in the fan cover on a fan-cooled motor or ventilation openings of a protected motor to help keep out large particles and/or animals, but not block ventilation.

Winding which is not connected to the power source, but which carries current induced in it through its magnetic linkage with the primary winding.

Where high starting torques are required for a DC motor, the series motor is used. The load must be solidly connected to the motor and never decrease to zero to prevent excessive motor speeds. The load must tolerate wide speed variations from full load to a light load.
Typical areas of application are industrial trucks, hoists, cranes, and traction duty.


1. When used on a motor nameplate, a number which indicates how much above the nameplate rating a motor can be loaded without causing serious degradation, (i.e., a 1.15 S-F can produce 15% greater torque than the 1.0 S-F rating of the same motor).

2. When used in applying motors or gear motors, a figure of merit is used to “adjust” measured loads in an attempt to compensate for conditions that are difficult to measure or define. Typically, measured loads are multiplied by service factors (experience factors) and the result in an “equivalent required torque” rating of a motor or gear motor.

A defect in a winding which causes part of the normal electrical circuit to be bypassed. This frequently results in reducing the resistance or impedance to such an extent as to cause overheating of the winding, and subsequent burnout.

The rotating member of the motor which protrudes past the bearings for attachment to the driven apparatus.

Integral-horsepower shunt motors are used where the primary load requirements are for minimum speed variation from full-load to no-load and/or constant horsepower over an adjustable speed range at constant potential. Shunt motors are suitable for average starting torque loads.

 Typical applications include individual drives for machine tools, such as drills and lathes, and centrifugal fans and blowers which are regulated by means of the discharge opening.

Arrangement of laminations on a rotor or armature to provide a slight angular pattern of their slots with respect to the shaft axis. This pattern helps to eliminate low-speed cogging effects in an armature and minimize induced vibration in a rotor as well as reduce associated noise. It also can help to increase starting torque.

A type of bearing with no rolling elements, where the motor shaft rides on a film of oil.

The difference between the speed of the rotating magnetic field (which is always synchronous) and the rotor in a non-synchronous induction motor is known as slip and is expressed as a percentage of synchronous speed. Slip generally increases with an increase in torque.

Small resistance heater units mounted in a motor, that is energized during a motor shutdown to prevent condensation of moisture on the motor windings.

Motor with special operating characteristics or special mechanical construction, or both, designed for a particular application and not falling within the definition of a general-purpose or definite purpose motor.

An open motor in which the ventilating openings are so constructed that drops of liquid or solid particles falling on it or coming toward it in a straight line at any angle not greater than 100 degrees from the vertical, cannot enter either directly or by striking and running along a surface of the motor.

Motor which employs the main winding and an auxiliary winding, which is called the starting winding. The windings are unlike and thereby “split” the single phase of the power supply by causing a phase displacement between the currents of the two windings thus producing a rotating field. After the motor has attained approximately 75% of rated speed, the starting winding is automatically disconnected by means of a centrifugal switch or by a relay. The motor then continues to run on a single oscillating field, which in conjunction with the rotation of the rotor, results in a rotating field effect. Since there is no rotating field, after the starting winding is de-energized, the rotation cannot be changed until the motor has come to rest or at least slowed down to the speed at which the automatic switch closes. Special starting switches are available as well as special reversing switches which have a means for shunting the open contacts of the automatic switch while the motor is running and thus permits the split-phase motor to be reversed while rotating. This type of starting is found typically on single-phase fractional motors.

The speed of the motor refers to the RPM’s (revolutions per minute) of the shaft. For a three-phase AC motor the synchronous speed =

120 x frequencyfrequency is measured in Hertz or cycles per second.
# of polescycles per second

The number of poles is a function of design.

A stabilized shunt-wound motor is a direct-current motor in which the shunt field circuit is connected either in parallel with the armature circuit or to a separate source of excitation voltage and which also has a light series winding added to prevent a rise in speed or to obtain a slight reduction in speed with increase in load.

ABS – American Bureau of Shipping
ANSI – American National Standards Institute
API – American Petroleum Institute
BASEEFA – British Approval Service for Electrical Equipment in Flammable Atmospheres
BISSC – Baking Industry Standards Committee
CE – Compliance to European Standards
CSA – Canadian Standards Association
EPACT – 1997 U.S. Energy Policy Act
IEC – International Electrotechnical Commission
IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISO – International Standards organization
MIL – Military Specifications
MSHA – U.S. Mining, Safety, Health Administration
NAFTA – North American Free Trade Agreement
NEC – National Electric Code
NEMA – National Electrical Manufacturers Association
UL – Underwriter’s Laboratories
UR – Underwriter’s Laboratories Recognized
USDA – U.S. Department of Agriculture
USCG – U.S. Coast Guard

Amount of current drawn at the instant a motor is energized – in most cases much higher than that required for running. Same as a locked rotor current.

The torque or twisting force delivered by a motor at the instant it is energized. Starting torque is often higher than rated running or full load torque.

That part of an AC induction motor’s magnetic structure which does not rotate. It usually contains the primary winding. The stator is made up of laminations with a large hole in the center in which the rotor can turn; there are slots in the stator in which the windings for the coils are inserted.

Physical protection placed over the external connections point on medium and high voltage motor leads. Stress cones are used to avoid di-electric breakdown of motor leads in the vicinity of the external connection. Stress cones generally require an oversized conduit box on large motors.

Letter suffixes sometimes follow the NEMA frame size. Some of these suffixes, according to NEMA standards, have the following meanings


CFace mounting
GGasoline pump motor
HIndicates a frame having a larger “F” dimension
JJet pump motor
YSpecial mounting dimensions (see manufacturer)
ZAll mounting dimensions are standard except the shaft extension


ADC motor or generator
CFace mounting on the drive end
SFlange mounting on the drive end
PVertical hollow and solid shaft motors with P-Base flange.
HPVertical solid shaft motors with P-Base flange (normal thrust).
JMClose-coupled pump motor with C-Face mounting and special shaft extensions. JP
JPClose-coupled pump motor with C-Face mounting and special long shaft extension.
LPVertical solid shaft motors with P-Base flange (medium thrust).
SStandard short shaft for direct connection
TStandardized shaft – “T” frame
VVertical mounting
YSpecial mounting dimensions
ZAll mounting dimensions standard except shaft extension.

A capacitor device usually mounted in the conduit box to flatten the voltage surges that may occur as a result of lighting or a power supply surge (short-period peak). These surges could result in more than twice the rated voltage going to the windings and in turn cause winding damage.

A motor that operates at a constant speed up to full load. The rotor speed is equal to the speed of the rotating magnetic field of the stator; there is no slip. There are two (2) major types of reluctance and permanent magnet on synchronous motors. A synchronous motor is often used where the exact speed of a motor must be maintained.

The speed of the rotating magnetic field set up by the stator winding of an induction motor. In a synchronous motor, the rotor locks into step with the rotating magnetic field, and the motor is said to run at synchronous speed. Approximately the speed of the motor with no load on it.

This is equal to120 x Frequency= RPM (Revolutions per minute)
 No. Poles