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Modern Electric Motors

Over the years, modern electric motors, also known as brushed motors have increased in popularity. Today, you will find them in a lot of electronic devices, such as cordless power tools, that are used in a variety of home and industrial applications. It seems that many manufacturers of electronic devices are jumping on the brushless motor bandwagon. So what is a brushed motor, and what advantages does it offer?

What is a Brushless Motor?

To understand what a brushless motor is, we have to take a brief look at what they evolved from, which is brushed motors.

Basically, a brushed motor contains carbon brushes that transfer current coming from a power source (battery or power outlet) to commutator contacts located on the motor’s shaft. Now, the shaft contains a spinning armature/rotor inside of it and two permanently installed magnets on the outside. When the electric current reaches the armature, the electromagnet inside of it generates a magnetic field that repels the magnets, causing the motor to spin.

A brushless motor removes the carbon brushes and the commutator contacts from this setup. At this point, you might be asking yourself how power even reaches the armature when there are no brushes and commutator contacts to facilitate the transfer of current. Well, that is where some sort of circuit board is used to control the power that is supplied to the armature. The power is controlled using sensors located on the circuit board. For this setup to work, the armature is moved to the outside of the shaft while the magnets are placed on the inside.

What are the Advantages of Brushless Motors?

The removal of the brushes and commutator contacts coupled with the addition of a circuit board is where the advantages of the brushless motor lie.

Brushless Motors are More Efficient

As the motor spins, so do the commutator contacts, and the brushes come in constant contact with them as they spin. This leads to a number of undesirable outcomes. For one, it means that the brushes will eventually wear out. Secondly, this produces a lot of electrical noise and sparks. Thirdly, the sparks cause some energy to dissipate.

Since there are no brushes in brushless mortars, they are much more efficient. For one, there is no wearing of brushes to worry about, meaning brushless motors last longer. Secondly, the noise and sparks are significantly reduced. Thirdly, fewer sparks mean less energy dissipation, meaning brushless mortars require less power than their brushed counterparts to spin.

Brushless Motors are “Smarter”

The circuitry in the brushless motors that control the current makes brushless motors “smart.” Regardless of what you are doing, brushed motors will transfer the same amount of current to the motor all the time (unless there is some switch that you can use to manually control this). Brushless motors, on the other hand, have circuitry that can detect how much current the motor needs depending on the task you are doing at the moment.

Perhaps an example will best illustrate how this is a huge advantage. Suppose you are in the process of drilling some wood. Depending on how thick the wood is, a brushless motor will detect how much current should be transferred to the motor based on how much resistance the drill is facing. This has the advantage of making work more efficient. If the drill is cordless, less battery power will be used for the job compared to a brushed motor, which will use the same battery power no matter the job.

Now that you know the advantages of brushed motors, you can see that their popularity is well deserved. They are a drastic improvement over their brushed counterparts and that is what makes them a better alternative to brushed mortars. That is why many companies are using them in their electronics and many consumers are buying them.

Tips to Generate New Ideas

When you come up with a great idea for a product, not only can you manufacture something that will sell great on the global market, but also transform people’s lives for the better. But coming up with a great idea is not easy and requires a lot of dedication to produce the necessary criteria that will aid you in deciding which ideas are worth pursuing. Here are five tips that can help you think up new ideas for your next product development project.

Free Your Mind

Regardless of how hard coming up with great ideas is, for many people, the biggest hindrance is their own mentality. It starts off with thinking they are not that creative; a thought that creates a mental roadblock and prevents any idea from passing through and reaching its full potential. Here is the truth: idea generation is not a skill that is only available to the select few; it is something that is available to everyone, as long as they can dissuade themselves from the thought that they are not creative.

Brainstorm Ideas

Start by looking into your target consumers – what problems they are currently facing – and think about what products can help them solve their problems. Sit down (alone or with your team) and make a broad list of ideas without worrying about the minute details (you will flesh these out later on). After you come up with these product ideas, narrow it down to the ones you think will make great products.

Look at Existing Products

No idea is 100 per cent unique and everyone needs some inspiration. That is why it is a good idea to look at the current products that are meeting the needs of your target consumers and learn from them. You should not copy another company’s product but look at what makes it good, how it benefits the other company and how what you have learned could benefit your business. After that, you can aim to create a unique product based on the information you have uncovered.

Talk to People

If you want to come up with a great product that will help people, one of the best ways to go about it is to just go ask the people. Listen to their experiences and take down noteworthy stuff that you can reflect upon in your next brainstorming session.

Take Your Time

If the idea generation session is not yielding any fruits that day, do not force it. Sometimes, great ideas do not just come at once, but take some time to marinate in the brain. You might even be surprised that during the next session, ideas are just flowing with ease. So do not be discouraged if you come out of a session with nothing to show for it. Rather, always be prepared to take advantage of ideas when they do come, especially if they come in waves. Even if the idea seems dumb at the time, write it down; do not focus too much on wanting to come up with a great idea.

Following the above-mentioned tips will get you closer to coming up with a great idea. Idea generation is the first step when it comes to new product development, and taking it seriously is the best way to ensure success on the local, national and global markets.

5 Reasons Prototypes Are Important

A prototype can simply be defined as a functional sample based on a product design. There are many reasons for producing a prototype, but one of the primary and most important reasons is that it is used to gather feedback from potential investors and targeted consumers. Prototyping is without a doubt a significant part of new product development, and here are five reasons why.

1. Helps with Early Detection and Fixing of Errors

When it comes to business, there is a risk of failure, but this can be reduced with a good prototype. By prototyping your product, you can catch mistakes early on and fix them before moving on to another stage in the development process. This is extremely important because mistakes that are discovered later on are more costly to fix than if they were discovered in the prototype stage.

2. They are Good for Convincing Investors

If you want investors to buy into your idea, having something that they can visualize and interact with is a great way to get them on board. This is what prototypes are particularly good for. The prototype does not need to be perfect, considering that investors will not look at it as a full representation of the final product. As long as the prototype is functional to a reasonable degree, it should increase the chance that investors will want to buy in.

3. They Simplify the Process of Filing for a Patent

Although a prototype is not particularly necessary when filing for a patent, it is a great way to demonstrate the functionality of your concept. This has the added benefit of increasing the chance that your patent application will be successful. Just be sure not to waste time on making a prototype with all the bells and whistles since, when it comes to prototypes, the general rule is that the first one to invent it is the one who will get the patent.

4. Can Minimize Costs

Every business would love to minimize costs and increase profits. Luckily, this is something a prototype can help with. By manufacturing a functional sample early on in the new product development stages, you can figure out which steps can be removed, improved or streamlined during production, saving you a lot of time and money in the process.

5. Can Help Gather User Feedback

As mentioned earlier, this is one of the main reasons why prototyping is very important – getting user feedback. You can then use the information you have gathered from users to update the product accordingly. If you do not take into consideration the input of your target consumers, you will end up designing the product for yourself, which can decrease the chances that it will resonate with consumers once it hits the global markets.

These days, with the way prototyping is becoming more and more inexpensive, no successful new product development project can do without it. Prototyping smoothens the road into the local, national or global markets, allowing companies to launch products that have been perfected to the best of their ability.