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How to Create a Custom Motor in 11 Days

Maxon Motor has created a program designed to speed the assembly of bespoke motors.

Brian Buntz

Several years ago, engineers at Maxon Motor (Fall River, MA) noticed that the majority of their customers across industries were specifying custom motors. But, in the past, the problem with custom motors is that they had been slow to make. "Normally, you had to wait four to six weeks--sometimes longer--to get a customized product," says Debora Setters, national marketing manager for the company.

About two years ago, Maxon launched a service known as DCX that enables custom motors to be built in 11 days. Before it was launched, the company spent about five years developing and refining it.

The program continues to evolve and expand, as the number of companies specifying custom motors continues to increase. "80-90% of our business now is customized," Setters explains.

Maxon recently released this sci-fi-esque promotional video showing off some of the motor options supported by the DCX program.

Maxon recently expanded the program to include the company's DCX 12 micromotor (with a diameter of 12 mm), which can be specified with precious metal brushes and a variety of options for ironless windings and bearings.

Maxon started the program by offering the motor sizes and features that are most frequently specified and creating a configure-to-order program program around it.

The service works like this: A user specifies the motor profile they want online. The website enables them to pick from a variety shaft size, voltage, spindle, gear, stage, and other options. They are assigned a 14-digit number and a confirmation of intended motor plans.

The firm follows up with the customer to discuss the application. When the customer confirms that the motor specifications are correct, a work order is created and shipped to the company's manufacturing plant in Switzerland. The facility has a workstation arranged in a semicircular format with array of motor components arranged in the order of assembly, enabling a single engineer assigned to the work order to walk a custom motor through the assembly line from start to finish. "The engineer just goes around and picks from trays of components that are exactly specified to your specs."

When it first launched in 2012, the program had seen about five years of internal R&D.

Brushless motor options will be eventually supported under DCX.

Refresh your medical device industry knowledge at MD&M East in New York City, June 9-11, 2015.

Brian Buntz is the editor-in-chief of MPMN and Qmed. Follow him on Twitter at @brian_buntz.

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