Meet the Green Beast: Duke and WEG’s custom ROT motor March 22, 2019

Custom design saves money and headaches

We teamed up with our manufacturing partner, WEG, to design an application-specific motor for one of our steel customers who was experiencing failure of the standard T-frame motors they were using on their roller tables. The end result is a CSA-approved ROT motor that’s been customized for their specific application. The same design can be used for any roller table application, with minor modifications to horsepower or speed if required.


We made this motor like a Sherman tank. That’s the only way it can withstand the pounding it receives in the mill. We're talking heat, moisture, water, debris—whatever gets thrown at it. Sometimes literally.


That’s our name, right there beside one of the world’s best electric motor manufacturers. It’s a Duke Electric WEG motor, man, and we’re pretty damn proud of it.

WEG had a similar motor design that they’d made for markets outside North America. We asked them to take an existing casting and adjust specs like the torque rating, voltage and speed combination so it worked well in our customer’s application. We worked on the prototypes until we had a design we were happy with, then went through the process to get the motor CSA certified.


If you’re in the steel industry, you know the roller table motor must survive in an extremely harsh environments. We designed this motor to be rugged and hard duty, will the radial fins running perpendicular to the body as opposed to running axially from the front of the shaft to the back. That way water and other crap can slough off instead of getting trapped in the fins and preventing heat dissipation.


Not only is the Green Beast a superior motor, but each unit costs our customer $800 to $1000 less to purchase than the standard motors they were using. So far, they’ve ordered 15. That’s $15K in savings, for a more robust motor that’s designed specifically for their application. 

A savings of $1K per unit was so compelling that we never had to crunch the numbers comparing life cycle costs, but we can only imagine the money the customer would save if we were to factor in the repair, refurbishment and replacement costs of what they were using before, compared to the Green Beast.


Most roller table motors have the terminal box at the back, but space restrictions in this particular application meant we designed this motor with the terminal box on top.


Of course, you can get ROT motors from outside North America. We actually have one in for refurbishment right now that comes from Germany. Unlike the Green Beast, imported motors are hard to get, there’s a long lead time and you’ll need each motor individually certified by the ESA when it’s repaired. Parts aren’t easy to get for imported motors, and sometimes aren’t available at all, which means custom fabrication to get the motor back in service.

Since the Green Beast is CSA certified as a line, there’s no need for individual ESA inspections when the motor is repaired. And if it needs a part, it’s easily obtained—we can even stock them ourselves.

The video above is of a standard T-frame motor, which is in for repair from another customer. It's also used for a roller table application. Not surprisingly, it failed—no motor likes a blanket of crap on its fins. This customer is now switching to the Green Beast ROT motor, too, and we’ll modify the design to meet their exact requirements.


It’s not just one motor that’s in for repair from this second customer—it’s a bunch. When you’ve got a mishmash of brands and specs—none really suited for the application—it’s a nightmare to manage for our customers. As this customer standardizes its ROT motors to the Green Beast design, we can keep parts on hand in case of a repair and get the motor back in service faster.


The Green Beast is an awesome example of what’s possible when a customer, a motor repair shop and a manufacturer work together to solve a problem. The tendency in industry is to replace like for like: a T-frame motor for a T-frame motor, a German ROT for a German ROT. It takes initiative and stubbornness to say there’s a better way of doing things—and the end result is a beast.

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