Gearmotor Selection: Price is Important, But Not Everything ...
Thursday - 20/09/2018 20:40
You have been tasked with a new design project, and this new gadget your company desires to sell to the marketplace will need a motion control device: a gearmotor.
You know what type of electrical power source will be available along with the operational load requirements of the contraption, so you set out to find a gearmotor that best fits the new application.
You contact two gearmotor vendors, and they each give you a proposal based on the specification provided to them. The motors proposed by each company seem to be nearly identical except for the paint color.
Then you notice a substantial difference between the two proposals: one gearmotor costs 20% more than the other. Before you automatically go with the less expensive supplier, be sure to consider the following:
Make sure the gearmotors are indeed the same.
It may be worth requesting a sample from each company to ensure the performance matches the gearmotor specification.
Just because the gearmotors look to have the same performance on paper does not necessarily mean they will operate exactly the same in the application.
Maybe you find out during prototype testing that you miscalculated the load requirements. Which company is most willing to tweak the motor to provide a solution that exactly meets the need?
Does the more expensive gearmotor have special features that initially you were unaware of?
Do the gearmotors have the same ingress protection (IP) rating?
Does one gearmotor have better corrosion resistance than the other?
Does the more expensive gearmotor come with a power cord while the other has flying leads?
It can be difficult to place a value on quality at the front end of a project, but it is at least worth investigating.
Do both vendors adhere to the same quality standard, or is one better than the other?
Inquire to know what systems are in place to make sure the sub-components meet the highest quality standards.
What are the details of the warranties…if any?
Is your application sensitive to noise? Do the gearmotors have a noise rating…does one seem to run quieter than the other?
Don’t be afraid to ask the potential gearmotor vendors for their “return goods percentage” or the amount of product they receive back due to quality issues. Be cautioned if you are not given this number or if the number given is zero.
Consider lead time and customer service.
Be sure to understand the ongoing lead time once production orders start rolling in.
What happens if your demand suddenly increases dramatically? Can the potential gearmotor vendor handle drop-in orders to meet this demand?
What testing services/capabilities do the companies offer? Is the potential vendor willing run application-specific tests if the need arises?
Understand the quotation.
Do both quotes have the same estimated annual volume (EAU)? Differing EAU’s will have different price breaks.
For how long is the quote good? Does it expire in 30 days…60 days?
Ask if you can expect a price increase every year or if the price can be frozen if a long term agreement can be reached.
Does the quote spell out any commodity surcharges that may not have been noticed upon first glance?
If it still comes down to cost, ask for a better price. In some cases, the final hurdle in getting a deal done is due to a disparity in price. Don’t be afraid to ask your preferred vendor to “sharpen the pencil” a bit more…you may be pleasantly surprised.