Drum Motor (Motorized Pulley) vs. Mag-Drive

by | Jul 16, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Upon first glance, the drum motor and mag-drive seem alike. However, as the saying goes, it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, and in this case, the inside makes all the difference! 

Examining the Drum Motor

The drum rotates around a stationary shaft in a motorized pulley. A drum encloses all the moving parts. The motor is in a sealed oil bath for lubrication and cooling. 


  • Benefits and drawbacks

    • Benefits
      • A sealed drum encloses all the moving parts and lubrication oil of the motorized pulley. This is much hygienic than the conventional electric motor and gearbox system.
      • Drum motors are OSHA compliant. Since moving parts are enclosed, it offers better operator safety.
      • The drive system is completely decentralized. It eliminates the elaborate system of gearboxes and belts in the conventional setup. This improves operational efficiency.
    • Drawbacks
      • Motorized pulleys use way fewer gears than traditional conveyor systems. Still, gears are present in the motor. Any drive system that uses gears will lose power in transmission. A gearless design is better for efficiency.
      • Though lubrication oil is in a sealed drum, the chance of oil leakages is not completely eliminated. This poses a critical safety problem especially when the load transported is food.
      • Requires regular maintenance.
        • Friction between gears and other moving parts causes wear and tear in drum motors. Frequent maintenance is required to mend it. 
        • Oil leakages are a concern. Regular inspection to catch oil leakages is mandatory. 
        • Lubrication oil needs a change in regular intervals to maintain performance and to avoid breakdowns.
        • The motorized pulley that needs maintenance has to be taken out of operation. This causes disruption in the plant schedules.

Examining the Mag-Drive

Mag-drive uses an array of magnets to induce torque and mechanical motion. It uses permanent magnets engineered to create a high pole count. A high pole count generates higher torque and mechanical power over a wide range of speeds. It provides significant advantages over drum motors by eliminating many drawbacks.

  • Benefits
    • The gearless design of mag-drive leads to higher efficiency. It can generate the same torque and power while consuming 44% less energy than drum motors.
    • Mag-drive does not require oil for lubrication or cooling.
      • Eliminates the need for oil leakage inspections.
      • Eliminates downtime for oil changes.
      • Superior hygiene and safety making mag-drives an ideal solution for the food processing industry.
    • Easy to clean with IP65 / IP69k rating. Mag-drives are safe for washdowns. The use of cut shells adds to the ease of cleaning.
    • Minimized downtime due to gearless design and oil-free operation.
    • Highly reliable with a manufacturer warranty of 3 years.
One Motion Conveyor

Keep Your Conveyor Running

Downtimes in a plant operation have major repercussions. The fault of one machine can stop the entire operations of the plant by creating a bottleneck. This causes delays in production, supply chain disruption, higher maintenance cost, and revenue loss. Downtime is to be avoided at all costs.


Mag-drives ensure reliable operation as it experiences less wear and tear with the gearless design. Oil-free operation eliminates the need for regular inspection. It is also a much more hygienic setup with no chance of oil leakage. Manufacturer confidence with a 3-year warranty is a testament to the reliability of mag-drive.


In Conclusion

Drum motors were a technological improvement over the traditional electric motor and drive setup for conveyor operation. The decentralized drive system and drum enclosing all moving parts made it safer and efficient. But it still had the drawbacks of using gears in the motor and oil for lubrication.


Mag-drives are the next step in the evolution of motorized pulleys. It used a gearless, oil-free design making it more reliable. Mag-drives are more reliable, efficient, and ensure operator safety. There is no need to maintain a Goliath of drum motor when a David of mag-drive delivers superior performance.


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