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The Ultimate Guide to Motors for Roller Shutters and Industrial Doors

12th March 2024

Choosing the right motor for your roller shutters or industrial doors is crucial for ensuring efficiency and longevity. This comprehensive guide will explore the various types of motors available, including their benefits, how they operate, and the warranties provided. Whether you're a business owner, contractor, or homeowner, understanding these options will help you make an informed decision.

Tubular Motors

A tubular motor is an integral component in the operation of a roller shutter, often used in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. These motors are specifically designed to be sleek, efficient, and compact, allowing them to fit snugly inside the roller tube of the shutter, hence the name "tubular motor."

How Tubular Motors Work:

The tubular motor operates on a simple principle. It converts electrical energy into mechanical energy, which is then used to roll the shutter up or down. This process begins when the motor receives a signal from a control mechanism, such as a remote control, wall switch, or even a smart home system, indicating that the shutter needs to be raised or lowered.

Inside the motor, this electrical signal activates the motor's internal components, causing the motor to rotate in the desired direction. As the motor rotates, it turns the roller tube attached to the shutter. This rotation winds the shutter around the tube to raise it, or unwinds it to lower it, depending on the direction of the motor's rotation.

How Tubular Motors Fit Inside the Tube:

Tubular motors are designed to fit perfectly inside the roller tube of a shutter. The dimensions of the motor are slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the roller tube, allowing it to slide in smoothly. Once inserted, the motor's outer casing typically aligns flush with the interior surface of the tube, ensuring a secure and unobtrusive fit.

The motor is usually secured in place at one end of the roller tube, commonly by means of a bracket or fixing plate. This plate is attached to the motor and then fixed to the end cap of the roller shutter tube, ensuring that the motor remains stable and does not rotate with the tube. On the other end of the motor, there is typically a crown and a drive wheel or adaptor that fits into the tube. This setup ensures that when the motor rotates, its movement is transferred directly to the roller tube, enabling the opening and closing of the shutter.

The seamless integration of tubular motors within the roller tube provides a streamlined and efficient system for controlling roller shutters. This design not only maximises space within the shutter's housing but also maintains the aesthetic appeal of the shutter by concealing the motor from view.

SeceuroDrive Tubular Motors

Description: SeceuroDrive Tubular Motors are known for their reliability and ease of installation. They are specifically designed to fit within the roller tube of shutters and blinds, providing a sleek and compact solution.

How They Work: These motors operate by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy, which in turn rolls the shutter up or down. They are typically operated via remote control, wall switch, or smart home system.

Advantages: SeceuroDrive motors are quiet, efficient, and come with hexagon head adjustable motor limit settings. They are ideal for residential and commercial settings.

Warranties: SeceuroDrive offers a 5-year warranty on their tubular motors, ensuring peace of mind for customers.

Purchase Link: Find SeceuroDrive Tubular Motors on our website here.

Somfy Tubular Motors

Description: Somfy is a leading brand in the automation industry. Their tubular motors are renowned for their innovation and compatibility with smart home technologies.

How They Work: Somfy motors also fit within the roller tube and are activated by an electrical impulse. The motor rotates the tube, which raises or lowers the shutter.

Advantages: These motors are known for their durability, silent operation, and integration with various home automation systems. The motor limits are easy to set using push in buttons.

Warranties: Somfy provides a 5-year warranty on their tubular motors.

Purchase Link: Shop for Somfy Tubular Motors here.

Ellard Tubular Motors

Description: Ellard Tubular Motors are designed for heavy-duty applications and are known for their strength and reliability.

How They Work: Similar to other tubular motors, they fit inside the roller tube and move the shutter via an electric impulse.

Advantages: Ellard motors are great for larger industrial doors or shutters due to their high torque capacity.

Warranties: These motors come with a standard 1-year warranty.

Purchase Link: Check out Ellard Tubular Motors here.

Direct Drive and Inboard Motors

An Inboard or Direct Drive motors for industrial doors are a robust and powerful device, designed to handle larger and heavier doors often found in commercial and industrial environments. Unlike tubular motors, which are housed inside the roller tube, inboard and direct drive industrial motors are typically mounted externally, providing greater torque and operational capacity for substantial shutter systems.

How Inboard and Industrial Motors Work:

Inboard and industrial motors work on the principle of converting electrical energy into mechanical energy, but they are engineered to deliver more power. This is essential for moving larger industrial doors that require more force due to their size and weight.

When activated, usually by a switch, remote control, or automated system, the motor engages and begins to rotate. However, instead of being directly inside the tube, this motor is connected to the roller shutter's axle or shaft via a chain, belt, or direct coupling system. This connection allows the motor’s rotational energy to be transferred to the axle, which then rolls or unrolls the shutter curtain around the roller tube.

Fitting an Inboard and Direct Drive Industrial Motor:

The fitting process of an inboard and industrial motor differs significantly from that of tubular motors due to its external placement. The motor is usually positioned at one end of the roller shutter system, outside of the roller tube, and is often mounted on a solid frame or bracket to ensure stability and effective power transmission.

The external position of the motor requires a mechanical linkage to the shutter's axle. This is typically achieved in one of several ways:

Direct Drive: The motor is directly attached to the end of the axle. This method provides a direct transfer of power and is efficient and reliable. The motor’s output shaft is coupled directly to the shutter’s axle, ensuring that the motor's rotational movement is directly translated to the opening and closing of the shutter.

Chain Drive: In some installations, especially where the motor cannot be aligned directly with the axle, a chain and sprocket system may be used. The motor's output shaft has a sprocket that drives a chain, which in turn engages with another sprocket attached to the shutter's axle.

Gearbox: In heavy-duty applications, a gearbox may be used in conjunction with the motor to increase torque. This setup allows the motor to operate efficiently under the strain of lifting heavy shutters, with the gearbox translating the motor's high-speed, low-torque output into low-speed, high-torque rotation necessary for moving the door.

Regardless of the connection method, the motor is securely mounted and calibrated to ensure that it operates smoothly and aligns correctly with the shutter’s mechanics. This external setup not only facilitates handling heavier doors but also provides easier access for maintenance and repair compared to internal tubular motors.

Inboard and industrial motors are essential for large-scale roller shutter operations, offering the necessary power and durability. Their external placement and robust design enable them to perform under demanding conditions, providing reliable long-term service for industrial doors.

GFA Direct Drive Motors

Description: GFA Direct Drive Motors are designed for industrial doors and offer high-performance solutions for heavy-duty applications.

How They Work: These motors mount directly to the door shaft, providing direct drive action without the need for additional chains or sprockets.

Advantages: They provide a more robust solution for larger doors, with fewer moving parts and reduced maintenance.

Warranties: GFA offers a comprehensive 2-year warranty on their direct drive motors.

Purchase Link: Purchase GFA Industrial Motors here.

Ellard Direct Drive and Inboard Motors

Description: Ellard also offers Direct Drive and Inboard Motors suitable for a range of industrial doors.

How They Work: These motors provide direct power to the door shaft, offering efficient and reliable operation.

Advantages: Known for their durability, these motors can handle high-frequency usage and larger industrial doors.

Warranties: Ellard provides a standard 2-year warranty for these motors.

Purchase Link: Find Ellard Direct Drive and Inboard Motors here.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can tubular motors be used for all sizes of roller shutters? Tubular motors are suitable for a wide range of shutter sizes. However, for very large industrial doors, direct drive or inboard motors might be more appropriate.

2. Are these motors difficult to install? Installation varies by model and type. Tubular motors are typically easier and can often be done by the homeowner or a technician. Direct drive and inboard motors may require professional installation due to their complexity and size.

3. Can I control these motors with my smartphone? Many modern motors, especially those from brands like Somfy, are compatible with smart home systems. Check the product specifications for "smart" features.

4. What is the main advantage of a direct drive motor over a tubular motor? Direct drive motors are generally more robust, open and close quicker and provide higher daily usage.

5. Can I use both 240V and 415V motors for my roller shutters, and what are the differences? Yes, both 240V (single-phase) and 415V (three-phase) motors can be used for roller shutters, but they serve different purposes and environments. The choice between them depends on the power supply available and the requirements of the shutter system.

240V Single-Phase Motors: These motors are typically used for smaller or residential roller shutters. They are compatible with standard household power supplies, making them ideal for domestic applications or light commercial settings. 240V motors are generally easier to install and require less complex wiring. They are suitable for shutters that do not demand heavy-duty operation or frequent use throughout the day.

415V Three-Phase Motors: These are more powerful motors used primarily in industrial settings where there is access to a three-phase power supply. They are designed for larger, heavier shutters and are capable of handling more weight and providing more efficient operation for frequent use. 415V motors offer higher torque and are more energy-efficient for continuous operation, making them ideal for factories, warehouses, and large commercial premises.

The choice between 240V and 415V motors should be based on the size of the roller shutter, the frequency of use, and the available power supply at the installation site. It's important to consult with a professional to determine the most suitable motor type for your roller shutter needs, ensuring optimal performance and safety.

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