East West Manufacturing Blog

Questions to Ask an EC Motor Supplier

Written by Patty Rasmussen | November 07, 2017

Have you ever been faced with having to purchase a new major appliance? And have you ever made the mistake of just heading off to the local big box home improvement store without a clear idea of what you're looking for or a list of questions for the sales person? Talk about a waste of time. 

If you're in the market to find a new electronically commutated (EC) motor supplier, you need to prepare yourself to ask the right questions. It's really the only way to know that you're getting what you need from someone who can actually deliver. We've broken it down into five characteristics and lists of questions to ask an EC motor supplier. 

1. Trust

Can you trust them? You'll need to use a combination of judgment and intiution, but if your gut is telling you something isn't right take a step back and do your research. Action to take: Don't be shy. Ask for references or testimonials.

Questions to ask:

  • How long have they been around?
  • Do they have patents, a history and an actual office address?
  • Are they simply a trader or wholesaler, or are you dealing with the actual manufacturer?
  • What does their website look like? Is it up-to-date?
  • Is the email real or sales@motorcompany.com?

2. Transparency

Are they Transparent? Transparency — openness — is required if you want to trust your manufacturing partner. Without an open door policy, doubt is sure to creep in. It takes time to build trust, and transparency is a crucial ingredient. 

Questions to ask:

  • Are you welcome in their office, in their warehouse, in their manufacturing facility?
  • Is the supply chain opaque and murky by design? 

*** Read more about the Financial Benefit of Switching to EC Motors ***

3. Technical Expertise

Do these guys know what they are doing? Building an EC motor that will deliver the desired results and last many years takes a unique skill set of advanced motor design engineering and airflow specialists who understand how the motor works in your application. Do you want the team who just has the lowest price with no additional application knowledge? Me neither.

Questions to ask:

  • Do they have the technical expertise to understand CFM, airflow, blade pitch, constant speed vs. sonstant torque, clockwise vs. counterclockwise rotor rotation?
  • Have they built a motor for your application before? 

4. Scale

Can they grow with you? You can pick a vendor, the cheapest guy in town, or you can pick a strategic partner, who offers you savings, technical expertise and meets your demand.

Questions to ask:

  • Can your supplier make 1,000 per month or 10,000 if demand spikes?
  • Taking lead times into consideration, how quickly can your EC motor partner scale up when your products begin to gain market share?
  • Are they willing to truly work with you to meet the objectives that your customers are asking of you? 

5. Quality

How do you know you are dealing with an EC motor partner who values quality as much as you do? What assurance will you have when your boss asks, “Are these guys qualified? 

Simple. Ask. Ask to see the APQP (a quality plan), the documents and the supplier reports. 

Questions to ask:

  • How long will your EC motor really work?
  • Do you have a global quality plan? Can I see it?
  • Do you have accurate life testing results? 

There are many benefits to upgrading to EC motors, you just want to make sure you're partnered with the right supplier. Asking questions and being satisfied with the answers will help ensure that your supplier relationship is a long and happy one.

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