Friday 12 February 2016

...if the motor of the treadmill warms up

If the motor heats up, usually that’s due to a running belt fault. All service engineers should be aware of this!

Moreover, it is obvious that if a customer melts or breaks a motor, he installs a replacement and this heats again -> something brings an excessive load to the engine.

Signs of overheating of the old motor are visible

    1. if you open the old motor and notice blown resin (plastic) on the armature,
    2. if the old motor is demagnetised,
    3. if some of the windings are open circuit, or went into short circuit.

If so, double check motor load (i.e. running belt friction factor), to avoid further breakages.

SPECIAL TIP: in 90% of cases, replacing the engine, and pay more attention on maintenance and operation is sufficient to solve the problem and use the equipment again for years. However please check motor temperature during (every 10 minutes) and after the first trial workouts, to prevent problems and discussions with the customer or vendor (which hardly will accept back an overheated engine).

What to do if the temperature goes up…
First you have to look at the mechanical/electrical side:
1) are pulleys aligned? Does the drive belt run perfectly aligned? Do the rollers spin regularly or are they blocked?

2) is the running deck smooth and straight? It is not enough to look with naked eye, sometimes putting a metal rod bar on the table you can notice a central depression of even 1 cm

3) how old the belt is? If you replaced it, did you install a quality running belt with low friction factor?

4) are walking belt and drive belt properly tightened? Or are overtightened as a result of an improper adjustment? Are they old (more than 4 years for home use or 2 years for commercial)?

5 ) if there’s too much lubricant on belt and rollers that will increase friction factor (opposite effect). What kind of lubricant is used? We recommend silicone spray. That doesn’t leave many residues and is easy to put on. Alternatively, you can use vaseline, being very careful not to exceed, to avoid the opposite effect. If the customer used other types of grease/oil, with petroleum derivate, that may have increased friction factor and the belt must be replaced with a new one.

6) remember to clean before lubrification, to avoid the lubricant to mix up with dust/sand.

7) only for treadmills which require calibration: is the speed shown on the display similar to the actual speed of the belt, with a tolerance of +/-10%? If not, calibrate.

The characteristics of the user
1) an engine with 8 cm in diameter or less, is designed for maximum 80 Kg who walks at a minimum speed of 5 km/h for max. 20 minutes.

2) weighs the user more than 80 kg? You need a motor by at least 10 cm in diameter

3) is the user around 100 kg? You need a motor Turdan by 12 cm or an AC motor

A brief summary
If a car loses traction on the road, there might be many reasons; no doubt the main factor is the quality of the tires. Old or smooth tires will have a catastrophic effect.

Likewise, if your treadmill has problems and the engine warms it’s usually running belt problem. The running belt determines the most important friction factor with the deck. Numerous field and laboratory tests have shown that replacing the running belt can safely REDUCE the electric consumption. So a new running belt with low friction not only solves the problem of overheating, but also reduces the energy bill of the customer and prevent damages to the engine electronic controller.

This also applies to the belts of the gyms, in the long run a worn belt could damage the inverter with damages that may be beyond 1000 €.

After changing the walking belt (and eventually the drive belt) there are a few things you can do to improve the treadmill:

1) mount an external fan to cool the engine. This is useful especially for those who have to walk slowly. In that condition in fact the fans on the engines have no effect because they rotate at the same speed of the motor.

2) install a bigger engine (and the external fan). This is an appropriate solution especially if the user is a bit heavier than it should or walk slowly. It can be a long term solution.

3) whenever possible, monitor over time the temperature of the engine.

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