Project Overview

Product Development Challenge

Develop a Brushless Motor Controller that fits in less than ¾”, works to 350°F, operates under extreme vibration and shock, and is fault tolerant.

The existing system used a brush motor that wore out quickly, was inefficient and unreliable. Despite the common belief that Brushless motors have a long lifespan, are more efficient, and reliable, the electronic controls for brushless motors are notoriously complicated, unwieldy and unreliable. Creating a situation where one gain was traded off for a loss.

Other constraints within the system restricted the use of brushless motors as temperatures were very high, the vibration was extreme, and space was at a premium. Further complications came from the system’s many temporary “fault” conditions that would normally destroy a brushless controller.

For these reasons, no one had been able to design and manufacture a controller that could take advantage of this technology. That is until one of the leaders in the industry contacted Finish Line to help exploit this technology.

Finish Line PDS Bottom Line

Design a Brushless Motor for Harsh Environment

Finish Line was tasked with increasing the reliability of the Motor System without increasing the space available for the existing simple DC motor controller “a seemingly impossible task”.

In addition, the system had to tolerate fault conditions like a stalled motor, or overvoltage. All of this was on top of the extreme environment of high temperature (350°F), high shock (1000Gs) and high vibration (50Grms).

Finish Line was able to meet this challenge by developing an approach to innovative a design with very clever packaging techniques. This combination allowed us to simplify the design and fit it into the existing space saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars re-tooling the fleet. This system greatly increased the lifespan of the product, and to date, there have been no field failures.