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BHEL to set up centre to make magnet machines

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , April 12

A CENTRE to develop permanent magnet machines (C-DPPM) is being set up at the corporate R&D division of BHEL at an investment of about Rs 2.25 crore.

The initial construction activity was taken up in February, and the centre is expected to be operational by December, according to BHEL officials.

The C-DPPM is expected to help BHEL meet the infrastructural needs for the development of a range of special permanent magnet machines, which have use in strategic areas such as space and defence, besides several industries in the power sector. The centre would also have facilities for magnetisation of high-energy magnets and will develop fixtures for the assembly of machines with the magnets.

The corporate R&D has developed in-house design and technology to manufacture a series of PMMs with high-energy magnet materials. It has supplied more than 60 machines to BHEL at Ramachandrapuram, which in turn offered them to customers along with turbo generators of up to 50-MW rating.

These PM generators have both cost and size advantage over imported machines, the BHEL officials told Business Line. The units have been working well in power plants compared to imported machines. Three compact PM DC Servomotors of 8-hp, 2000-rpm rating developed by the R&D have been supplied to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh for critical applications in radar antenna.

The PMMs are compact, reliable in operation, more efficient and maintenance free due to the absence of field winding and loss of copper. The successful development of high-energy rare-earth permanent magnets by various suppliers the world over has prompted the designers of electrical machines to opt for PMMs to replace the field windings, they said.

The turnover of the corporate R&D from PMMs for the year 2003-04 was about Rs 1 crore. The demand for these PMMs is going up and the cost appeal of the indigenous product from BHEL could stand a good chance of getting acceptance from customers, they said.

The C-DPPM, in addition to meeting the demands of BHEL group units, will also take up the development of such machines for applications in other industries.

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