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Frameless Motors, Extended Life Motors the Stars of MDM West 2024

February 15, 2024

MD&M West 2024 is officially in the books! We were thrilled to showcase our latest innovations for the medical industry, including our extended life motors and frameless motors; visitors to the booth even got to peek at our flat motor and strain wave gearing prototype. We also had the opportunity to exhibit directly beside Thomson Linear and Warner Electric, sister brands within the Regal Rexnord family, highlighting our commitment to collaboration within the industry. This joint effort enabled us to present a comprehensive portfolio of solutions, demonstrating our collective expertise to meet the evolving needs of customers in the medical and healthcare sectors.

Here's a deeper look at the motion innovations mentioned above:

Extended Life Motors

Extended life motors have been developed to outperform in the most challenging of medical environments, including saline, autoclave, and dishwasher settings, as well as within surgical hand tools. Portescap has developed a motor that can withstand the harsh conditions encountered in arthroscopic shaver environments, which offers a 2X lifespan compared to conventional counterparts. This heightened durability is especially critical given the demanding environments that arthroscopic shavers operate within, including saline during operation and the rigorous sterilization processes involving autoclaves and high-pH detergents. By mitigating common failure points such as seal, bearing, and electrical failures, our extended life motor not only delivers extended longevity, but also reduces the frequency of service and repair needs, thereby ensuring uninterrupted performance and maximizing operational efficiency.

Frameless Motors

Frameless motors have emerged in recent years as a sleek and innovative motion solution for unique application requirements. Stripped down to the essential components of the stator and rotor, these motors forego the traditional frame and bearings and are integrated directly into mechanical assemblies, which allows for a compact, lightweight, and highly efficient design.

Their advantages over conventional motors are abundant, boasting weight savings, space efficiency, a high torque-to-inertia ratio, enhanced cooling efficiency, and reduced mechanical losses. Typical performances include reaching diameters of up to 127mm, nominal torque of 1,500mNm, up to 20,000 RPM, and power up to 350 W. Furthermore, the ability for customization in windings, shafts, and connectors ensures adaptability to diverse applications, making frameless motors a versatile component for various medical and industrial applications.

Flat Motor with Strain Wave Gearing

Portescap's expertise extends to the production of flat motors perfectly suited for integration with strain wave gearing, catering to a wide array of robotic applications – including surgical robotics. With extremely high reduction ratios from 30:1 to 320:1 packed into a compact package, strain wave gearing stands as an innovative solution in the realm of motion control. The flat motor and strain wave gearing, particularly in regard to generating substantial output torque without any backlash, meets the stringent demands of robotic joints and control axes requiring precise servo'd motion. Additional benefits of this combo include low backlash, exceptional positional accuracy and repeatability, high efficiency, long lifetime, and minimal noise output. These capabilities find relevance across diverse sectors, including medical/surgical robotics, industrial robotics, and wheel drives.

Want more details on any of the above? Our engineers are happy to help! Please reach out to us directly at to discuss. You can also take a look through our micro motion solutions for the medical field here; you can also catch our team in action at the show in this video!