Creating the Most Stable Elevators
Professor Hong Jung-pyo of the Division of Automotive Engineering
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Like any other industries, the field of engineering is a harshly competitive market. Stepping ahead requires the latest technology, practical design, efficient utilization, and the list goes on. In the area of elevators, it is no longer just about going up and down. It is not even the speed of the transport. Rather, it is about how smooth the ride is. In this regard, Professor Hong Jung-pyo of the Department of Automotive Engineering has paved the way for elevator manufacturers to produce the most stable elevators in his paper, “Advanced method of selecting number of poles and slots for low-frequency vibration reduction of traction motor for elevator.”
Professor Hong’s research began with the approach of a prominent elevator manufacturer, requesting a joint research to seek solutions for some of the stability issues that they have had with their elevators. It happened to be a great opportunity, as the number of domestic test towers for elevators were quite limited, and using them required cooperation with a company that owned such a facility.
A blueprint of an elevator motor (courtesy of Montanari Elevators)
The biggest concern for elevator manufacturers had always been vibration. Specifically, it is the low-frequency vibration that humans are especially sensitive to, which is caused by the generation of power from the motor. As most people know, elevators move through the winding and unwinding of ropes that are connected to a motor. The level of vibration felt in the car box, or the compartment that people actually get on, is determined by the motor. To put in simple terms, the design of the motor decides how shaky the elevator is. Just as the riding comfort decides the price of a luxurious car model, the reputation of an elevator brand is determined by its stability. Hong’s research aimed to analyze the causes of vibration and provide solutions to minimize it.
Hong’s research can be conceptualized by understanding a fundamental mechanism of the motor: the poles and slots. Poles refer to magnetic poles, equivalent to the north and south poles from a general conception of magnets. Slots are physical holes in the motor where conductors are placed to allow electrical current to flow. Upon the flow of electricity, the poles and slots create an electromagnetic force that rotates the motor and provides physical power. The combination of the numbers of poles and slots in the motor results in weaknesses in particular areas that cause instability and, thus, vibration. Hong used a mathematical approach to diagnose the problem with various motor models and provided the ideal number of poles and slots to minimize vibration.
Professor Hong with his co-author, Kim Doo-Young
Hong expressed deep interest in extending his research into similar areas. Like any other field of study, the engineering field is also becoming interdisciplinary. As can be seen in Hong’s study, the research process involved a combination of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering approaches to the motor. The field of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering are now somewhat well-established individually. In contrast, we have little data and research on what happens when they interact with each other. The necessity for research into this field of electro-mechanical engineering has always been demanded, yet barely explored. Hong aims to study the designs and mechanisms of various systems extensively in his further research.
As a word of advice to students of Hanyang, Hong commented that hard work is the only thing he can emphasize. As a respected professor, many students come to him for counseling on issues such as pursuit in a field of study, seeking career paths, and various decisions in between. Rather than spending time deliberating, he advises students to find any reason to make a decision. “It’s not about where you end up, it’s about how hard you work after you get there.” He also stressed constant self-development, adding that improving yourself by the smallest bit from one day to another will make you a different person by the end of a year.
Lee Chang-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
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