August 3, 2022
Micro motors put the power in pruningPruning is one of the most demanding jobs in the viticulture and horticulture industries. When done manually, this time- and labor-intensive task can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive motion injuries. In order to help reduce the strain and fatigue associated with manual pruning tools used in orchards and vineyards, INFACO (Innovation, Fabrication, Commercialization) developed the first electric pruning shear — the Electrocoup.
Since inventing the Electrocoup in 1984, INFACO has continually improved the shears so that its professional customers will want to invest in the tool each pruning season. For example, the eighth-generation model — the Electrocoup F3015 — is a battery-operated four-in-one tool that allows the user to change the cutting head for viticulture, orchard and tree pruning work—or any other pruning discipline. It also accommodates extension poles and includes a patented safety system.
INFACO collaborated with Portescap — a reliable partner for all seven of the previous-generation Electrocoup shears — to achieve high cutting capacity and torque capability while meeting specific lifetime, weight, size and power consumption targets.
For the F3015, Portescap proposed a proprietary 22-millimeter brushless, slotless four-pole motor — the Ultra EC 22 ECT with a custom-designed 31-millimeter planetary gearbox. The slotless design of the motor helped provide the efficiency and higher speed, while the proprietary four-pole rotor provided the desired higher torque.
Portescap was able to fully customize the motor and gearbox assembly to include special proprietary features such as:
- High power density and lower operating temperature made possible by optimizing the working point of the motor (high current capacity and high speed).
- A small envelope because the gearbox is integrated with the motor.
- Robust construction and less sensitivity to shock and vibration.
- A redesigned output stage to give the gearbox higher output torque capability.
The collaboration between Portescap engineers and R&D team along with the INFACO team resulted in a micro motor that delivers consistent output, reduced noise, long battery life and high power and torque. “The extensive collaboration allows us to achieve great product performance,” says Daniel Delmas, president of INFACO.
Using the custom-designed Ultra EC motor, the F3015 is one of the most powerful electronic pruning shears available, with a low weight of 790 grams and a cutting capacity of 40 millimeters providing 184 Newton-meters of torque. Additional heads allow the F3015 to raise cutting capacity to 55 millimeters with 360 Newton-meters torque.