Opened in 1898, Siemens’ Norwood Motor Manufacturing plant, just outside of Cincinnati, is one of the company’s longest continuously operating plants globally, says the company. To celebrate the milestone, the facility recently opened a test observatory. The new equipment extends Norwood’s testing range from 10,000 to 20,000 hp at frequencies from 10 to 300 Hz to address the increased use of variable-frequency drives. 

Testing equipment includes two Sinamics Perfect Harmony GH180 drives and two dynamometers. Generating power to test a 20,000 hp motor requires significant amounts of electricity. By recycling power to the grid, the new equipment reduces power loss by 90 percent. The test observatory will allow customers to participate by observing testing through bay windows, direct cameras and mirroring computers, which display real-time critical data being gathered by sensors attached to their motor.

The project, which began in 2016, required excavating a 13’ deep hole, driving 114 pilings for stability and building a concrete vault to securely support a fully loaded test stand.  The 360-ton test stand rests on a self-leveling air spring system designed to support 500 tons when loaded with motors and drives.