by Amelia Messamore

FORT SMITH, Ark. (Dec. 18, 2014) – In 1967, the Baldor Electric Company headquarters officially moved from the company’s birthplace of St. Louis, Missouri, to the historic town of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Since then, Baldor’s Fort Smith Complex has been a hub for motor-related training and trendsetting.

Baldor hosts dozens of on-site training courses each year, including this month’s Fundamentals of Motors class, taught by Product Training Specialist Chris Whitfield. “We are trying to get our customers here … to understand our product and to know how to take care of it,” he says.

This month’s class drew 19 students from states across the U.S. and from Canada—industry veterans and novices alike. Whitfield says the class is designed “to leave no one behind.” Students’ occupations ranged from account representatives to repair shop techs to managers.

The class spanned three days, from Dec. 1-3, and covered a breadth of topics, starting with the purpose and characteristics of motors and expanding to topics such as motor curves and torque calculations. The course focused heavily on major causes of equipment failure and how to identify and resolve those problems.

The course also included a tour of the company’s recently revamped manufacturing facility as well as a hands-on workshop in which students disassembled a motor, challenged themselves to reassemble the parts and plugged it in to test their work.

“Studying a book is not the same as tearing apart a motor and seeing how all the components work together,” said Matt Settersten, account representative at Flanders, Inc. and course attendee. “Anybody, whether experienced or having zero knowledge of the industry, absolutely needs to do something like this. Everyone needs a solid foundation.”

Jacob Young, also an account rep at Flanders, Inc. who attended the class, has three years of experience building motors but still considers this opportunity for continued learning essential for building a repertoire of knowledge. “I’ve got a whole list of stuff I was writing down, mainly about troubleshooting,” he said. “I’m used to working with motors, and I still learned something.”

Pumps & Systems was on-site to participate in the class, network with industry insiders and get a feel for the challenges facing motor users today. Click here to see a slideshow of photos from the event.