What is the best drive system for my product?

What is the best drive system for my product?

The best drive system for you is going to depend largely on what type of product or application you plan to produce. When answering this question, it is pertinent to look at what the best drive system might be for selected products. We have highlighted several distinct examples in this article with the aim of providing guidance and suggestions on what might be the best fit-for-purpose motor for your product.  

Fisher & Paykel Technologies partners with businesses who need customised smart drive systems. We help you design, build & manufacture solutions that deliver value to your customers.

Direct drive motors for washing machines  

A direct drive system in a washing machine is possibly one of the best examples of the motor's use and suitability for the appliance. There will of course be variation in product size, what markets it is sold in, price points, etc., however we can look at the actual drive system used to power the appliance.  

The benefits of the direct drive system in this example are plentiful. For washing machines, efficiency, low cost, and low noise are all high on the must-have list. Spin speed, load weight, drum diameter and suspension systems, along with smart functionality are also important.  

With the focus on direct drive motors for most laundry appliances, it really is the superior choice for this sector.

Food processors

When it comes to professional food processing equipment, the common choice is a high-speed motor with belt drive and a cooling fan. These machines run with almost constant speed with increasing torque over 30 minutes per nominal cycle, for up to several hours. It's a cost-effective option with standard parts readily available. Trade-offs include the noise and vibration from the machine, which can be an issue in the service industry, and the limited control of the food processing tool (e.g., an agitator or scraper).

Introducing a big diameter pancake style motor directly on the food processor shaft came with a design challenge around the machine envelope and heat management. But we achieved this, and the benefits have proved to be huge! A very quiet and stable motor.  

Because of the direct interaction with the moving parts, safety functions were integrated into the motor controller, so hardware such as a safety switch were replaced by software.  

We also had to consider EMC requirements for European and global markets and compatibility in over 100 countries (voltage, safety, etc).

HVAC solutions

Our Air Conditioning Unit Motors are superior for their purpose and feature a motor design with proprietary rotor manufacturing methods for smooth magnetic field orientation to help reduce the noise level of the product.  

These awesome motors come with an integrated controller. There are two fundamental versions: cost-effective and smart superior. The smart control integrates more functions and guarantees a smooth, accurate, and most importantly, quiet run.  

There are also smart features such as Blocked Filter Detection for A/C units and Self-Cleaning Fan Mode. New functionality and smart features are constantly being developed, making this type of drive system the perfect choice for air movement and HVAC applications.  

Industrial hydraulic pumps  

As with other applications, a small envelope makes for improved portability in this type of application. Pumps are used across some challenging environments and require a consistent high-performance outcome. Less moving parts and reduced backlash on the drive shaft reduce the potential of failure in these environments, where they are often operating in heavy-duty physical and/or electrical conditions.  

The performance of a direct drive system helps to make the product stand out from everything in the market available so far.

Gearbox driven top loader washing machine

The use of a belt-driven or induction motor will have its advantages, predominantly cost related. A good example of this motor is the GE Smart Washer.  

However, clearly there are more parts that could fail and possibly require replacement. Most top load washing machines will have a clutch to engage/disengage the wash plate/agitator from the drum. This addition will also add cost and complexity, but this is necessary for full functionality. The use of a direct drive motor will be more expensive, however with fewer moving parts to fail, it will more often be the smarter choice and may also prove to be quieter and more efficient overall.

Talk to us about your individual requirements and how we can assist you with motor design and manufacture.


From our discussion and through highlighting a select few applications, it becomes clear that the direct drive motor is the front runner motor choice for many applications today. As technology advances, the uses of direct drive become more widespread, with many options available to suit a range of applications. However, as always, depending on the type of product or application you are planning, it is necessary to explore all the relevant options before the decision-making process.


Rob Keating

Rob is a content creator and copywriter for Fisher & Paykel Technologies. His work includes the Knowledge Hub, email, website and social media copy, along with customer communications.
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drive system motor, Motor drive system, Smart integrated drive systems, electric motor solutions, electric motor applications
October 10, 2022
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