Blog | Manufacturing Carbon Since 1928

Lightning Protection Systems

A lightning strike is the result of an electric discharge between the atmosphere and an object. Most cloud to ground strikes are concentrated to a physical location, which is referred to as a “termination”. Interestingly, the bright flash that we call a lightning strike is only about one inch in diameter, even though it seems to be much more significant to the naked eye, video, and photographs.

WEG Motors with Bearing Protection Kits™

Helwig Carbon Bearing Protection Kits (BPKs) are now available on WEG motors. We’ve partnered with one of the world’s most respected motor brands to offer shaft grounding pre-installed on new motors!

test for shaft voltage

Why We Test For Shaft Voltage (And You Should, Too!)

Bearing discharges damage the motor bearings in two ways: the degradation of the bearing grease the roller assemblies are suspended in, and by electrostatic machining (ESD) of the bearings and bearing raceways. The combination of the two can be devastating to the life of the motor bearing and should be mitigated to avoid costly repairs and machine downtime.

A span of 6 bpk brushes on our silver graphite brushes page, example of shaft grounding solutions from Helwig Carbon

Why Motor OEMs are switching to Helwig’s Bearing Protection Kits™

Helwig Carbon has been supplying OEM motor manufacturers with shaft grounding solutions since the mid-1990s. Since that time, the use of VFDs to control electric motors has vastly increased, thus increasing the need for shaft grounding and the demand for our after-market Bearing Protection Kits™ (BPKs).

Understanding Circulating Currents

Electric motor bearings fail for a variety of reasons but the two most common reasons for electrical failure are circulating and common mode currents. Circulating currents are found in all motors. The severity of the problem and therefore the risk to the motor bearings is

Helwig Carbon logo on black, COVID-19 Update - Helwig Carbon is an Essential Business

COVID-19 Update

Helwig Carbon Products Is Considered An Essential Business And Will Remain Open During The Safer At Home Order From Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers. As of 3/24/2020

logo of Helwig Carbon

COVID-19 Announcement – Helwig Carbon Is Still Supporting Your Critical Applications

Helwig Carbon Is Still Supporting Your Critical Applications As of 3/17/2020

Celebrate With Us | 50 Years of Brush Holder Innovations | Helwig Blog featured image

CELEBRATE WITH US
—50 Years of Brush Holder Innovations—

Celebrate With Us President – Mark Umhoefer Our mission is to provide genuine overall value to our customers. Nothing demonstrates that commitment better than our decision 50 years ago to add high-quality brush holders to the line of products we manufacture. Today more customers than ever come to Helwig Carbon Products to be supplied with the best possible holder and brush solution – a custom engineered solution provided by a team with unparalleled levels of expertise and experience.

Helwig Carbon Products, Inc. is pleased to announce the acquisition and integration of the brush holder product line of J. Ream Manufacturing, Inc.

PRESS RELEASE: Helwig Carbon Products, Inc. acquires J Ream Manufacturing, Inc.

Acquisition & Integration of Brush Holder Product Line   Milwaukee, WI, February 28, 2020– Helwig Carbon Products, Inc. is pleased to announce the acquisition and integration of the brush holder product line of J. Ream Manufacturing, Inc.

Fractional Horsepower Brush Design | Fractional HP Brushes | Helwig Blog

Fractional Horsepower Brush Design

Fractional HP (FHP) motors are multi-purpose motors used for a wide range of applications. As space is limited and performance is key, brush-type DC FHP motors offer a significant advantage over

BPK Probe ROI Blog, the BPK-Probe™ is an easy to use instrument specifically designed to measure the risk for damage to motor bearings, gearboxes, or other devices.

Achieving an ROI with the BPK-Probe™

Problem Overview: The Patent Pending BPK-Probe™ is an easy to use instrument specifically designed to measure the risk for damage to motor bearings, gearboxes, or other devices that are susceptible to electrical discharges, also known as common-mode. These discharges are typically the result of

Even the strongest Juggernaut needs a little help from a small silver graphite brush.

Even the strongest Juggernaut needs a little help from a small silver graphite brush.

Even the strongest Juggernaut needs a little help from a small silver graphite brush. The Century® JuggerNaut® condenser fan motor from Regal Beloit® comes standard with a BPK-IM2, our smallest shaft grounding option.  The IM2 will provide many years of protection against harmful common mode currents passing through the motor bearings. These motors are designed as a drop-in replacement for existing models, to work with VFDs, and withstand high operating temperatures.

How to handle a request for a harder or softer brush grade and our carbon motor brushes, ac motor brush.

How to handle a request for a harder or softer brush grade.

Customers frequently make requests for a harder or softer carbon brush. For instance, they might request a harder brush grade in order to get better brush life or to prevent excessive dusting. Before proceeding with their request, it’s important to understand the application and get to the root cause of the problem. Often, the carbon brush grade is not the reason for poor performance in the brush circuit.

wind turbines, used for blog post on silver graphite grades

New Silver Graphite Grade Excels in Grounding Applications

The function of a carbon brush on power ring vs. a grounding ring is significantly different! Many customers use copper graphite for power rings and use similar copper graphite grades for grounding rings. This typically results in grooving of the ground rings. The function of the carbon brush on power and ground slip ring is significantly different. This is where Helwig’s silver graphite grade K297 excels. This grade was specifically designed for grounding applications and is becoming popular in the wind turbine market.

image of streaking for blog post - 3 Reasons for Rapid Brush Wear

3 Reasons for Rapid Brush Wear

A common question from those handling DC motor maintenance is, “why are my carbon brushes wearing so quickly?”. Rapid brush wear is a problem that can be caused from a multitude of factors. There isn’t one easy answer to this question, as each situation can be different. A natural answer to this question that many will quickly jump to is the carbon brush grade. However, we’ve seen that, more often than not, the brush grade is not the culprit. Here are three of the most common reasons for rapid carbon brush wear:

BPK group, used for image in blog outlining New Application Brief and VFD Bearing Damage

New Application Brief: Bearing Protection Kits in Universities

Check out our newest application brief: “Bearing Protection Kits in Universities”.  This application brief covers the usage of Helwig’s Bearing Protection Kits at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. UNL was looking for reliable bearing protection after they experienced motor failure due to VFD bearing damage, despite using a popular competitor’s solution. They tested our BPK-4 shaft grounding solution and were convinced that our unit would protect their motors from harmful shaft discharge. UNL now has Helwig’s BPK solution specified into their requirements for any motors controlled by VFDs, thus preventing further VFD bearing damage.