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Electrical machine software

You can categorize the electrical machine software into 2 basic types:

1) FEA packages that may or may not have a front end for analyzing motors. These are available from companies like Vector Field (now Cobham), Infolytica and a few others.
2) Motor design specific software such as the SPEED software, RMxprt and MotorSolve from Infolytica.

In the first category, the FEA packages are expensive because they are general purpose modeling packages. The motor add-on is usually limited mostly to the building the model and perhaps some specialized post-processing for motors. Their main advantages are:

1) 2D and 3D versions.
2) The user is free to define what analysis he wants to perform since they have very advanced general post-processors.

Their main disadvantages are:
1) Cost, they can get very expensive depending on the options you require.In some cases, the motor design module is a cost option.
2) Although they have general post-processors, many users require a lot of training in order to be able to get useful information.
3) Geometry input can be a lot more complicated since the front-ends typically have a limited number of geometries available.

The second category, the motor design software, is specifically designed for motor analysis. It can be magnetic circuit based such as SPEED and RMXprt or full finite element based such as MotorSolve. The magnetic circuit type of software has been available for a long time but it has only been recently that full FEA based motor design packages have become available.

The general advantages of software of this type are:

1) Template based input so the user simply chooses the motor geometry, stator and rotor and sets the parameters for the geometry. The input is therefore very simple but limited to the templates that are implemented in the package.
2) Post-processing is specialized and presented in a form that a motor designer can use it.

The general disadvantages of this type of software is:

1) No specialized post-processing is available directly from these packages unless added by the software provider in a new release.
2) Geometries are limited to the templates and adding templates may be very difficult and has to be done by the software provider.

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