Heidelberg Motor Question


I have recently purchased a Heidelberg Windmill. The existing motor is 220V 3 phase. However, it is going to be very expensive to get 220V single phase into my garage. Do I have any other options, such as replacing the motor with a 110 V motor without reducing the effectivness of the Windmill.


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I think Richard Tautenhahn knows how to make this work. Go to letterpressprinters.com and email him from there.

Hope this helps.



I’ve got a Phase-a-Matic Heavy Duty Series rated static phase convertor from Enco which cost me about $130. Followed label directions and it works fine. Also supports my Intertype, which has a blower motor that would not easily remotor to single phase.

The tricky part about replacing a Windmill motor is the start-up procedure. The original Windmill motor was designed to include a burst of power upon start-up, and then back off on the voltage a bit for running speed.

Since the Windmill’s speed is controlled by the adjustable-diameter drive pulley, you will NOT need a variable speed motor for this press.

IF you replace the original motor with another standard one-speed motor, it *should* work - assuming that you get the flywheel spinning by hand before applying voltage to start up the motor. Otherwise, you may stress the motor with the initial load and possibly even burn it out very quickly.

I would get your motor to an expert on electric motors and see if it can be re-wired to run on 220 or 110 single phase. I know that there are many wiring options available within the wiring box and you may indeed be able to use the 3-phase motor you have if it can be wired to operate on 110 or 220v single phase. The real advantages of voltages other than 110 single-phase has to do with motor efficiency - and your electric bill.

If that’s not feasible - or simply won’t work (- I’m a printer, not an electrician), you can follow the route of installing a phase converter as mentioned above. 3-phase converters are not uncommon in print shops. A friend of mine operated his large folder using a converter for years - however, his cost $300. Perhaps prices have improved.

Just make sure than any converter you purchase will handle the amps required by your motor.

Please note that inexpensive Phase-A-Matics are static converters, not rotary. This means they are merely acting as starting capacitors for the three-phase motor which will then run on single-phase power, but with a loss of about 1/3 to1/2 of its rated power.

This might not be A Good Thing, depending upon the use of the motor.

Rotary converters however, will cause motors attached to them to supply full rated power.


Tom is correct and I found that if one tries to start the motor under load (with the speed pulley turned to max speed) the motor will stall and you could destroy the phase convertor. Since I make a point of bringing the machine speed to minimum when shutting down, I don’t have this problem.

Check the information plate on the motor. Some motors allowed you to run them on 110v by swapping wires and changing the heater (overload) I have a machine in Atlanta that has been on 110v for two years.

I just took my three phase motor in today to a local Electric Motor shop and ordered a single phase motor. It will bolt right up to the press. The shaft height, diameter and length is exactly the same. I did have to get a starter with it because it wasn’t sent with the press and it’s different on a single phase anyway. I am paying $475.00 for a brand new motor and starter and they are removing and reinstalling the pully to boot! Midwest Machine Mart in Indianapolis, IN ask for Nathan

I’ve posted at some length how I solved this one in a different thread. http://www.briarpress.org/20569#comment-68867

In short I recommend to convert a 10x15 Windmill to single phase, just buy a standard 1.5kW 90S 4-pole motor with B3 foot mount and cap-cap start.