Expert Advice: The Role of Soft Starters in Motor Protection, Control and Optimization for Industrial and Commercial Applications

DCS Allied Automation Expert Advice Role of Soft Starters 1 400

March 8, 2022




On this episode of the Allied Expert Advice podcast, Carlos Riano, Senior Offer Manager, Drive Solutions, at Schneider Electric, digs into motor control and protection, and the role soft starters play in preserving electric motor life, providing precise motor control and preventing catastrophic failures in industrial and commercial applications.  We’re also highlighting some best practices for selecting the right soft starter, what the future holds for these critical components and what capabilities might be on the horizon.


Learn more about the full range of Schneider Electric products available from Allied Electronics and Automation at:


DCS Allied Automation Expert Advice Role of Soft Starters 3 400

Pressed for time? Jump directly to specific sections in the podcast:


1:30 – Obviously Schneider Electric is a major player in the motor control space, so let’s talk about you and your expertise first.  Tell us a little about your role at Schneider Electric and your background overall.

2:16 – In this episode, we want to focus on soft starters, how to match them to different applications and what to look for when selecting them.  Can you give us a quick 101 on what soft starters are and how they work?

6:20 – In terms of applications, what are the most common uses – where can soft starters be found?  Are there any unusual applications where listeners might be surprised to find a soft starter?

7:01 – It seems like soft starters and motor drives might do some of the same things.  In thinking about motor control, how would someone best determine whether to employ a soft starter or an AC motor drive? What factors come into play in that decision?

9:53 – What are the primary benefits of adding soft starters to AC electric motors in those applications?  There’s a cost to employing them, so what do customers get in return?

10:38 – What are the most important factors to consider when selecting a soft starter for an industrial or commercial application?  What should listeners look for to find the best balance between capability and cost?

12:54 – Schneider offers its Altistart range of soft starters through Allied’s distribution channels. Tell us about the various types of Altistart products and what Schneider believes sets them apart from others?

16:23 – We always like to highlight stories of success, or at least disaster avoidance.  Any examples from Schneider customers where having the right soft starter in place helped improve uptime, decrease maintenance or avoid a catastrophic machine failure?

18:04 – With industrial operations and buildings getting smarter and more connected all the time, how “smart” are soft starters today and where do you think the technology is headed in the future?  What will they be capable of in 5 years that isn’t possible today?

19:31 – Are there any tools available out there that can help listeners identify and select the best starter for their application?

DCS Allied Automation Expert Advice Role of Soft Starters 2 400





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