When people hear the word “motor,” it wouldn’t be surprising if the mental pictures they conjure would involve huge, loud contraptions or mechanical equipment that are covered in dirt and grease after a long day at work. And while that may be the case for some applications of motors, these images don’t really show a complete and accurate representation of the other kinds of motors and their uses.

In fact, the complete opposite of large, dirty motors—small, clean, and sterile ones—do exist. These miniature motors, known as sterilizable and autoclavable motors,possess properties that help them withstand a multitude of sterilization processes. They’re used in a wide array of applications, some more crucial than the others. In this article, we’ll look into some of them.

Safer Medical Procedures

Medical tools and equipment are among the most common applications of sterilizable and autoclavable motors. Bone drills and saws, robotic operating arms, and other surgical equipment are often outfitted with a sterilizable micro brushless motor to allow doctors to perform even the most delicate procedures with ease and precision. Quite a few dentistry tools are also powered by sterilizable micro motors, such as dental drills, electric toothbrushes, torque wrenches, and dental burs.

Because these tools are used on hundreds of different patients with different medical conditions and states of health, the need to clean and disinfect these tools before and after each use is crucial. These sterilizing procedures help prevent the spread of infection and stop used tools from contaminating other tools and supplies. Sterilizable and autoclavable motors are built to last thousands of cleanup cycles, ensuring that these medical tools and equipment last longer and perform as intended.

High-Quality Manufacturing

Sterilizable motors are also an important component in manufacturing equipment and procedures. In the food and beverage industry, for example, these motors are usually present in mixing machines, which combine ingredients in exact amounts to ensure the consistency of taste. Sterilizable motors are also important parts of packaging equipment that pack and seal these food products.

Because of their capabilities for automation, these machines have increased efficiency compared to human workers alone. They also improve safety and quality of the food products, because these machines are more hygienic. They can withstand harsh sterilization procedures that kill germs and other disease-carrying microbes, thus preventing the growth of bacteria, mold and other contaminants.

The same goes for medicine and pharmaceutical manufacturing. The different equipment used to make these products should be able to cope with multiple cleaning and sterilization cycles to ensure the safety and quality of the products.

Finally, semiconductor manufacturers also benefit from sterilizable motors. The quality of microchips — like those used in computers, cellular phones, and gaming consoles—can be easily compromised by dust, moisture, and other impurities while being made. This is why semiconductor manufacturers usually have clean rooms for the manufacturing of these sensitive components. These manufacturing equipment therefore call for the use of sterilizable motors to avoid the instances of defective products.

Sterilizable and autoclavable motors are small but important pieces of technology that help ensure  worker and consumer safety, as well as product quality. In fact, autoclaves and other sterilization equipment also incorporate sterilizable motors in their mechanisms to ensure that they can be cleaned thoroughly without the sterilization processes degrading their performance. The bottom line is that the use of sterile equipment lead to safer procedures and better-quality products.