New variable frequency drives from major suppliers are including sophisticated control functionality and new software tools as part of their new product offerings. These solutions include a wide range of advanced control functionality, either as part of the standard offering or as add-on options. Drives are not only providing basic controller capability but also motion control features such as position control, encoder inputs for tracking, special safety features and a limited amount of I/O. Some products even include a powerful embedded logic controller, which can in many cases eliminate the need for a separate PLC. A key to the manufacturer's goal of providing enhanced products and services is new drives that are based on common control platforms — unifying programming and support for the supplier's entire product line-up. This is not only more cost-effective for suppliers, but simplifies programming and training for the end-users as well.
ALLEN-BRADLEY POWERFLEX 40P AC DRIVE
Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 40P ac drives from Rockwell Automation provide embedded control and Category 3 safety protection in a cost-effective compact design. The drives offer OEMs and end users space savings and an easy-to-use ac drive that can provide application flexibility, basic positioning and Category 3 Safe-off. The drive features encoder or pulse train input, allowing configured closed loop control for improved speed regulation, basic position control or other pulse inputs for motor control. With the use of the StepLogic function, the PowerFlex 40P ac drive can act as an independent position controller for simple time, digital input or communications-based index positioning applications, eliminating the need for a separate position controller. An optional DriveGuard safety relay provides a certified solution that meets EN954-1, Category 3 (Safe-off and protection against restart). The drive also comes in a plate drive version that reduces the cabinet size by allowing the drive to be mounted to an external heatsink.
AC DRIVES OPERATE ON ONE, STANDARD PLATFORM
Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. has introduced the first family of SINAMICS® ac drives to operate on one, standard platform. This technology makes it easy for Siemens' customers to select, start up and configure the drives for any application, at any power range (120W to more than 1MW), using the same software for every drive in the family. These new ac drives offer a modular and scalable architecture, and simplify application startups and the integration of new drives into new and existing systems. Common engineering tools, SIZER and STARTER, are designed to easily select and configure any drive solution from the most basic operation to complex motion and servo control functions. New G and S drive models are CE and UL-certified. The G drives are designed for general to high-performance, stand-alone drives applications. The S drives take a unique approach to coordinated drives with servo functions.
AUTOMATIONDRIVE AVAILABLE IN 40 TO 60 HP RANGE
VLT® AutomationDrive variable frequency drives from Danfoss Drives are now available in the 40 to 60 hp power range. This power extension covers IP21 and IP55 rated enclosures in the voltage range from 380 to 480/500V. Additionally, the drive is available to satisfy power demands from fractional to 10HP; 200 to 600V ac. Manufacturing demands for motor control can vary from speed control to high-performance positioning, responsiveness and accuracy. The VLT AutomationDrive provides flexibility which allows users to take advantage of motor control performance for any industrial process application. The drives offer a modular design that handles motor control requirements with a single product platform. The user can program it to adapt to complex operations at various points in the line using the built-in smart logic controller for essential control functions or an optional MCO programmable logic controller for advanced operations. Combining the solutions allows the user to replace external PLC equipment.