Mechatronic Solution Cited for Its Innovation

SEW-Eurodrive has been recognized by Frost and Sullivan for its pioneering work in the development of its mechatronic drive system. The company awarded Movigear, which integrates motor, drive and matching drive electronics in a single compact housing, with its Product Innovation of the Year award.

“Thanks to pioneering new technology, including single line installation, Movigear offers a number of benefits over conventional drive solutions,” says Frost and Sullivan industry analysts Suman Bhaskar and Kaushik Ghosh, who conducted the European market survey that singled out SEW’s innovative drive. The award cited the compact design, high overload capacity, short commissioning and startup times, low noise emissions and smooth housing design of Movigear, predicting that it will also mean lower installation and energy costs for customers.

Unlike decentralized automation technology that relies on two separate cables for energy and communication, the single line technology deployed with Movigear uses one cable.

Movigear is built to provide a combination of energy-efficiency, hygienic protection and functionality within a single drive. It is designed for use in a wide range of horizontal conveyor applications, including automotive assembly, food and beverage, airport logistics and package and parcel handling.

“The positive market response has encouraged us to broaden our marketing activities for Movigear in preparation for release in other countries, including the U.S.,” says Dave Ballard, U.S. engineering and marketing manager. SEW implemented Movigear systems into several European projects for the automotive and beverage industries in 2007.

Frost and Sullivan pointed out that Movigear can reduce overall costs for customers, even though component costs are slightly higher than those for conventional drive solutions.

“Our experience in developing and field-testing the pre-integrated Movigearsystem has confirmed the benefits of mechatronic engineering,” says Ballard. “We’re taking electronic components out of their comfort zone, where they could be exposed to vibrations, higher temperatures and humidity, so we’ve had to redesign every component, from microchips to heat sinks to housings, to ensure reliable, long-term performance.”

By creating a pre-integrated drive system that functions within the enclosed environment of a housing, Movigear components are matched to application requirements. Since each component operates more efficiently, the resulting drive system should use less energy.

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