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Advances in Technology Spur New Look at Drives and Motors

Aug. 6, 2009
Built-In Efficiency and Intelligence: Drives and Motors' New Generation Boasts Features That Make Them More Attractive Than Their Ancestors

Changes in both hardware and software altered the landscape for drives and motors, says Robert Muehlfellner, director, automation technology, at B&R Industrial Automation (www.br-automation.com). "On the hardware side, a new generation of so-called 'trench IGBTs' for servo drives reduce power loss and lead to smaller drives, and new winding technologies reduce servo motor manufacturing cost," he explains. "On the software side, having a generic and PLCopen standard-based programming interface independent of drive hardware allows the selection of the best drive technology suited for any axis—servo, stepper, induction, brushed DC, hydraulic—without any effects on the application software to control those various types of drives."

For motor or gearmotor improvements, John Morehead, vice president, marketing and strategic planning at Bison Gear (www.bisongear.com), points to efficiency, intelligence and reliability. "We're on the verge of additional legislation for energy-efficiency levels that will cause machine designers to revisit whether they're using the most efficient solution," he says. "Motors today also are more capable of directly integrating with machine intelligence, and some more advanced motor solutions have intelligence built-in."

Kitt Butler, director of the motors and drives division at Advanced Energy (www.advancedenergy.com), submits that 70-90% of all electricity used in manufacturing is supplied directly to motors, which by themselves are the largest single category of electricity end use. "Although the U.S. government is raising minimum efficiency requirements for certain classes of new motors, many of these new motors already require or will soon be in need of repair—an event that is not being discussed by the DOE, even though its 1998 study, the 'U.S. Industrial Electric Motor Systems Market Opportunities Assessment,' concluded that improperly conducted motor repairs have the potential to reduce a motor's efficiency by 1-2%," says Butler.

"Some people are looking into open-loop permanent magnet technology to replace the induction motor," explains Rich Mintz, product management group at SEW-Eurodrive (www.sew-eurodrive.com). "They're expensive, but that's the next level of efficiency. I think we are near the end of efficiency gains in induction motors, and everyone has one of these permanent-magnet designs on the drawing board." Integrated intelligence has impacted drives, adds Mintz. "Most of the higher-end drives have had this for quite a while, but now it is really going to new levels with the ability to communicate directly with PLC or other master network systems and can control multiple axes simultaneously," he says.

Multiprotocol Ethernet architectures create new opportunities with drives and motors, says Dan Throne, sales and marketing manager at Bosch Rexroth (www.boschrexroth-us.com). "By incorporating command, I/O and safety technology, further cost reductions allow further encroachment into other technology areas such as stepper technology by servos," he says.

"Innovative design changes in winding technology have created very efficient and powerful motors in small packages," says John Walker, vice president of sales and marketing at Exlar (www.exlar.com).

Transistor efficiency has increased significantly, and drives are being built into motors even better, says Robert Bigler, CEO of Animatics (www.animatics.com). "Floating-point DSPs are available now at fixed-point prices," he says. "Drives will soon be smarter than ever, and PLCs will become more and more optional."

The areas of improvement that would prompt a new look at variable-frequency drives (VFDs) are integrated network communications, RoHS compliance, smaller physical size, universal motor control, higher performance and embedded PLC functionality, explains Mike Massie, director, drives product marketing, at Yaskawa (www.yaskawa.com).

"While linear motors are not going to replace every belt, precision ballscrew or rack and pinion on the market, they have begun to replace those components in certain automation applications," explains Steve Feketa, global product manager, linear motors and stages, at Rockwell Automation (www.rockwellautomation.com).

"For servos, there are more sophisticated and accurate auto-tune capabilities," says Max Wietharn, vice president, sales and marketing North America for Intelligent Motion Systems (www.imshome.com). "For steppers more advanced control technology prevents loss of synchronization without PID control."

Drives now can calculate energy savings in real time, says Mark Kenyon, product manager, ABB Low Voltage Drives (www.abb.com). "Never has the case for energy efficiency been more compelling," he says.

"There has been a step change in the usability of drive systems brought on by plug-and-play configuration between drive and motor," adds Craig Nelson, product marketing manager, Sinamics S servo and vector drives, at Siemens Energy & Automation (www.siemens.com).

High Starting Torque Drive
3G3RX ac drives with open- and closed-loop vector have high starting torque of 200% at 0.3 Hz for zero-speed load holding. Combine an encoder with 3G3RX drives for feedback to perform low-precision positioning applications. A filter lowers noise impact on other drives and equipment.
Omron Electronics
TightDrive variable-speed SCR drive offers tighter speed regulation. TightDrive motor-mounted speed control can be field mounted on Bison PMDC gearmotors up to 1/6 hp and with 20:1 speed range with maximum output of 90 V. TightDrive enclosure offers NEMA 1/IP 30 protection. Speed is controlled with a combination on/off switch and speed potentiometer.
Bison Gear & Engineering
Movigear mechatronic drive system for horizontal materials handling is an optimal combination of motor, gear unit and electronics in a compact housing and provides startup torque up to four times higher than continuous. The fanless design reduces noise emission caused by mechanical or electrical excitation.
Dodge Quantis Gold C-face energy efficient gearmotors are available in pre-selected motor and gearbox combinations up to 100 hp. Both Quantis ILH (in-line helical) and RHB reducers (right angle helical bevel) have NEMA clamp-collar design, foot mounted housing configurations, standard inch output shafts, nitrile input and output lip seals, A1 mounting and Mobilgear 600 XP 220 oil. The motors run at 1800 rpm, 60 Hz, with voltages ranging 230–460 V, are inverter-capable and are suited for use on inverter drives in both variable torque and 20:1 constant torque applications.
Baldor Electric
Cartridge DDR direct-drive rotary servo motors in five frame sizes with four stack lengths per frame, feature pre-engineered components, an integrated, factory-aligned high-resolution feedback device and a bearing-less design. CE-marked and UL-listed, the motors are available in 240 V, 400 V and 480 V. They provide 4.57-510 Nm continuous torque, peak torque to 1,017 Nm and speeds to 2,500 rpm.
VLT micro drive in an M4 frame size covering the three-phase 380-480 Vac, 15-20 hp range, feature conformal coated PCBs per IEC 60721-3-3, class 3C3, and provide serial communication via RS-485 Modbus RTU and FC protocols. A detachable local control panel (LCP) with or without potentiometer, an LCP copy function and a panel-front mounting kit for the LCPare included.
Danfoss Drives
IndraDrive Cs supports SERCOS III, ProfiNet, EtherNet/IP and EtherCat and has a universal multi-encoder interface supporting Hiperface, EnDat 2.1 and 2.2, 1Vss, 5 V TTL and Rexroth MSM servo motors. It comes with digital inputs and outputs, plus an analog input onboard, integrated brake resistor, additional interface for a second encoder and an intelligent operation panel with programming module functionin models 50 W-3.5 kW, and 3-28 A.
Bosch Rexroth
8LT series three-phase synchronous motors with self-cooled or externally cooled options can eliminate angular gears in many cases. Supply voltage ranges 400-480 Vac, with a rated power 0.11–21 kW. With stall torques of 50–900 Nm, all motors have an embedded parameter chip for identification of all device data.
B&R Industrial Automation
Alpha i series ac servo motors offers regenerative braking with an input voltage of 400 V. It has a small pulse encoder with 1M pulses/revolution standard, 16M optional. Maximum torque ranges 1-500 Nm and can extend to 3,000 Nm at 400 V with speeds to 6,000 rpm.
GE Fanuc
MDrive with motor+driver technology has a quad stack NEMA 23 brushless 1.8° stepping motor for speed-torque comparable to a single stack NEMA 34, but with a smaller footprint. It is capable of full (256 x 200) microstepping with a 12-60 Vdc integrated driver. With an operating range of –40 to +85 °C, the drive is available with encoders, planetary gearboxes and interface cables.
Intelligent Motion Systems
OME series industrial-duty ac motors are three-phase, 208-230/460 V motors available 1-5 hp and speeds of 3,600, 1,800 and 900 rpm. TEFC T-frame motors have cast-iron frames with a ribbed design and class F insulation. They are inverter-duty capable with a 5:1 speed turndown for variable torque applications and a 2:1 speed turndown for constant torque use.
Omega Engineering
ACS310 drive ranges 0.5-30 hp with built-in PID controllers. The drive is designed to manage switching between pumps or fans. The drive includes soft pump and fan control and a built-in energy counter displays energy savings in kWh or in local currencies.
Altivar 12 variable-speed ac drive for harsh environments has an intuitive user interface, an integrated communications port, user-friendly wheel on the faceplate and optional multi-loader for programming and setup before installation with no special training.
Schneider Electric
Sinamics S110 single-axis ac servo drive for simple positioning or indexing applications with synchronous or induction motors operates at 0.12-90 kW. Profibus, CANopen or analog/digital interfaces allow it to be integrated into the Simatic automation system and other controllers. It has seven onboard safety functions that are controlled via three safe inputs and one safe output.
Siemens Energy & Automation
The V1000 drive is compact current vector drive. Features include 1/8-25 hp; 200-240 V single-phase, 200-240 V three-phase and 380-480 V three-phase; and EN954-1 Safety Category 3, Stop Category 0. The drive is RoHS-compliant and features on-line tuning. It allows function block diagram programming via DriveWorksEZ and features 2 msec scan cycle with dual CPU. The V1000 is designed with increased vibration resistance, 20-50 Hz, and handles Modbus communication up to 115 kbps.
Compax3 digital servo drives have been enabled with Ethernet Powerlink (EPL) motionbus technology. Ethernet Powerlink is a high-speed, digital motionbus solution connecting a motion controller to multiple drives and I/O points using standard Ethernet networking hardware. This centralized, real-time communication system for automation and control makes Ethernet deterministic for real-time industrial applications and decreases installation time for machine builders.
Parker Electromechanical Automation
SLM series brushless servo motor line features Exlar's T-LAM segmented motor stator design, where each segment contains individual phase wiring and thus limits heat generation. Three frame sizes, 60, 90 and 115 mm, are offered with continuous torque ratings of 7.6-176 in.-lb and speeds ranging 3,000-5,000 rpm. One, two and three stack motor stators are available as standard. Standard features include IP65 sealing, stainless-steel shaft, MS connectors, feedback configuration, epoxy coating and 115, 230 and 460 Vrms motor voltages.
D700 compact variable-frequency drive replaces S500E with 150% more motor torque at 1 Hz using general-purpose, magnetic-flux-vector control with an open-loop speed range of 60:1. Communications include Modbus RTU and Mitsubishi Electric's RS-485 programming protocol as standard.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation
LDC and LDL series linear servo motors can be sized with Motion Analyzer software. Full setup and programming support through RSLogix 5000 software can reduce setup time. The motors are designed for machine applications including packaging, on-the-fly inspection, shape cutting, dispensing, material handling and pick-and-place machines.
Rockwell Automation
Marathon 1-10 hp XRI inverter-duty motors meet or exceed NEMA Premium efficiencies for efficiency, power consumption and system reliability. With rolled steel construction and C-face rigid base mounting, they are UL-recognized, CSA-certified.
SMVector frequency inverter with a visible internal disconnect switch on the NEMA 4X/IP65 enclosed drives removes power to facilitate service and maintenance, conforms to European electrical conventions, and has a lockable switch handle. The drive's system protection includes voltage monitoring, current monitoring, follower loss management and over-temperature protection.
Lenze-AC Tech
AM3500 series servo motors have a high moment of inertia suited for machine tool axis with stringent synchronization requirements. They can eliminate a gear box in high-inertia applications such as rotary tables. Motors are available with flange sizes 3 to 6, torques between 1.9 and 15 Nm and rated speeds of 3,000–6,000 rpm. Resolvers or absolute encoders (single or multi-turn) are available as a feedback system. The standard protection class is IP64 with IP65/67 optional. Motors are CE-, UL- and CSA-listed.
Beckhoff Automation
Athlonix high-power-density brush dc motors are designed to deliver speed-to-torque performance in a compact lighter-weight package with output power to 9 W and an energy-efficient coreless design and optimized self-supporting coil and magnetic circuit. In 12, 16 and 22 mm frame sizes and maximum continuous torque to 16.5 mNm, the motors are compatible with incremental encoders and gearheads of various sizes and ratios and are RoHS-compliant.
Pacesetter Models 2994 and 2998, three-phase AC motor speed controls drive 230 Vac, 50/60 Hz, inverter-duty, gearmotors and motors ranging 1/8–1 hp. Both operate from single-phase 115 or 208/230 Vac. Model 2994 is NEMA4X/IP 65-rated and Model 2998 is NEMA1/IP 40-rated for basic protection in packaging and conveyor systems.
Bodine Electric
RBK RoHS-compliant two-phase bipolar stepping motor and drive package with DC input divides the basic 1.8 in. step angle up to 128 microsteps (0.018° step angle) in 16 selectable resolutions using built-in switches located in the driver. The third-harmonic-suppression function reduces step motor torque vibrations by connecting or shaping the driver current waveforms, especially at low motor shaft speeds.
Oriental Motor USA
STM space-saving stepper drive and motor unit features advanced current control, anti-resonance technology, torque ripple smooth and microstep emulation for use in a variety of automation applications in motion control. It comes standard with protection against over and under voltage, over-temperature, motor shorts and motor open phase. The unit is RoHS compliant and CE certified. STM is available in lengths of 92.4 mm with an output torque of up to 125 oz-in. or 114.4 mm with an outp ut torque of up to 245 oz-in. They provide three digital inputs, one digital output and one analog output. Users can choose from an RS232/485 communication interface and an optional encoder that is integrated to the motor body without increasing the size of the unit. The encoder provides direct and stall prevention functionality.
Applied Motion Products
Series 122 SR DC micro motor has an external motor-diameter of 12 mm and length of 24 mm. A combination of the System Faulhaber ironless rotor and Neodymium rare earth magnets achieve a stall torque of 5.43 mNm and speeds to 13,800 rpm. The precious metal commutation allows operation at low starting voltages due to inherent low contact resistance.
MicroMo Electronics
RH series radiation-hardened brushless servo motors for rapid acceleration and deceleration in radiation-intensive applications are available in four standard frame sizes, or custom sizes, with continuous output torque ranging 15-400 in.-lb or momentary peak torque of 30-1,000 in.-lb and with rotor inertia of 0.17-36.7 oz-in.2 and continuous output power of 700-7,800 W.
Empire Magnetics

The SM3416DT-PLS2 includes high-speed position capture, advanced torque over-shoot braking and eight-pole, segmented stator design, which provides more than 900 W peak power over 1 hp. It is part of the SmartMotor OEM series, a complete, programmable, motion control system that incorporates a servo motor, amplifier, encoder and motion controller into the same integral frame. The SM3416DT-PLS2 delivers as much as 480 oz-in. of peak torque while maintaining over 200 oz-in. of continuous torque with a maximum speed capability of more than 5,000 rpm.

The M-Max series of sensorless vector adjustable frequency drives includes both single- and three-phase devices. The standard drive includes a digital display and operating and programming keys on a keypad. The display provides drive monitoring, as well as adjustment and diagnostic information. The keys are used for digital adjustment and programming of the drive, as well as for operator control. Separate terminal blocks for control and power wiring are provided for customer connections. The M-Max drives feature RS-485/Modbus, proportional-integral (PI) controller and several fieldbus options.

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