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Achieving savings intelligently with drive optimisation software

05 July 2011

The new version 3.0 of Lenze Drive Solutions Designer is capable of analysing motion profiles from simple point-to-point to complex cam profiles or dynamic reversing. Multiple axes can be evaluated on the same timescale using inverter drives, servo drives or a mix of the two. A new energy efficiency analysis predicts the energy cost at each element of the drive, making transparent the energy efficiency. It is then easy to make changes and optimise energy costs.

Often large amounts of energy are wasted with drives that are oversized. Designers who are uncertain of performance naturally add service factors. The result can be excessive inertias and motors running inefficiently at partial loads. With the Lenze DSD 3.0 it is possible to accurately size the drive, neither too big nor too small. Standard machine applications are built into the program from simple cases like conveyors to complex positioning such as flying shears. Graphic displays make plain how a selected drive fits to the required performance. Alternative selections can be compared. All this can be done for multiple axes with outputs that include graphs for position, speed and current consumption.

The new DSD 3.0 also makes it possible to determine and analyse the total energy requirement including lifetime costs. Screen graphics show the losses at each element in the drive train. It is easy to see the improvement in changing from a low efficiency to a high efficiency gearbox – the payback time can be as little as a few weeks. Less easy, but a simple task for DSD, is calculating the energy effects from connecting the DC bus across a series of drives. The DC bus shares the energy and one result may be that supply components can be dimensioned smaller reducing both energy consumption and purchase cost.

In most cases the DSD analysis is performed for customers by Lenze Engineers who are trained in the software and experienced with the products. However a customer version of DSD is available with a 180 day trial period. In a typical application it would be used to compare the running costs of IE1 and IE2 motors, also evaluate the extra savings from Lenze VFC eco software that is standard in series 8400 inverters. Similarly it is possible to calculate the cost savings from adding a mains regeneration unit that recycles braking energy. A more complex example of drive optimisation is to compare the performance of an inverter-based to a servo-based drive system in a positioning application.

The Lenze Drive Solution Designer software is a tool that takes out elements of uncertainty in machine drives. The ability to compare alternatives with informative graphics leads to drive optimisation, a process that Lenze term “Rightsizing”. The performance and purchase cost can easily be balanced against energy consumption so that the right choice is made considering lifetime costs.

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