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Decentralised drives reduce machine building costs

04 February 2013

For lower power drives, typically up to 7.5kW, machine designers can choose their inverter drives to be either panel or motor mounted. Mounting the drive on the motor achieves a decentralised configuration, which can save time and money.

Lenze Motec decentralised drives
Lenze Motec decentralised drives

The Lenze motec is a typical example available at rated powers 0.37 to 7.5kW either on its own or as a complete variable speed drive package with a geared motor.  Al-though initial purchase costs are higher than panel mounted inverters, when the total costs of installation are included there are usually savings.

Decentralised drives reduce costs for the machine builder in more ways than simply reducing the size of the panel.  Power cables can be unscreened which significantly reduces their cost, and where several motors are mounted locally cable runs can be reduced by looping the power from one inverter to the next.  The Lenze motec comes with free software to speed commissioning.  In operation a large status LED is visible from considerable distance and a port is available to plug in a diagnostic keypad.

The Lenze motec is highly flexible to adapt to individual machine requirements with IP65 enclosure, ambients up to 45ºC without de-rating, and fieldbus options from low cost AS-i to real time EtherCAT and PROFINET.  Wall mounting is possible and plug connectors can be provided for faster fitting.  Another option is Safe Torque Off to Category 4 and Performance Level e.

Users of the Lenze motec benefit from energy saving technology available with the design.  VFCeco is a selectable software option that is standard and suits applications where the drive sometimes runs at partial loads. Here energy savings up to 30 percent are possible. Also variable speed drive packages can incorporate the Lenze MF motors based on 120Hz technology.  These not only run more efficiently than IE2 standard motors but are physically smaller by up to two frame sizes.

Lenze motec decentralised drives are ideally suited to large machines such as found in logistics and process plant, or cases where panel mounting is undesirable such as pumps. The range is readily available on short lead times.

‘FAST’ application software 
The task of creating software is an important element for designers and developers of new machines, taking up significant time and costs.  The new Lenze ‘FAST’ application software introduces standard pre-configured modules that can be applied easily.  These modules cover up to 80 percent of machine software requirements, and in this area they can cut the programming time by 75 percent.  Fifteen modules cover tasks such as motion (positioning and synchronising), registration, cam profiling, temperature control and multi-conveyor co-ordination.

The use of standardised software modules makes programming easier and faster as developers will quickly become familiar with the program styles.  Machine motion and control functions are contained in individual modules which are autonomous.  They can be chosen, exchanged and tested completely independently.  Available within the Lenze L-force programming environment, the modules are low cost or in some cases free of charge.

Lenze FAST software suits all types of machinery where motion is controlled by frequency inverters or servo drives.  As an example, a form, fill and seal packaging machine could take advantage of up to eight modules.  These include tension control and registration for the film, cam profile for the fill, temperature control and motion for the seal and product spacing on the conveyor.  Each module is self-contained but can be easily integrated with others for a complete solution.

For a typical new machine development with drives, Lenze FAST modules cover up to 80 percent of the software requirements.  Here FAST can reduce the time required by a factor of 4, not only reducing costs but also freeing up time for other essential tasks.  The consistent software structure helps to reduce errors in programming and makes it practical for Lenze engineers worldwide to help easily with any problems in the field.

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