Electric Motors Incorporated Into Industry 4.0

Jon Lawson

As Industry 4.0 continues to be implemented, more and more components are being integrated into industrial processes; and now attention has turned to the electric motor. Bauer Gear Motor has extended its product portfolio with the development of TorqueControl4.0, which enables a geared motor to be integrated into the process control infrastructure as well as providing additional functionality.

Until now, most data from electric motors has come from the frequency controllers, but the amount of information was limited and they provided very little in additional functionality. Bauer aims to significantly improve this situation with the launch of TorqueControl4.0, which will provide rapid torque measurement that can be used to protect the powertrain from overloading and provide adaptive load control that will optimise energy consumption, and this in a standard mains driven motor.

This latest innovation from Bauer, which is part of Altra Industrial Motion Corporation, offers the functionality of a soft start and an overload clutch as well as the ability to collect operational data and share it with the supervisory control network. The integrated electronics are housed in the terminal box of the electric motor to provide a compact solution in a protected environment.

TorqueControl4.0 takes rapid and accurate measurements of both current and voltage to assess, display and report the torque progression of a process. Parameters can be set to allow the drive to be shut down in the event of an overload, preventing any damage to the drivetrain. At the same time, the electronics can limit the starting current in the same way as a conventional soft start.

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