Compact low power drives for machine builders

Paul Boughton

Leo Annala looks at a newly launched portfolio of low power drives for machine builders.

Three new low voltage ac drives in the sub-7.5kW power range are designed to provide different levels of functionality and flexibility while meeting the needs of machine builders, OEMs and system integrators. The optimum feature mix can therefore be selected for each application.

ABB’s existing entry level component drive ACS50 is now complemented by the newly launched ACS150 and a general machinery drive ACS350, giving coverage up to 7.5kW. Their compact size and low-weight design make these drives suitable for use in a wide range of machines, including conveyors, centrifuges, mixers, and packaging machinery, as well as for controlling pumps and fans.

Acquiring the right drive has been made as straightforward as possible, with all three products structured to ease specification and selection of the correct variants and options. Clear, descriptive ordering codes simplify the ordering process.

The user interface plays a key role in overall user-friendliness, and each drive is provided with a clear, easy-to-use interface appropriate to its level of functionality. The ACS50 (up to 2.2kW) can be readily set up and used by personnel with no knowledge of drives. Once it has been connected it is configured using potentiometers and dip switches mounted on the front panel. Commissioning generally takes less than five minutes and can be done without the need for a manual.

The ACS150 (up to 4kW) has an integrated control panel, together with a front panel potentiometer for intuitive motor speed control. The ACS350 (up to 7.5kW) gives users flexibility in the choice of interface: two alternative control panels are available, or the drive can be operated without a panel.

The ACS150 and ACS350 both incorporate ABB’s patented FlashDrop technology for extremely fast and easy parameter selection. Using a hand-held FlashDrop unit, a drive can be configured in just two seconds. This can be done without a power connection to the drive â“ in fact, it is not even necessary to unpack the drive. The unit can store several sets of parameters, and parameters can be copied between drives. In addition FlashDrop allows the menu structure to be customised for faster set up.

The ACS350 also has sequence programming: this allows preset sequences of operations to be created without any drive options. These sequences are sufficient for many basic applications, helping to reduce external PLC capacity requirements.

All three drives are designed for cabinet mounting. The ACS150 and ACS350 feature unified height and depth across all variants, with only the width changing for different power ratings. All screw holes are therefore at the same height, and cable tunnels can be mounted horizontally. In addition to screw fixing, the drives can be mounted using a DIN rail. They can be mounted side-by-side or, when space is limited, they can even be installed sideways within the cabinet.

The ACS50 is suitable for use in the domestic environment as standard. All three drives include inbuilt EMC filters as standard, and the two higher powered drives also have an integrated brake chopper.

Leo Annala is with ABB Oy is based in Helsinki, Finland. www.abb.com/motors&drives

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