Drive for machine delivers on speed, simplicity and safety

Paul Boughton

Jussi Rantanen reports on a new machinery drive that is one of the easiest and fastest on the market to install, set parameters and commission.

Equipped with a cutting-edge safety capability and with the highest power density in its class, ABB's new ac drive is designed specifically to meet the needs of serial manufacturers and high-volume machine builders.

The new ABB general machinery drive, the ACS355, is the result of a clearly focused development project in which ABB customers from all over the world participated, ensuring that the drive meets their production and performance needs.

The drive is designed specifically for system integrators, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and panel builders, as well as for end-user industries and applications like food and beverage, material handling, lifting, textiles, packing, printing, rubber and plastics, and woodworking.

Serial manufacturing

Speed is key in serial manufacturing. The ABB machinery drive is one of the easiest and fastest to install, set and commission. The number of components has been minimised to make it space-efficient and highly cost effective.

As a complement to speed and simplicity cutting-edge levels of intelligence and safety and a comprehensive range of functionality have been added to meet most needs in machinery applications.

Ten good reasons

First, the new ABB general machinery drive is available in one of the broadest power ranges in its class - from 0.37 to 22kW, 0.5 to 30hp - covering all the typical needs of machine builders with a single family of machinery drives.

Second, the drive is a space saver. It is exceptionally compact, of uniform dimensions, and has the highest power density in its class, up to 2.8kW/dm3. This translates into optimal space usage in multiple drive installations and makes the drive ideal for cabinet solutions.

Third, the drive offers an exhaustive list of software and hardware features for a broad range of applications. These include - to name just a few - torque memory and mechanical brake control for lifting applications, PID controllers for process control, timed functions for automatisation, supervising functions for monitoring, sensorless permanent magnet motor control for textile and spinning applications, a common dc bus that reduces the cost and improves the energy efficiency of small solutions for packing applications, counters for simple position applications, and Safe Torque-Off for machinery safety.

Additional features include Speed Compensated Stop. This makes the drive ideal for material handling applications that require precision stopping that is independent of variations in process speed. Versatile fieldbus connectivity to most PLCs on the market is also available.

Machinery safety

Fourth, the Safe Torque-Off safety feature is certified by TÜV in accordance with IEC 61508 SIL 3 and ISO 13849-1 PL e standards. The STO feature is a component-reducing solution to keep the drive energised when the motor has been stopped and there is no torque on the machine.

The feature helps machine builders to fulfill the requirements of Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC (effective from 29th December 2009) by using the drive's safety function as part of the machine's safety system.

Fifth, simple drive control logic is created in minutes with ABB's built-in sequence programming - a feature that satisfies the requirements of most applications. This is a simple and effective way to create up to eight pre-set sequences of operations, which reduces the need for external PLC components.

Sixth, selecting and setting parameters is exceptionally easy with ABB's patented FlashDrop technology. Up to 20 different machine parameter sets can be 'flashed in' without a power connection to the drive. This makes it easy for high-volume builders to pre-configure drives before delivery. The FlashDrop tool is easy to use and no specialised drives knowledge is required.

Seventh, the drive is available worldwide and stocked by ABB's local distributors to ensure fast and reliable delivery anywhere in the world. Speedy availability is crucial to serial manufacturers and high-volume machine builders, a benefit that ABB strengthens with a dedicated global service and support network that is one of the largest in the industry.

Eighth, the drive provides sensorless vector control for both asynchronous motors and permanent magnet motors. In order to enhance the control performance an optional incremental encoder feedback module is available.

Demanding environments

Ninth, high protection class variants are available in IP66/67 (NEMA 4X) and even up to IP69K for demanding operating environments. The high protection class variant is also NSF certified, making the drive ideal for food and beverage applications.

And tenth, the drive is fully compatible with its predecessor, the ACS350, enabling OEMs to guarantee the backward compatibility of their applications.

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Jussi Rantanen is product manager at ABB Drives, Helsinki, Finland.

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