Micro drives that can make a big difference

Paul Boughton

Compact drives that cover small industry and even household applications. They help improve everyday life by helping reduce noise, save energy, and are so easy to use. Jussi Rantanen reports.
Micro drives allow the user to vary the speed of an electric motor depending on the demand. Being able to vary the speed and torque of an electric motor means there is less wear and tear, extending lifetime, energy savings and more efficiency.
Because micro drives are small, you can find them in most smaller appliances where there is a motor. Good examples are washing machines, whirlpool baths and treadmills. Micro drives improve daily life by reducing noise and providing a smooth end user experience. Instead of a motor running at full speed, the drive allows the user to slow down or speed up the motor according to the demand. Being able to vary the speed and torque of an electric motor means there is less wear and tear on the motor and the driven machine.”

Here’s an overview of what different types of ABB micro drives have to offer.
You can find ABB micro drive ACS55 in a wide variety of simple machines – in domestic and commercial environments. Their compact size makes them ideal for new installations or where speed regulation is required. These drives are simple, quiet and easy installation is made possible by intuitive interface and more advanced programming from the configuration tool (DriveConfig tool) for PCs. Some examples of use are:
* Automatic gates – provides the smooth and precise opening of automatic gates, minimising maintenance costs.
* Treadmills – regulates the speed of the motor operating the conveyer belt with the precise torque and belt speed ranges required. This allows gentler acceleration and deceleration, less noise and low EMC emissions.
* Whirlpool baths - keeps the water jets of a whirlpool bath pumping as required with quiet operation enabled by using high commuting frequency.
* Washing machines – the drive controls the speed of the washing drum, enabling energy savings with lower speeds and higher centrifuge speed as with traditional motor. All while reducing noise.
* Solar tracking systems - regulates the electric motors that enable solar panels to track the sunlight. The broad temperature range reaching up to 55°C means it can be used in environments with variable room temperature. The DriveConfig kit provides a quick, safe way to set up various drives for hundreds and even thousands of solar tracking systems.[Page Break]

Easy to use

The ABB micro drive ACS150 is easy to operate and is usually incorporated into a wide variety of machines such as mixers, conveyors or pumps.
* Mixing applications – the drive enables a high start-up torque that is most useful when beginning mixing. The quiet operating mode adjusts commuting frequency of the drive that reduces the audible noise. The configuration tool (FlashDrop tool) is a quick and safe way to set up several drives for identical mixing applications.
* Heat pumps - the drive enables users to regulate cooling according to their needs.
* Conveyor belts - the drive allows a soft start-up and stop of the conveyor belt, reducing maintenance costs and wear and tear on the motor.
Pump and fan optimised drive
The ABB general purpose drive ACS310 is aimed for variable torque applications, such as pumps and fans. The specific features of drive pumps and fans save on operating costs, increase energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. These include, among others, integrated PID and PFC (pump and fan control) controllers that alter drive performance based on pressure, flow or other external changes, and protection features such as pump cleaning. This prevents pumps and pipes from becoming blocked, starting a pumping sequence forwards and backwards, the settings of which vary depending on the application requirements.
*  In fan applications the drive regulates the airflow for energy savings in industrial, retail and household environments.
* In a pressure control pump system the pump and fan control (PFC) macro of the ACS310 drive is useful when various pumps are operated in parallel mode at the same time and the flow required is variable.
* Irrigation systems all need a reliable and efficient water flow. The integrated real-time timer displays actual date and time to regulate start-up and stopping of the irrigation system based on daily demand. Even filling of pipes helps ensure a soft start-up of the pump, thus enabling a progressive flow increase in the pipes. This also extends the life span of the pumping network and system.
* In the filling and emptying of storage tanks ACS310 has a gauge to control and monitor level regulation. The useful pipe cleaning feature prevents the formation of solid deposits in the pump impellers or tank walls. Storage tanks are often located in tight spaces. So the compact size and various assembly options of ACS310 drive enable easy installation and best use of space in new or renovated facilities.
The drive for machine builders
The ABB machinery drive ACS355 meets a broad spectrum of requirements of machinery applications. Compact and uniform, with a fast start-up due to the application macros and the assistant panel. Features include an integrated braking chopper and an integrated serial Safe Torque Off (SIL3). Both ideal for applications in the industrial food and beverage, material handling, lifting systems, textiles, printing and processing of rubber, plastic and wood. Some examples of use:
* Packaging machines often require a drive for repetition and precision during packaging. The ACS355 is ideal for packaging tasks providing optimum precision for static and dynamic speed regulation. Sequence programming enables the drive to perform task sequences, which reduce the need for a PLC. Software features include a timer, meter, brake control and slow operating, all of which are useful for packaging machines.
* It also comes with high protection (IP66). This range has been designed for applications exposed to dust, moisture and cleaning chemicals such as cylinders, mixers, pumps, fans and conveyor belts.
With a micro drive you not only get so many clever things inside the drive. Including precision and flexible functionality and optimum efficiency. But you also get everything outside it. Like the benefit of the entire ABB global network and services designed to support your business.
Eneter at √ www.engineerlive.com/ede
Jussi Rantanen is Market Manager/Micro drives, ABB Oy, Drives and Controls, Finland. www.abb.com

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