Servo drive takes off with Zeppelin

Online Editor

German airship manufacturer Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik (ZLT) relies on the COMBIVERT S6 servo drive from KEB Automation for special onboard applications on its Zeppelin NT (New Technology) airship.  

Experts from KEB have been working with ZLT helping to develop innovative and new drive concepts for the airship. ZLT equips special applications with the COMBIVERT S6, which demonstrates its strengths as a modular system particularly well in the airship application.

"The lightweight and very compact design of the COMBIVERT S6 in book format allows it to be used even where every gramme of excess weight is important. The freedom to operate the S6 on a three-phase AC voltage supply as well as on a DC voltage supply makes the place of use extremely flexible," explains Sebastian Wietzorrek, application engineer at KEB Automation.

"Our customers also appreciate the integrated safety functions, which are available on a modular basis," says Wietzorrek. Every S6 servo drive comes with Safe-Torque-Off [STO] as standard. Furthermore, depending on the control module selected, a variety of safety functions including encoder-based, as well as encoderless are available.

The perfect package of performance and function

In an onboard pump application, Zeppelin uses a very special AC motor, which can be commissioned in just a few steps using an S6 servo drive, the wizard within the COMBIVIS 6 set up plus commissioning software from KEB. Due to the very good overload behaviour of the S6 with more than 200 per cent for a full 60 seconds, there is sufficient reserve available even during power peaks and fluctuations.

Among the various control options, all common bus systems are available, but simple control via digital and analogue I/Os is also possible. In this application, the S6 itself takes over part of the logic links and therefore enables, for example, automatic switching between various power levels in order to adapt the power reduction to external conditions such as temperature curves. In addition, the COMBIVIS 6 commissioning software offers detailed monitoring, which enables precise optimisation of functional processes during this process.

KEB can provide assistance in this phase too. A team consisting of technicians and engineers, specialised in the various industry sectors, supports the application. Georg Groeger, Electronics Development at Zeppelin states: "We would like to take this opportunity to thank KEB for its excellent cooperation. For us, this project was completely new territory, so we were glad to have their support for the main functions."

"But not only in the air, especially in a conventional control cabinet, the S6 is in its element," says Sebastian Wietzorrek. "I think we’ve put together the perfect package here in terms of performance and range of functions, which is also easy to commission and has already been used for years in diverse and demanding industrial applications."

100% in-house designed and built

The COMBIVERT S6 range of high performance servo drives from KEB are suitable for a wide range of automation applications including robotics, materials handling, food and beverage processing, conveyors, printing and packaging machines. Compact, flexible and powerful, the COMBIVERT S6 is ideal for a wide range of highly dynamic servo applications, including highly automated, safety-oriented machines. The drives provide optimal motor control in real time, integrated safety functionality and are designed in a compact, space-saving book-style format for easier mounting in control cabinets where space can be limited.

The COMBIVERT S6 is 100% in-house designed and built by KEB Automation. The drives are available in two different enclosure sizes across motor power sizes from 0.75kW up to 5.5kW or electrical currents from 2.6A to 12.0A, with overload to 250%. The drives can be customised with a variety of design options to suit the specific application. Safety functionality can be selected from three modules to suit the requirements of the machine.

In addition to the control of widely-supported motor types such as synchronous, asynchronous, permanent magnet and synchronous reluctance, the COMBIVERT S6 offers additional functions such as motor operation with encoder feedback or encoderless ASCL/SCL for precise speed control. A two-channel multi-encoder interface is provided on all modules, catering for all encoder types such as Resolver, TTL, HTL, SinCos, SSi, EnDAT, Hiperface and BiSS.

Start up and analysis software

KEB Automation also provides its easy-to-use software, COMBIVIS 6, for start up, administration and analysis. This includes start-up Wizards for quick and easy product configuration, direct access to device documentation, as well as enabling online drive parameter list comparisons and the set up of key safety indicators and functions. With a foundation built on libraries, devices and template databases, COMBIVIS 6 allows rapid, simple solutions to be generated for a wide range of applications.

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