Equipment Round Up: July 2008 - Motors and Drives

July 3, 2008
Food Processing showcases a variety of motors and drives.
Brushless advantages

A new series of speed controls and servo motors is designed to provide customers the advantages brushless technology for adjustable speed applications — less maintenance, quieter operation and more efficient and higher torques in smaller packages, the vendor claims. The new control, BMC-Series, has models available from 1/4 through 3 hp. The brushless DC motors, BSM25 and BSM33, are available with NEMA mountings from 1/4 through 3 hp at 1800 rpm. This brushless technology is suitable for conveyors, mixers, door openers, material handling, packaging and many other general-purpose industrial applications which utilize adjustable speed.

Baldor Electric Co.; Fort Smith, Ark., (479) 646-4711,

Wash-down motor control

Manufacturers seeking networked motor control solutions for wash-down environments now have several options. The PowerFlex 40 AC drive and the ArmorStart product lines have packaging options that are now rated by NEMA and UL: NEMA/UL Type 4X/12 (IP66/54) for indoor use. Ideal for food processing equipment, the rating provides UL-listed protection against circulating dust and high-water pressure for equipment such as mixers, pumps, conveyor equipment, fans and packaging machinery.

Rockwell Automation; Milwaukee, (414) 382-2000,

New AC drives

Performance-conscious facility operators and original equipment manufacturers will appreciate new, full-featured, easy-to-use AC drives: the AF-60 LP Micro Drive for small motor controls, the AF-600 FP Fan & Pump Drive for HVAC and Pump applications, and the AF-650 GP General Purpose Drive for control of mixers and material handling applications. These are drives with built-in functionality and compact size that are easy to set-up, and meet all relevant global standards. They allow customers to immediately save costs by simplifying installation and decreasing the need for add-on equipment.

GE Consumer & Industrial; Cleveland, (330) 405-2839,

New drive upgrades

The fast-configuration FlashDrop tool, new control-panel assistants and hardware upgrades enhance the simple start-up and use of ACS550 general purpose drives. The fast-configuration tool provides easy parameter selection and setting and other features that make it ideal for high-volume customization or repeat programming of multiple drives/machines. Other upgrades to the drives include additional assistants to improve the control panel and drive functionality. Some of the hardware enhancements are: reduced-frame sizes and horsepower extensions for more competitive sizes, reduced cabinet space requirement and reduced manpower, time and installation costs.

ABB Ltd.; Zurich, Switzerland, 41-0-43-317-7111,

Takes half the space

The IndraDrive Mi motor casing serves as the heat sink for the servo/control system, which is attached to the long axis of the motor, adding only a small amount to the cross sectional profile. This results in up to 30 percent less area required compared to other integrated systems where the electronics are fitted behind the motor, and over 50 percent less total space compared to a traditional servo system with separate motor and drive packages. Overall, this dramatically reduces the required space and air conditioning requirements of the control cabinet.

Bosch Rexroth Corp.; Hoffman Estates, Ill., (847) 645-3600,

PWM controller

The IntegraMotors line of products combines all four elements of a typical motion control system -- a control, a brushless DC motor, a gearhead and an optical encoder -- into one compact package. A digital pulse width modulation (PWM) controlled version is now available. The all-in-one design reduces wiring hassles, assembly time and cost, as well as minimizes EMI. These models combine a 24VDC brushless DC motor with a built-in open loop voltage mode PWM controller. Compared to analog controls, digital PWM controls can significantly lower system costs and power consumption.

Bodine Electric Co., Chicago, (773) 478-3515,

Low speed, high torque

The WG series of low-speed, high-torque hydraulic motors features flow rates up to 57 LPM [15 GPM] continuous, torque to 548 Nm [4850 lb-in] continuous, and pressures up to 138 bar [2000 PSI] continuous. Intended applications include auger drives and spreaders, industrial sweepers, conveyor drives and medium-duty wheel drives. WG motor features include precision rollers to eliminate sliding friction and improve motor efficiency, heavy-duty drive links, high pressure shaft seals, and needle bearings for increased shaft load capability.

White Drive Products; Hopkinsville, Ky., (270) 885-1110,

Perfectly paired

The combination of the new MotionMatch motor sizing software and the existing MotionView drive configuration software is a powerful yet simple solution to motion control management. Using the two together takes all the guess work out of pairing a servo drive and a motor, all you need to do is enter your application requirements and the program will return the compatible servo drive-motor combinations. Plus the user can now also use the software to configure the drive with infinite ease.

AC Technology Corp.; Uxbridge, Mass., (800) 217-9100,

Water cooled

Electric motors generate significant amounts of heat, so this vendor has developed a stainless steel motor series with integrated water cooling. The design not only improves efficiency and reliability of the motor, the vendor says, but recaptures thermal energy suitable for use in other areas of production. Cooling water is circulated throughout the motor, absorbing heat that is then piped to hot water storage or boiler feed. Tests show these motors operate at a more consistent and lower temperature, resulting in a decreased maintenance and an overall longer motor life. It’s compliant with the U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Stainless Motors Inc.; Rio Rancho, N.M., (505) 867-0224,

Same color, new name

They will remain the same color, but the familiar blue gearboxes from Alpha Gear have a new name. As of July 2008, the company's name has become Wittenstein be consistent with the other business units of the company. The ISO accredited Wittenstein facility in Bartlett, Ill., has become the base of operations for all servo gear solutions sales and development efforts in North America.

Wittenstein Inc., Bartlett, Ill.,