Intelligent Motor Control Expands Its Reach

Latest Rockwell Automation Drives, Starters and Motor Control Centers Are Smarter, Safer and More Flexible

By Joe Feeley

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Automation Fair 2012


Rockwell Automation's Intelligent Motor Control offering includes a portfolio of PowerFlex drives, Centerline motor control centers and starters for low- and medium-voltage applications. "By adding intelligence, communication capabilities and making it part of the control architecture at the same time, we can give our customers a series of benefits," said Sergio Gama, market development director, Intelligent Motor Control, as he showed off Rockwell Automation's latest extensions of the line on the Automation Fair exhibit floor this week in Philadelphia.

"Customers make an investment once in this architecture, perhaps to solve an immediate issue, but they also get the ability to drive continuous improvement in areas such as energy efficiency, higher availability, safety and productivity," Gama said. "Each year we try to bring enhancements to this offering."

Now Showing at Automation Fair 2012

Specifically this year, the company unveiled new capabilities to its flagship series of PowerFlex 750 AC drives with expanded voltages, capabilities to 2000 hp, new packaging options and dual-port EtherNet/IP. In addition, Rockwell Automation introduced PowerFlex 525 AC drives with a power range of ½-30 hp, modular design and a variety of motor controls with embedded Ethernet, USB programming, energy savings and safety features.

"Variable-speed control is a fundamental element in plant energy savings," Gama explained. "The 525 series fits the needs of stand-alone applications, as well as most of the machine builder industry, while the 750 series fits the higher end of machine builder needs and across the heavy industries in general."

Both drives have in common what Gama called a "very nice integration experience" with the Rockwell Automation Logix architecture. Both enhance safety with Safe Torque-Off while Safe Speed Monitor is provided for the 750 series.

Both families of drives provide a wealth of diagnostics about the load they're driving and have automatic device configuration. "The Logix controller over EtherNet/IP can automatically detect a replaced PowerFlex drive and will download all configuration parameters for the new drive, eliminating the need for manual reconfiguration," Gama said. "And the Stratix switch on the network automatically reassigns an IP address."

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