New drive and motor concepts emerge at Hannover Fair 2005

Besides the latest technologies actually on the market, visitors to Hannover Fair can find products coming online in the near future.

By Control Engineering Staff April 28, 2005

Besides the latest technologies actually on the market, visitors to Hannover Fair can usually find products coming online in the near future. Two offerings in that category this year were SEW-Eurodrive ’s Movigear streamlined motor, drive, and gear reducer package; and Omron – Yaskawa ’s Matrix converter intended for mass production.

Movigear from SEW-Eurodrive combines a special high-efficiency ac motor, drive electronics, and a parallel shaft gear reducer into one mechatronic unit to raise the efficiency of conveyor systems now increasingly demanded by customers in automotive, food and beverage, material handling, and other logistic applications. Movigear emphasizes efficiency and reduced energy costs for conveyor system operation through its drive electronics that optimizes handling of short-term, higher torque demands–such as breakaway and acceleration torques—then reverts to lower torque/power mode for long periods of the operating cycle, explained Dr.-Ing. Jochen Mahlein, manager of innovation mechatronics at SEW-Eurodrive.

Movigear’s housing has been optimized for integration into today’s conveyor systems, including smooth surfaces compatible with hygienic requirements.

Features of the aesthetic unit include high starting torque as required, an efficient PWM drive, and operation in the 500-2,000 rpm range. Efficient thermal design of Movigear has eliminated the need for separate cooling or fans; noise is also reduced by absence of fans, said Mahlein. As a result, traditional cooling fins on the housing have been virtually eliminated (see graphic).

Shown in the booth of Omron Electronics at Hannover Fair 2005 was a “concept” product called Matrix converter (drive)—now scheduled for end-of-2005 debut. Matrix drive offers several advantages compared to a conventional variable-frequency drive (VFD). It promises to eliminate capacitors in the dc bus for longer product life and also end the need for a braking resistor for regenerative operation. It further claims drastic reduction of total harmonic distortion.

Naming of the drive stems from the “matrix”-like switching pattern of its 18 power switching devices (IGBTs) that control the motors. Matrix drive will be available in two versions: 400-V units in the 5.5-75 kW power range and 200-V units in the 5.5-45 kW range. Accuracy of speed control will be the same as for conventional VFD drives—or

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com