Increasing demands for energy efficiency and plant transparency are presenting industry with continuous new challenges. Automation specialist Lenze is offering an intelligent, cost- and energy-efficient solution with its decentralized frequency inverters i-series motec. The main beneficiaries will be machine builders and operators from material handling and logistics, automotive, and consumer goods industries.
The increasing digitalization of industry is taking on a key role. Peter Blatter, head of product management inverters at Lenze, says, "Digitalization widens the scope for sustainable innovations in drive technology. In the i550 and i650 motec frequency inverters, we use intelligent technologies and comprehensive connectivity. This opens up new horizons for efficient production processes."
Digital in every sense
With its digital functions, the frequency inverter takes on several tasks at once. It acts as an efficient sensor in the system, collecting data and reliably forwarding it to IIoT platforms and higher-level edge systems in a standardized format. The connectivity of the motec accelerates and facilitates ongoing production processes. This is due to the Drives DataHub software provided by Lenze, which enables direct access to important drive data via numerous communication interfaces. In particular, the integrated IO-Link master provides machine operators with high-quality information about the drive technology. The sensor data analyzed in real-time paves the way for condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. "This gives customers a comprehensive overview of the condition of their machine, enables them to plan service and maintenance actions in advance, and thus saves time and money," explains Blatter.
Before and during commissioning, the decentralized frequency inverter makes an essential contribution to an improved value chain, because important product data can be viewed at any time. The digital nameplate supports asset management standards and can be read via smartphone, or directly via the frequency inverter. This gives machine operators quick and easy access to relevant data such as product code, CAD files, and spare parts information.
Energy efficient through and through
An important lever for saving energy is the motec's integrated regenerative unit. Machine operators can rest assured that regenerative energy is not lost in brake resistors, as the unit feeds it back into the grid automatically and without additional hardware costs. In addition, the inverter controls synchronous motors completely without sensors. The compact drive package consisting of gearbox, motor, and inverter proves to be particularly energy efficient. In combination, the three components ensure a minimal CO2 footprint for the application. The savings are particularly evident in material handling and logistics because conveyor lines can be several miles long with thousands of drives in use - and that adds up.
In addition, functions such as "VFC eco" and "PROFIenergy" improve the energy balance of the system. In addition, if Lenze's EASY System Designer is used, an optimal design of the system is guaranteed. The intelligent software avoids oversizing and leads to energy savings of up to 30 percent compared to previous designs.
Powerful, user-friendly, secure
The frequency inverter's connectivity supports the entire system and, thanks to new pluggable M12 push-pull cable technology, simplifies the process chain right from the start. Blatter emphasizes, "There is no way to connect an inverter faster and more reliably." Power-free parameterization, simple menu navigation, and practical factory settings are other notable features that make commissioning easier.
With integrated positioning, the motec additionally masters dynamic motion control that previously only a servo inverter could fulfill. This opens new applications for the inverter, creating further potential for cost savings. In addition, scalable, integrated safety levels from "STO" to "Extended Safety" with functions such as "SLS" to "Safety over Ethernet" lead to comprehensive protection of the machine and guarantee constant productivity. "All in all, our customers have the option of solving decentralized safety applications without sensors, quickly and in a space-saving manner," adds Blatter.