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Decentralised drive system can swap inverters and starters
Published:  21 April, 2011

At the recent Hannover Fair, Eaton’ unveiled a new decentralised drive system based on motor starters and frequency inverters up to 2.2kW that share the same fixing dimensions, thus simplifying system design and installation. The use of one fixing bracket and identical connections for the whole Rapid Link 4.0 range makes it easy to swap inverters and starters.

The new RAM04 electronic starter, for motors up to 3kW, has three times the lifespan of Eaton’s earlier RAM03 devices. It can handle up to 10 million operating cycles at 3kW, as well as operating up to 3,000 times per hour. One frame size covers the range 0.3–3kW, and the starters can operate up to 55°C without derating.

The RA-SP4 frequency inverter can be switched between V/f and speed control modes, reducing the number of variants needed. All four frame sizes, from 0.75–2.2kW, have the same mounting dimensions. An IP65 external fan is standard on the 2.2kW models and optional for the others, allowing operation up to 55°C without derating. The rectangular housings allow power and motor cables to be fed from the left or right without derating, as well the bottom.

Users can program cyclical sequences with fixed frequencies, allowing repeating sequences to be stored on board the drives, reducing the amount of external PLC processing needed. Brake choppers can be specified for any of the inverters, reducing on-site installation work.

An optional lockable isolating switch allows the Rapid Link devices and connected motors to be disconnected safely from the mains for maintenance.

AS-i communications support enhanced diagnostics messages such as motor currents, as well as transferring parameter data between PLCs and the starters. Users can also use the bus to change set frequencies.

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