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Rockwell-Vacon partnership bears first fruits

01 July, 2003

Rockwell-Vacon partnership bears first fruits

The results of Rockwell`s collaboration with the Finnish drives-maker Vacon will be unveiled in September when Rockwell launches a high-end extension to its drives portfolio. The new PowerFlex 700H drive will initially take Rockwell`s upper power rating to 250kW, and on to 1MW by this time next year.

Vacon will supply the new drives` power stacks and will assemble them in Finland. But the user interface will be almost identical to that of smaller PowerFlex drives. "For customers, the drives will be no different from other PowerFlex family members," says Mark Daniels, Rockwell`s drives marketing manager for the UK.

He stresses that the new drives have been developed jointly by the two partners and that they are not simply badged Vacon products. Vacon has designed the control board and the power stacks to Rockwell`s requirements, but the communications facilities are "100% Rockwell" and Rockwell daughterboards will give the drives "a PowerFlex personality". There will be no Vacon version of the drives.

Daniels says that it is Rockwell`s strategy that about 30% of its drives business should be in the form of partnerships. He points out, for example, that the low-end PowerFlex 4 drive is manufactured under contract for Rockwell in Taiwan.

Versions of the new drive, rated from 132-250kW at 400V and 480V, will be available in the UK by December. The range will be extended to 250kW by next spring, and to 1MW by next summer.

Daniels expects the new drives to create new opportunities for Rockwell in high-power applications the need accurate, open-loop speed regulation. Target markets include power utilities, the water industry, and the brewing industry.




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