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‘Game-changing’ soft-starts act as complete control systems

17 May, 2016

At the recent Hannover Fair, the New Zealand soft-start specialist AuCom announced a  “game-changing” range that, it predicts, will challenge industry approaches to fixed-speed motor control. The EMX4i low-voltage soft-starts offer the option of plugging in application-specific cards.

“By incorporating a new smart-card technology, we have extended the EMX4 beyond motor control to act as a complete system, able to connect and respond to entire industrial applications,” explains AuCom’s CEO, Brent Archer.

The new range, he adds, “is smaller, more powerful, and packed with new control and protection features, and has been developed as the ideal partner for premium-efficiency IE3 motors”.

The first smart card available gives the soft-starts enhanced facilities for pumping applications. It allows sensors to be connected directly to the controller, avoiding the need for extra components. The card can also deal with different causes of water hammer by providing a choice of ramp profiles for each type. It can help to prevent rapid changes in flow rate or direction, or water column separation and closure. Timers and scheduling functions are built in.

AuCom is planning to talk to industrial equipment manufacturers to develop new smart cards to meet the requirements of particular industries or applications. It sees the smart cards as an “exciting” way for equipment manufacturers and resellers to innovate and compete.

AuCom's says that its new soft-starts will challenge traditional approaches to fixed-speed motor control

An internal bypass allows the new soft-starts operate with an efficiency of 99.5% while running at full speed. AuCom says that this equates to a reduction of wasted energy of 80% compared to VSDs being used where they are not needed. It points out that about 80% of motor applications operate most efficiently at fixed speeds.

The soft-starts support constant-current and current-ramp starts and offer adaptive control of starting and stopping. Other functions include kickstarting, coast-to-stop, DC and soft braking, forward and reverse jogging, and soft-tripping. Protection is provided against current imbalances, under- and over-currents, phase or power losses, and incorrect phase sequences. Communications options include Modbus RTU and TCP, Profibus, DeviceNet, ProfiNet and Ethernet/IP.

The EMX4i soft-start family spans motor currents from 24–580A with inline or inside delta connections. They are available in versions for 200–525V and 380–600/690V AC supplies.




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