22 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

New-generation drives are aimed at machine-builders

Schneider Electric announced a new generation of variable-speed drives aimed at machine-builders, at the SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Germany. The bookshelf-format Altivar 320 and the compact–format Altivar 340 support open-loop control with torque-sensitive operation, even at low speeds, as well as closed-loop control for applications requiring velocity-sensitive operation or precise positioning.

The VSDs can communicate via all common fieldbuses and are said to achieve short cycle times. They support real-time communications via Sercos III.

The Altivar 320 has been designed to meet the needs of simple or complex machines from 0.18–15kW, while the Altivar 340 is a high-performance model suitable for motors up to 75kW. It is due to be released in mid-2016.

Schneider says that the new drives will help to cut machine costs by:

• cutting installation costs, with the two form factors shrinking machine footprints, whether mounted on machines or in cabinets;

• reducing the number of additional devices needed to manage machine safety and repeated sequential movements, because both are managed within the drive; and

• cutting engineering and design time thanks to ready-to-use, PLCopen-compliant libraries, and tested and documented architectures available through Schneider’s MachineStruxure portfolio.

The drives are designed to provide continuous machine operation in harsh environments where there are high ambient temperatures (up to 50°C), dust, electrical interruptions, or mechanical disturbances. They are also designed to maximise machine operating times. Production changes, maintenance, safety diagnostics, network configuration and system integration, can all be done quickly, says Schneider.