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Smart cable plugs starter into any bus

01 November, 2004

Smart cable plugs starter into any bus

ABB has launched a motor controller which uses its FieldBusPlug (FBP) technology to make it compatible with almost any bus system, simply by plugging in a smart cable with appropriate built-in electronics. The UMC22 universal motor controller combines protection, control and interlock functions for motors with line currents from 0.24-63A (or 800A using an external current transformer).

Functions such as direct and star-delta starting are built in and can be activated by a single PLC command, thus simplifying programming and commissioning, and freeing up PLC capacity.

James Haigh, general manager of ABB`s low-voltage business, asserts that the controller is the most flexible available in the UK. For example, its six digital inputs can be assigned to functions such as faults and local control, eliminating the need for expansion modules. A second current setting can be programmed to improve fault management in two-speed applications.

According to Haigh, a leading UK motor control centre builder has calculated that the new controller will save it 5-7% on the cost of components such as timers and overloads, cut its space requirements by 10-12%, and reduce its wiring times by 10-15%.

The FBP technology, first seen at the Hanover Fair in 2002, uses electronics built into a plug at one end of a cable to convert the controller data into a format suitable for buses such as Profibus, DeviceNet, CANopen, Interbus or AS-i. The user simply chooses the appropriate cable for their bus system. FBP is now supported by a variety of products, including direct and reverse motor starters, and an interface that can be expanded into a complete motor starter with diagnostics, by coupling it to a motor protection switch rated up to 25A.

• Haigh, who moved from ABB`s drives business to the LV controls business earlier this year, hopes to take his share of the UK`s £440-450m LV business from single digits to double digits by 2008.

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