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Modular drives halve parts count and target badging deals

01 April, 2001

Modular drives halve parts count and target badging deals

Finnish drives-maker Vacon has unveiled a new generation of modular drives designed, in part, to appeal to potential badging partners who will be able to customise the drives to distinguish them from other versions. Vacon already badges for Cutler Hammer and Honeywell.

Vacon has spent two years developing the new NX range which has half as many parts as the earlier CX range, which will remain in production for some time.

There are two versions of the new drive: the open-loop NXS for general-purpose applications; and the NXP which offers the option of closed-loop operation for applications where precise torque or speed control is needed.

Up to five credit-card-sized option cards can be accommodated in the drive to provide functions such as I/Os, field bus communications, encoder feedback, relays and power supplies. This flexibility is expected to appeal to OEMs who will be able to create the precise configuration they need for any application.

Another potential attraction for OEMs is the availability of block programming tools that, Vacon claims, can replace PLCs and simplify machine controls. Different software tools are available for commissioning, upgrading and customising the NX drives. The last of these supports four of the languages defined in IEC 1131-3. Software for particular applications can be preloaded into the drives, or downloaded from a Vacon`s Web site which offers more than 300 applications.

The drive`s power section includes dynamic braking transistors and braking resistors as standard in ratings up to 61A, and as an option for higher ratings. Liquid-cooled versions will be available, halving the required space.

The new range will cover ratings from 0.75-100kW (although Vacon now prefers to talk in terms of current ratings). For versions above 35kW, the new drives will be cheaper than their existing CX equivalents; below this point, the prices will be similar.

Vacon has appointed Park Electrical Distributors to handle its products in North-East England. Park, with a turnover of more than £10m, has four branches in the region.

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