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Mechanical specialist expands into motor-drives

23 December, 2014

The Italian mechanical power transmission specialist Motovario has entered a new market with the launch of an integrated motor-inverter that it has spent more than two years developing. One reason for launching the new range, called Drivon, is that sales of one of the company’s traditional products – mechanical variators – have been declining, with most now being sold as replacements rather than for new installations.

Motovario therefore brought in a team of electronics experts to develop the motor-inverter which, it believes, offers advantages over similar products on the market.

For example, a flying motor restart function allows the motor to be turned off and restarted quickly, without waiting for the rotor to stop. The drive calculates the correct voltage and frequency for the rotor speed to protect the controller circuitry. An optional dynamic braking function with energy recovery cuts running costs and allows the saved energy to be shared among motors.

Initially, the motor-inverters are available in power ratings from 0.25–1.5kW for operation on single- or three-phase 230V supplies, and from 0.25–5.5kW for 400V three-phase operation. Extensions to 7.5kW are planned. The typical speed range is 0–3,000 rpm, with gear reducers available as an option.

The drives use field-oriented control and incorporate a Safe Torque Off (STO) function with a dedicated input. The vector control algorithms ensure constant torque over a wide speed range, reduce the need for cooling at low speeds, and enhance the motor’s tolerance of over-torque conditions.

Motovario's integrated motor-drive offers the option of remote control from a removable control panel

The drives support Modbus RTU and CANopen DSP, with Profibus DPV1 as an option. A built-in USB port can be used for configuration and monitoring using PC software that includes setup tools and an oscilloscope function for monitoring reference values.

A removable keypad incorporates a jog function that moves the motor in steps. A patent-pending technology allows the keypad to be mounted easily in several different orientations, without needing tools or screws. A parameter-copy facility helps to set up multiple motors rapidly.

Motovario’s business development manager, Fabio Morara, says that the Drivon development “significantly increases our presence in leading global markets for advanced automation and intelligent motion”. He adds that pricing will be “aligned with our best competitor” and is aiming to become one of the world’s top eight suppliers of integrated motor-drives.

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