As engineers are increasingly tasked with designing efficient equipment, green components are proliferating. Described here are some of the latest energy-conscious product offerings, as well as an overview of SERCOS Energy.

Variable speed drive saves energy

The Altivar 32 drive offers a slim, book-style footprint, side-by-side mounting capability, and an optional self-protected disconnect. These features conserve energy and costs by reducing energy usage as well as minimizing panel space and wiring time. Certified safety functions include safe power removal, safe limited speed, and safe stopping; integrated decision capabilities include I/O event logic, counting, and timing functions. Designed to operate without encoder feedback, the Altivar 32 can be used in harsh environments.

Schneider Electric
(636) 300-2300
schneider-electric.com

Power supply module enhances servo drives

A new 120-kW power supply module for ACOPOSmulti servo drives handles maximum rated current to 165 A. Cold plate and feed-through mounting versions include two open slots that accommodate ACOPOSmulti plug-in cards. Integrated power factor correction reduces start-up current values up to 60%, minimizing both wire cross-sections and the size of fuses or circuit breakers required. The modules allow power regeneration for energy savings of up to 50% because brake energy is actively fed back to the main line instead of being lost as heat.

B&R Industrial Automation Corp.
(770) 772-0400
br-automation.com

Energy-efficient bearings create less friction

Ultra-low-friction ball bearings for electric motors offer a cost-saving alternative to standard bearings by reducing energy consumption. These deep-groove ball bearings exhibit up to 50% lower friction than conventional types and feature advanced internal geometries. The new bearings also generate less noise and heat than traditional versions and comply dimensionally with ISO 15:1998 in a range of sizes to allow for interchangeability within existing designs. They can be specified for electric motors up to 50 hp with shaft diameters to 60 mm.

SKF USA Inc.
(800) 440-4SKF
skfusa.com

Digital magnet control saves energy

MagnePulse DMC (digital magnet control) is a microprocessor-based, solid state, dc-to-dc magnet control package. It improves productivity by providing precise digital control of magnet lift operations. With the control, an operator can enable up to four unique magnets to match individual load requirements while reducing lifting current requirements, saving energy, lengthening magnet life, and increasing average lift capacity.

Magnetek Inc.
(800) 288-8178
magnetek.com

Energy-efficient motors exceed NEMA Premium levels

Quattro, a line-start permanent magnet motor, is a hybrid model featuring a three-phase distributed winding in the stator. Operating at IEC-established IE4 efficiency levels, Quattro is more efficient than NEMA Premium efficiency induction motors. The motor operates at synchronous speed regardless of load. The W22 Super Premium motor also exceeds NEMA Premium levels with 20% fewer losses, and is the most efficient model in the W22 product line. It outputs low noise and high torques, and features a 1.25 service factor through the 447T frame size.

WEG Electric Corp.
(800) ASK-4WEG
weg.net/us

SERCOS Energy optimizes energy consumption

Due to rising energy costs and concerns about greenhouse gases, more and more products are touted for their energy efficiency. However, most of today's automation products only reduce energy consumption through improvement of process chains, procedures, and machine efficiencies via structural measures. Because machines and systems are operated under continuously changing requirements and conditions, such “average optimization” is incomplete; measures for energy-optimal operation and control of machines and systems are required for overall energy efficiency.

To this end, a new control profile called SERCOS Energy extends existing SERCOS profiles for implementation on SERCOS components. SERCOS Energy — the application-layer energy profile of SERCOS III Ethernet-based realtime communications — allows machine controls to switch connected components (such as drives, I/O, and sensors) into energy-saving conditions, even to complete shutdowns when appropriate. In this way, SERCOS Energy makes the energy use of components transparent, allowing for intelligent load control.

The new profile considers energy-saving conditions for predictable breaks such as lunch periods and plant holidays. At pre-defined times, SERCOS Energy components are brought into standstill condition in order to save energy. Shortly before the end of the interruption, SERCOS Energy provides for the re-initialization of components in stand-by condition, to make them available again with high precision.

What's more, SERCOS Energy provides mechanisms for unintended breaks caused by machine errors and missing parts. In these situations, target components are carefully brought into energy-saving modes while errors are being fixed or during a wait for new parts.

By using intelligent controls, axes and components that are unneeded in ongoing production processes can be switched off. Combined with flexible production, the energy savings via SERCOS Energy is enormous. The new energy profile includes commands for switching into energy-saving conditions, allowing for integration of devices both with and without the SERCOS Energy profile into the same machine. Retrofitting machines already in the field with SERCOS Energy is also possible.

Why SERCOS Energy?

Of all industries, manufacturing by far consumes the most energy. To permanently minimize this demand, a standardization of mechanisms for the situation-dependent reduction of energy consumption is necessary. In addition, energy control circuits must be designed for consumption values that optimize use of existing energy and production systems. To these ends, SERCOS Energy was developed by SERCOS International and made available to end users via integration into the SERCOS III specification.

For more information, visit SERCOS North America at sercos.com.