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Rockwell Automation unveils next generation of compact drives

Rockwell Automation unveils next generation of compact drives Rockwell Automation today announced its compact Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 525 AC drive to help machine builders and end users simplify equipment design and operation, and speed installation and configuration. Representing the first in the company's next generation of compact drives, the PowerFlex 525 AC drive features a modular design in power ranges from 0.5 to 30 horsepower or 0.4 to 22 kilowatt at 100 to 600 volt input. Its embedded EtherNet/IP, safety, USB programming, energy savings and a variety of motor control options are ideally suited for machine-level and stand-alone applications or simple system integration.

"Thousands of machine builders and end users told us they want drives that deliver more flexible control, offer better communication, and help them simplify startup," said Jimmy Koh, global marketing manager, Rockwell Automation. "Our new drive portfolio is designed to give customers the performance they need, while helping to lower their Total Cost to Design, Develop and Deliver machines."

Suitable for a wide range of applications, including conveyors, material handling, compressors, fans and pumps, the PowerFlex 525 AC drive provides a variety of motor control options to accommodate open- and closed-loop applications.

To help simplify and streamline setup, users can configure the PowerFlex 525 AC drive through its human interface module (HIM), Rockwell Automation Connected Components Workbench software or Rockwell Software Studio 5000 Logix Designer. The PowerFlex 525 AC drive offers time-saving application sets, which are groups of pre-defined parameters for common drive applications that users can apply "as is" or customise for a machine. Using a standard USB connection, machine builders can easily download the completed configurations and share with multiple drives, which greatly speeds up commissioning time.

Removing the control module from the power module further reduces startup time because configuration and installation can be done simultaneously. MainsFree programming through a USB connection removes the need for main power during drive configuration, as well as the need for special adapters to communicate between the drive and the programming tools.

"Function-rich AC drives at low power ranges offer greater flexibility and ease of use, which reduce setup and installation costs significantly," according to Himanshu Shah, senior analyst, ARC Advisory Group. "OEMs and end users continue to seek automation equipment that offers lower cost of ownership and a faster payback period in their capital investments. The PowerFlex 525 AC drives directly address these business issues with more motor control options, flexible programming tools, as well as advanced communication, safety and energy-saving options."

Embedded EtherNet/IP connectivity optimises integration with programmable controllers to deliver more application flexibility. Optional dual-port EtherNet/IP connectivity supports device level ring (DLR) topology, providing a robust network infrastructure.

An SIL2/PLd-certified, embedded safe torque-off feature helps prevent drive restarts after a safety circuit is tripped, ultimately helping to protect personnel and equipment, and minimise production losses. The drive's economiser mode helps optimise motor energy consumption by monitoring an application's current demand and automatically refining operating parameters accordingly.

The PowerFlex 525 AC drive requires 50 mm (2 inches) of clearance on the top and bottom when installing into a cabinet and can be mounted zero-stacked both horizontally and vertically. This smaller clearance can help customers reduce the panel space required for their application. In addition to the flexible installation, the PowerFlex 525 AC drive is rated up to 50 C (122 F). With an optional fan kit, the drive can withstand temperatures up to 70 C (158 F) with current derating.
 

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