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Standardized Conveyor Motor Control

Many material handling equipment manufacturers and material handling integrators often need to decide whether it would be in the best interest of their project design to use either starters or drives to control their motor control schemes. The discussions we hear most concerning the cost of drives vs. starters for fractional motors suggest that when comparing overall hardware, it would be more cost effective in many cases to use drives when taking into account future production rate changes, parameter setups, and other added features that starters do not have. The biggest need was to develop a stand alone solution to mount near the motor for direct control of each conveyor motor for ease of maintenance and individual parameter changes. This becomes especially necessary when a conveyor needs to be taken out of the line and added somewhere else in a system or for other system retrofits.

A simple Schneider Electric bundled solution was to integrate the
Telemecanique®Altivar®31 drive and Vario Disconnect switch in a neatly mounted, one piece package. The unit could be mounted under any standard conveyor as close to the motor as possible. The disconnect and drive are pre-wired together internally and the motor would have a very short conduit run from the drive connection. External power would be run into the pre-drilled conduit connection for the disconnect. This type design could use a daisy chain type wiring scheme for ease of installation. All of the motor control is at the individual conveyor. If communication is needed there are options to add specific network interface to control the drive scheme from the master PLC cabinet which incorporates the system power and main disconnect. There are also other configurations for I/O additions and motor control features.

Solution Advantages

  • Simplified design for easy mounting to any brand conveyor and faster set-up of installations.
  • Local motor control if speed changes need to be manually trimmed or adjusted.
  • Can be manually shut down for maintenance at the conveyor
  • Drives can be preset for speed changes when incorporating different product runs.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Telemecanique®Altivar®31 Variable Speed Drive
    • Power ratings from 0.18 to 15kW
    • IP20 rating
    • 4 voltage ranges (240 Vac single-phase, 240, 500 and 600 Vac 3-phase)
    • 1/2 hp to 20 hp
    • 16 preset speeds
    • No derating to 50 deg. C
    • Integrated RFI class A filter
    • Modbus and CANopen communication
    • Can integrate external logic functions
  • Vario Disconnect Switch
    • 3 pole version ideal for manual motor control
    • Used as an enclosure disconnect when short circuit protection is provided upstream
    • UL listed, Class 9421 devices
    • 20A to 115A version

Schneider Electric - North American Operating Division
1415 S. Roselle Road
Palatine, IL60067

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