How ATV320 variable speed drives improve machine efficiency

How ATV320 variable speed drives improves machine efficiency

For many OEMs, machine design and performance efficiency improvements have emerged as critical success factors for maintaining competitiveness. Improving their machine’s productivity, reliability and energy performance makes them more attractive to end-users.

New generation variable speed drives (VSDs) play a pivotal role in driving machine performance on the shop floor. According to Schneider Electric, their VSD technologies can boost combined design, installation, and overall operational efficiency by up to 30%. Achieving this depends on identifying the greatest potential for efficiency gains.

There are three main efficiency areas where VSDs can improve machine performance. They are energy use, system integration and operational performance.

Energy efficiency

Traditional oversizing has led to machines consuming more energy than necessary. Correcting this without compromising the installation is through rethinking the design. For example, an oversized pumping system that uses flow reduction via throttle valves is not energy efficient. For high variability flow applications, variable speed drives provide an efficient solution by adapting the motor to match the desired flow.

In variable load applications, VSDs can deliver up to 50% in energy savings for fan and pump duty. For applications with repetitive starting, the choice of VSDs over conventional starters reduces starting current, losses and load peaks. This delivers instant benefits for end-users, like cost savings in their electricity bill. Moreover, depending on the application, the payback time can be less than one or two years.

Schneider Electric says customers also using competitor VSDs find that on average Altivar ATV320 drives save up to 10% more energy. This is because their internal programming always ensures they provide the correct current to flux for controlling the motor.

ATV320 for easier integration and commissioning

The ATV320 inverter drive form factors and IP ratings allow optimised machine design to reduce the machine’s footprint. ATV320 offers two versatile form factors (book and compact) to fit most machine layouts. Furthermore, the IP66 design supports decentralised installations where needed.

The PLC function of the ATV320 helps OEMs change or customise functions without having to change the PLC program. The programming ability provides the design flexibility needed to optimise machine integration time.

For OEMs, the simplicity and efficiency of commissioning are also important. Unlike many VSDs, the Schneider Electric Altivar Machine ATV320 is simple to configure and commission. The management interface software is intuitive and allows the staff engineer to scroll through to identify which parameters to set. This results in a significant commissioning time reduction.

Increased operation and service efficiency

By acting as smart sensors, VSDs can collect data on the key parameters affecting the lifetime of the driveline. For example, operating time, temperatures, torque, main voltage, current, motor overload, and more. Exceeding parameter thresholds generates alarms within the VSD that can stop operation or make changes to avoid unplanned downtime. Other commissioning tools provide instant access to documentation and generate field service reports to simplify overall maintenance.

Finally, Machine ATV320 VSDs are an example of the ways OEMs can drive design, installation, commissioning and operational efficiencies of motor starter solutions to win new business.

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