Schneider introduces 'made-to-order' drives

New-generation Schneider Electric Altivar process drive systems with the manufacturer’s embedded internet-of-things technology have been formally unveiled at the major trade fair for industrial technology, Hannover Messe 2015
Schneider introduces 'made-to-order' drives Schneider introduces 'made-to-order' drives Schneider introduces 'made-to-order' drives Schneider introduces 'made-to-order' drives Schneider introduces 'made-to-order' drives

Mineral flotation and thickening systems are among the range of applications for new Altivar process drives

Staff reporter

The French company describes its 'engineered-to-order' drive systems as an important development in its variable-speed drive offering that enables it to meet specific customer requirements. The units are fully load-tested to determine system behaviour under normal and anticipated peak load conditions.

“Our engineered-to-order drive systems consist of well-proven Schneider Electric products that are adapted to requirements,” says Alain Dedieu, senior vice-president of industry controls and drives at Schneider Electric. “Customers can define their needs and we will custom-build, test and validate their system, and, if necessary, commission the drive on-site and train staff.”

Schneider states that Altivar Process drives are specifically designed for industrial processes, including flotation and thickening, dewatering and filtration, and mine-shaft fluid handling.

The new range of drive systems addresses customer challenges such as lack of space and the need to extend equipment life cycles, the manufacturer says. A common mode structure reduces voltage stress and peaks in voltage for a smoother waveform, reducing stress and extending motor life, while Schneider’s harmonics engineering results in internal filter components that are smaller than conventional two-level low-harmonic technology, meaning smaller drives.

“The newly developed low-harmonics concept is based on a three-level technology that reduces the total current distortion factor (THD) to a value less than 5% [in accordance with IEEE 519],” the company says.

Altivar Process drive systems meet 110-800kW power needs, and there are plans to extend this to 1,500kW. Engineering starts with a base model, which uses standard enclosures and is ready to connect. The modular construction makes it possible to adapt the enclosure unit to individual requirements.

“The engineering teams at Schneider Electric have a wealth of experience designing drives for many applications,” the supplier explains.

Its new class of intelligent drive systems provides superior service capabilities and energy efficiency, according to Dedieu. The Altivar Process drives are “service-oriented”.

“The embedded IoT technology enables improvements to customers’ businesses through automation, real-time data management and connectivity for process performance, energy and asset management,” he says.

Schneider introduced its first variable-speed drives with embedded intelligence to the market last year.

“Our goal is to provide user-oriented drives that go well beyond traditional motor-control functions and are capable of delivering services to customers that provide broad operational benefit,” the company said at the time.