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Drives Blog

The Drives Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about Drive Advances & Applications; AC & DC Motor Drives; Drive Tools & Technology; Drives for Motion Control. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Energy-saving VFDs Like Yoga for Motors

Posted December 13, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

An interview with a variable frequency drive (VFD) product manager reveals the other benefit VFDs deliver, besides energy conservation: elimination of the current inrush at motor startup. Yes, VFDs typically pay for themselves in energy savings in less than two years, the product manager says, but they also eliminate motor stress at startup, extending motor life. They avoid the need to place limits on how many times users can start large motors each day. Also covered: drawbacks to VFDs, including complexity, and recent efforts to downsize the drives and reduce their costs.


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Thumbs Up for the Hannover Fair

Posted July 21, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

The theme of this exhaustive Drives & Controls report from the 2015 Hannover Fair: Industry 4.0 and the trend toward more robots working alongside production crews are driving technology developments throughout the motion-engineering and automation industries. Featured here are dozens of new products witnessed at the show - drives and motors, controls, software and communications/networking products. The hit list includes a programmable automation controller with ready-to-use APIs for CNC and robot control; a solid-state PC-based motion-control system for harsh operating conditions; and software that designers can use to define automation structures early in the process to, for example, position drives within a structure.


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Automate 2015 Review Highlights Motion-control Developments

Posted June 01, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

AutomationWorld director of content/editor-in-chief David Greenfield takes readers on a tour of three booths at Automate 2015, March 23-26 in Chicago, that displayed new motion-control technology. First up is a series of round-body pneumatic cylinders - six bore sizes, 10 stroke lengths - with cushions that reduce end-of-travel impact. Next, Greenfield introduces a new line of electric slides with linear motors, dubbed "an evolutionary step over pneumatic slides" due to their use of a direct drive with linear motor. Last but not least, Greenfield praises a display of track and gantry modules used to convey robots for an array of applications, including welding, painting and machine tending.


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One-stop Automation Shopping at Automate 2015

Posted April 20, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

An Automate 2015 (March 23-26, Chicago) show-preview article from Motion Control Online offers a technology showcase designed for anyone interested in new motion, robotics, vision, metrology, and other products. The piece shines the spotlight on: EMI remote programming ports; mini drives that deliver up to 4 kW of power in a package measuring just 13 cc; fully enclosed reducers that practically eliminate gear backlash; low-profile gear heads featuring hollow construction to provide space for cables to pass through; and a programmable automation controller designed to support machine-to-machine communications and the Internet of Things.


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1 comments; last comment on 04/20/2015
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Mobile Strategy for Process Monitoring and Control

Posted September 21, 2014 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Tablet computers, smartphones and other mobile wireless devices are infiltrating industry, for numerous reasons - portability, immediate data collection and access, and alerts come to mind. However, while some companies may consider equipping employees with ruggedized devices designed for industrial applications, many opt for the BYOD (bring your own device) strategy, which can be problematic. An Automation World article by Terry Costlow examines the BYOD strategy, points out its capabilities and limitations, and offers up advice to help make it work. On his agenda: competition for available bandwidth, antenna technology and its impact on speed and coverage, and network security.


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1 comments; last comment on 10/03/2014
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