See Lenze at MachineBuilding.Live, 4 October 2023, on stand 52
What developments can support machine builders in their quest for more energy-efficient drive technology? Bernd Müller, head of industrial equipment in the mechatronics segment at Lenze, gives his views.
Machine builders often ask us if we can quote a frequency converter or other product from our range. We could easily answer their question, but this usually does not lead to the best result.
Our goal is to provide our customers with the best solution to improve their processes.
Once we know their motivations and goals in both the short and longer term, we can jointly come up with the best solution.
A design often has safety margins built into it which unnecessarily consume energy and prevents optimum efficiency at the operating point. In contrast to pure mains supply, a motor optimised for use with a frequency converter, such as the Lenze MF motor, can be used. It not only saves costs and installation space, but also optimizes the overall efficiency of a drive solution.
Energy-efficient frequency converters
The i5x0 frequency inverters are designed for energy efficiency and are more than 20% more efficient compared to the average models in the market. With the i550 motec, energy can also be saved through the integrated regenerative unit. This is more common than most people think, for example in pallet conveying technology. My expectation is that this type of frequency converter will therefore definitely play an important role in the future."
The i550 motec is a premium inverter and is, as far as we are concerned, currently the most innovative frequency inverter on the market. The skilled labour shortages force the shortest possible installation time without sacrificing quality. Plug-and-play solutions that contribute to simplified commissioning are more desirable than ever. Other issues such as comprehensive sensorless safety technology and programmability will become a reality in the near future and will lead to the Lenze i5x0 series being the best solution for series machine building.
From product to system
Multiple functionalities integrated in one system offer users many advantages. With a complete Lenze gearmotor with built-in preset frequency converter, we make it easier for customers.
At the same time, there are also many applications where the high level of integration does not make sense. Also, some companies are more conservative than others and are not yet convinced of the benefits of economical frequency converters. This is why starting the conversation is so important. By properly aligning different components, the best solution can be achieved. And if integration turns out not to be the solution, we can still advise the customer optimally thanks to Lenze’s broad portfolio.
For machine builders, it is important to get the best out of their machines. A first step in that direction is to make the best use of the software built into products. Even fairly simple frequency converters require a wide variety of integrated software functions. And that starts, for example, with user-friendly and at the same time best-performing motor controls.
Open automation program
To realise the full potential of machines, built-in intelligence is needed. Digitalisation is a must that offers companies huge opportunities, especially in terms of footprint reduction. This requires IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology) to be linked. The market wants to move towards an open system. In this, all products – regardless of brand or manufacturer – communicate with each other and data is collected centrally in one secure environment.
Lenze has been intensively engaged in digitalisation for the past 25 years. The latest innovation is the recently launched open automation platform Nupano. The platform allows for digital innovations for machines and systems, all without the user needing any prior knowledge of IT. In Nupano, Lenze uses open IT architectures and technologies. Already developed apps can easily be uploaded to the platform via the Digital Twin Cutting-edge.
We immediately provide a lifecycle management system for all apps and their versions and use open IT standards. That is a big advantage of this platform that we expect a lot from in the future.