Since Leroy Somer launched the Varmeca range of motors with integral variable-speed drives in 2000, sales have seen a staggering 15-fold increase as engineers increasingly realise the benefits of replacing outdated mechanical speed controls with a modern, yet easy-to-use, electronic alternative.
The rapid growth in demand has spawned a whole family of Varmeca products designed for different applications and industries. The latest is the Varmeca 30, which has extended the Varmeca range up to 11kW. Now available from 0.25 to 11kW and with shaft heights from 71 to 160mm, Leroy Somer says the Varmeca is arguably the most versatile and convenient way for OEMs and machine builders to reap the rewards of true variable speed control in a wide range of common applications such as pumps, fans and mixers.
Drawing on its extensive experience of alternator design, Leroy-Somer was able to overcome many of the problems associated with combining electronics with rotating machinery. All Varmeca's electronics are potted into a specially formulated compound, designed to resist the effects of vibration and to even-out temperature hot-spots within the drive circuitry. Combined with its IP65-rated, rugged aluminium enclosure, this superior design has contributed to Varmeca's historically low failure rate, even when employed in challenging industrial environments.
From the outside, a Varmeca motor looks very much like a traditional, mechanically controlled motor; its simple external speed-control potentiometer with optional start/stop switch makes the Varmeca easy to install and to use. An externally controlled unit for start and forward/reverse is also available, with control being provided by a potentiometer or 0-10V analogue input. But beneath the deceptively simple exterior lies a sophisticated electronic package, delivering all the power and flexibility of a modern variable-speed drive.
Numerous parameters are accessible via PC or microcontroller, and the Varmeca is also capable of communicating with other devices through a number of popular industrial networking protocols, such as Profibus, DeviceNet and Interbus S.
Combining simplicity of purpose with sophistication of design, the Varmeca enables significant improvements in performance, reliability and running costs for an extremely wide range of applications. The ability to control motor speed without the use of inefficient electro-mechanical controls or throttling/damping makes applications such as fans and pumps far more economical. The ability to 'soft-start' applications such as mixers and conveyors greatly reduces the mechanical shock of starting and the associated wear and tear.
With energy efficiency and cost of ownership becoming increasingly important, Varmeca is very much a product for today; sophisticated yet simple to use, Varmeca provides an elegant upgrade path for existing processes and machinery, and is cost-effective for new applications. For more information on this, or any other product from Leroy-Somer's extensive product range, visit the website at www.leroy-somer.com.