Control Techniques has recently announced that the Commander family of drives will be returning to its product portfolio. As well as finding out what features and benefits these offer, we take a look at another drive range, the E300, and find out why these were selected for a major hospital modernisation programme


t a recent press event, Control Techniques announced the return of its Commander family of drives, which is available in two variations. “Control Techniques has been the home of the green Commander

drive since its introduction in 1983,” commented Anthony Pickering, president of Control Techniques. “This new range picks up the baton to continue that lineage.” The Commander C200 meets the needs of a broad range of general

applications, and includes features designed to make setup and installation as straightforward as possible. While having the same features and functionality as this, the Commander C300 also includes a dual Safe Torque Off (STO) input for general applications requiring safety. Thanks to their small footprint and ability to meet the advanced

requirements of a variety of applications, the drives are said to be ideal for machine builders and OEMs. Additional features include powerful functionality with an onboard PLC, for instance, which provides embedded intelligence; while the wide power range from 0.25kW to 132kW means these are suitable for both lower power and high power applications. These are also compatible with the company’s plug-in modules. Of additional benefit, a suite of tools is available to ensure commissioning and maintenance tasks run smoothly. For fast task-based commissioning and easy maintenance, Connect offers a familiar Windows interface and intuitive graphical tools to enhance data analysis. The dynamic drive logic diagrams allow the visualisation and control of the drive in real time; while the parameter browser enables viewing, editing and saving of parameters as well as importing parameter files from Control Techniques’ legacy drives. For more advanced applications, Machine Control

Studio provides a flexible and intuitive environment for programming; while the Diagnostic Tool allows users to quickly solve any error codes the drive may show. Built within the app are easy to locate wiring diagrams for first time setup and fault finding, with links to the relevant manuals. Commenting on the drives, Pickering said: “The Commander

name has a lot of heritage within Control Techniques, and the drives industry, which makes this new range hugely exciting for us. For almost as long as there’s been variable speed drives there has been a Commander drive from Control Techniques. It’s a name which people know and trust, and we’re pleased to be able to bring it back to market.” The new series will replace the Unidrive M200 and M300 drives.

LIFTING DRIVES TO NEW HEIGHTS Over the years, the high performance products available from Control Techniques have been used in a huge variety of industries and applications. Examples of this include use by OEM machine manufacturers; in packaging machinery; materials handling; cranes and hoists; forestry and woodworking; HVAC; printing; lifts and elevators; and even in the entertainment industry where they have been used in theatres, music venues and films.

 In one recent example, the E300 elevator drives have been selected

for a major hospital modernisation programme in Mexico that will eventually see hundreds of new lifts installed across the country. Carlos Silva SA – a Barcelona-based elevator control specialist – won the tender to supply 50% of the elevator control systems required in the first phase of the modernisation programme. These new lifts have to fulfil a range of criteria, such as low and high

speeds, small and large cabins, single- or multi-cabin groups, and few or many stops. Not only does the brief require the elevators to be able to cope with high traffic on a 24/7 basis and have to be appropriate for use by both staff and the general public, but they have to be capable of working reliably despite the high temperatures, humidity and altitude associated with most Mexican cities. Meeting the requirements, the E300 drive features a motor-control

algorithm and microprocessor technology, ensuring ride comfort. Be it standard AC induction motors or high-efficiency permanent-magnet machines, the fast current loop serves to guarantee vibration-free motor control and smooth cabin movement. It also provides tight motor control at all speeds, in all situations. The flexible built-in encoder interface on the E300 supports 16 different encoder types without the need for additional interface cards. Incremental encoders (such as AB and SC), absolute encoders (SC.SSI, SC.EnDat, SC.Hiperface, SC.SC and SC.BiSS), and absolute comms encoders (EnDat and BiSS) are all supported out-of-the-box. A further benefit to this application is the Safe Torque Off [STO] input and the advanced static auto-tune function, which ensures encoder offset detection and optimum current-loop configuration without the need to lift the brake or de-rope the system, significantly speeding up the commissioning process. Control Techniques drives also offer contactorless operation

in elevator applications. The EN81-20, EN81-50 TÜV certified STO function provides a highly dependable method for preventing the motor from being driven. The benefits of switching to a contactorless solution include simplified electrical installation, reduced EMC issues, less acoustic noise, improved system reliability and lower system costs. To date, 78 elevators have been delivered as part of the hospital project’s first phase, although there are potentially more than 5000 to install in total throughout the lifetime of the entire project.

Due to the success of this project to date, Carlos Silva recently became the provider of elevator controls for a second major project in Mexico which will see the installation of 75 elevators in 18 stations on a new urban train line in Guadalajara.

Control Techniques

The E300 elevator drives have been selected for a major hospital modernisation programme in Mexico that will eventually see hundreds of new lifts installed across the country

DESIGN SOLUTIONS | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2019 25 The Commander family of drives

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