When the ageing DC motor and drive on its

plastics extruder became too expensive to

maintain due to wear and tear, a company based in Kent turned to Elite Power

Transmissions of

Ashford which specified an AC solution from TEC Electric Motors


aintenance of the DC motors on its plastic extruder was becoming an

expensive issue for a company in Kent. Rob Banks, managing director at Elite Power Transmissions, explained: “DC machines of this vintage typically require replacement brushes and commutators on a fairly regular basis. AC is now far less expensive to run, especially when the cost of downtime is considered.” With several extruder lines at its

facility, the company needed a quality solution that would not only withstand this tough application, but that would also work within the existing equipment envelope. So, to meet requirements, a combination of a 200kW motor from TEC and a compact drive solution were recommended. “Our solution required minimal

adaptation of the existing motor bed, the drive was fitted within the limited original panel space available and we utilised the

EXTRUDING THE benefits of AC motors

original gearbox,” commented Banks. “The AC solution had to match the main

performance advantage of DC which is 100% torque from zero rpm. This suits extruders, so the AC system had to deliver reliable high-load operation and frequent high torque starts,” he explained. “We achieved this by using a tough motor with good power density, in combination with an advanced variable speed drive.”

A SOLUTION THAT’S BUILT TO LAST The T3C AC motor chosen for this application is sealed to IP55 so the dust that may have caused problems will not be an issue. The motor was ordered direct from UK stock, with Elite specifying an insulated non drive end bearing and a force vent fan option, which were included without affecting delivery times. Since the TEC motor is compatible

with a range of drive options, Banks and his team were able to choose a specific VSD that provided the required performance parameters alongside optimised motor power management for the extruder application. It also fitted inside the cabinet space left by the original DC controls which was tight. Furthermore, the motor bed was updated by the customer, which also supplied a new coupling. Working with a knowledgeable customer makes Elite’s job far easier, added Banks.

He said: “They recognised that our solution was not just cost competitive, but also built to last. Extruders are demanding applications for electrical power, drive and transmission equipment, so quality was paramount. Efficiency was also a factor, and having considered an IE2 option previously, as well as an IE4 solution from us, the best compromise for total cost of ownership was deemed to be an IE3 motor combined with the advanced drive technology. Elite has supplied hundreds of TEC

motors over recent years and never had a single quality or performance issue.

TEC Electric Motors


Highly efficient and cost cutting, SEW Eurodrive’s ECDriveS is a drive system for light-load roller conveyors that offers simple set-up – just plug it in and it’s ready to go, with auto configuration on all motors. The system offers 40W continuous power

and an overload capacity of 250%, enabling fewer rollers per system. In addition, the integrated encoders provide precise positioning and controlled ramps, extending belt life and enabling precise product placement. The

modes of control are Profinet/Ethernet based zone controls or simple binary control. The Ethernet/Profinet controller features integrated conveyor logistics software that provides zero pressure accumulation for two zones per controller. This spaces and positions products automatically into predetermined zones. Typical applications for the new ECDriveS are said to include automotive logistics, food and drink manufacture, and airports etc.

In fact the company has recently demonstrated the benefits of the new

ECDriveS system on a conveying application in the automotive sector. The system – that transported wooden pallets – would normally have required 464 powered rollers and 309 Ethernet controllers. However, due to ECDriveS’ dual zone Ethernet controllers, SEW was able to reduce the total amount of controllers required from 309 to 232 with a saving of about £10K. This was due to ECDriveS’ dual zone controllers enabling independent control per motor that, incorporating the configurable ramp times, zero-pressure-accumulation and bidirectional control for two motors per controller, nearly halved the requirements. Of further benefit, there was also an estimated 50% saving on installation

time. Additionally, long life-time savings on the installation could be demonstrated due to the reduction of belt wear thanks to the incorporated encoders enabling precise ramps. The plug-and-play feature and auto configuration of the rollers and controllers will also benefit the customer’s future maintenance and reduce downtime costs.

SEW Eurodrive 10 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2020 | DESIGN SOLUTIONS 

The T3C AC motor chosen for this

application is sealed to IP55 so the dust that may have caused problems will not be an issue

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