FEATURE DRIVES, CONTROLS & MOTORS Fuji Electric is entering a new era within the EU and UK markets by focusing on its

drives & automation business segment and launching a new range of drive solutions that offer high levels of performance, flexibility and a variety of safety features. Rachael Morling attended the launch event to find out more

Driving solutions to suit industry demands E

stablished in Japan in 1923, Fuji Electric is a name that

people across the world are familiar with. Having opened its EU headquarters in Germany in 1987, the company now has a technical centre in Barcelona and satellite offices located in France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and the UK. At an event in London, however, the company announced that it is ready to ‘enter a new era within the EU and UK markets’. Fuji Electric has five business segments

– power & new energy, power electronics, electronic devices, food & beverage distribution, and drives & automation – and it is this final segment that the company is currently focusing on in the UK. Here, there are a wide range of products available to suit application demands. Its range of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) and Active Front End devices such as HMIs, for example, includes general purpose drives, drives for lift, crane & hoist applications, and dedicated VFDs for building automation applications such as HVAC from 0.1kW to a 3MW in low voltage applications.

EMERGING APPLICATIONS With quality, reliability and safety key targets for the company’s design team, designers and specifiers can be certain that the products they select from Fuji Electric are capable of the task they will be used for. In fact as well as being the manufacturer of the Variable Frequency Drives themselves, the company also develops and manufactures the internal components such as the IGBT stack (Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor), enabling it to stay at the forefront of technology. According to the company, its IGBTs are also used by its competition. Stuart Cardell,

Stuart Cardell is branch manager for Fuji Electric’s UK business


branch manager for Fuji Electric’s UK business, explained that the company actively pursues new markets and opportunities, in part due to the maturation of the traditional markets and applications such


as conveying and packaging machines. He commented: “By

considering the needs of industry and enhancing our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), our focus has moved towards positive environmental

applications and niche

markets such as bio-digesters, where we see a strong ‘green’ message through the reduction

of landfill and subsequently reducing risk in contamination to the water table. “Further recent applications include vertical

farming where we are able to improve efficiency of food production through automated plant feeding & watering, not to forget efficient harvesting & storage techniques, reducing farm footprints and delivering freshness to the consumer.” Cardell goes on to

explain that another area of interest is water purification, desalination & reverse osmosis, where the inclusion of a VFD can improve performance while helping to reduce power consumption.

with slip compensation, dynamic torque vector control (open loop), closed-loop vector control and PMS motor sensorless control. Additional features include: built in CANOpen

& Modbus RTU communications; STO (Safety Torque Off) for safety-critical applications; and it is compliant to EN/ISO13849-1, SIL3, cat.3, and meets Performance Level e (Ple). The drive’s flexibility is enhanced by

expansion cards which provide Fieldbus support, as well as additional functionality. Cards are available to add DeviceNet, CC-Link, RS 485, PROFIBUS-DP, CANOpen, or Ethernet based protocols such as ProfiNet-RT, Modbus- TCP, Ethernet IP and EtherCat protocols. Extra features are also provided through dedicated expansion cards, with digital and analogue I/O interface cards for the connection of sensors or other components; 5V and 12/15V Encoder (PG) interface cards for external control; and superior human interface options through cards providing a remote multi-function touch panel or a remote touch panel with RJ45. These also have a three- year warranty and a 10 year life cycle. A variant of this drive,

the FRENIC-Ace-H, is a VSD that has been specifically designed for HVAC applications and building automation


A NEW RANGE OF PRODUCTS In line with the developments mentioned above, Fuji Electric has launched a new range of drive solutions into the UK market that offer high levels of performance, flexibility and a wide range of safety features: the multi-purpose FRENIC-Ace (FRN-E2) and the FRENIC-Mini. These multi-purpose VSDs are intended for general purpose as well as special applications – such as solar pumping, heavy duty crane & hoist, HVAC and conveyor. Compact in size and rugged, the FRENIC-Ace

features customisable logic (max. 200 steps) and can operate at a number of output capacities from 01.kW to 315kW, with the capability to deliver 150% for one minute, 200% for 0.5 seconds, or 120% for one minute in a quadruple rating selection. A range of motor control options are also on offer, such as V/F control

projects, the company explains. Also new is the FRENIC-Mini drive

which offers flexibility in a small, tough,

package and a power rating from 0.1 to 15kW. Designed to be cost effective, efficient to operate, maintenance-free, and easy to set up and use, the drive provides high performance with the fastest CPU in its class, the company claims. This performance is combined with a rich feature set, global compatibility, a new high-efficiency control system and an integrated RS-485 port to cover the widest range of possible applications. The drive is ideal for the efficient control of conveyors, fans, pumps (including stop by slow flow rate of a single pump) and specialised machinery, such as centrifugal separators and food processing machines.

Fuji Electric drives_automation


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