Efficiency, reliability, modularity and performance

Rachael Morling attended Bonfiglioli’s virtual press conference to find out about the company’s

latest introductions – the EVOX geared motor platform and the AxiaVert Inverter series

of the world. I

n the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, with travel restricted, working from home

still commonplace for many, and exhibitions being postponed, it’s great to see that companies are still launching new products into the marketplace, albeit in a virtual way. In fact a few weeks ago Bonfiglioli held a fascinating event in which they not only launched two brand new products – a coaxial gear motor and a frequency inverter – but the company’s CEO, Fausto Carboni, gave us an interesting insight into the sudden impact COVID-19 had on production. Last year, Bonfiglioli had its highest turnover

ever and carried out significant investment amounting to €62.4 million. During that time, the company constructed and then began operating a new plant dedicated to industrial gear motors in Bologna, Italy, as well as a new plant dedicated to mechatronic systems in Rovereto. It also lead the Horizon 2020 European project cluster on IoTwins. IoTwins stands for ‘Digital Twin’ of the industrial processes, and this will allow it to virtually test plants and equipment in advance. This research group is responsible for 12 new digital twin platforms. Then COVID-19 struck. Bonfiglioli’s reaction

was to make the health and safety of its employees a priority – from re-mapping processes and flows in workshops and other areas, to differentiated shift times and extensive smart working. But, for production, it wasn’t all bad news and that time became known as ‘The unforgettable April’ and ‘The incredible August’. Carbon takes up the story: “Lockdowns and

restrictions had a heavy impact on the company's economic performance. The month of April saw, apart from Germany performing similarly to the previous year, a largely negative result in Europe and North America. The April performance was even more drastic in India, where the country was totally paralyzed due to a very hard lockdown and intra-state transport blocks. A whole different story went on in China where, after the first weaker two months of the year, it began to grow at rates of more than 40% compared to the same months of the previous year. Starting from June 2020, the order intake was significantly higher, and in August the total company performance was 13% higher than August 2019. All countries have set a remarkable turnover recovery in the month of August: China has increased its growth rate to more than 60%, India reached a 10% growth, while western


economies, despite much better results, are still struggling, with the exception of Germany, up by 40%. The Wind Generator market represents one of the most important contributors to growth.”

INTRODUCING A NEW GEARMOTOR There were a number of drivers behind the development of Bonfiglioli’s new EVOX geared motor platform: efficiency, reliability, modularity and performance. According to the company: ‘Thanks to an enhanced modularity concept, EVOX represents a step forward for Bonfiglioli’s product range, with solutions for a wide spectrum of applications. The uncompromised selection of commercial components, the broad use of gear grinding processes, and specific low noise gear design make EVOX a benchmark product in terms of reliability and efficiency’. The EVOX Platform is characterised by a new

simple and clean design and is said to be suitable for any application environment thanks to the options of C3/C4 surface protection or ATEX rating. The first products in the new platform are the Helical In-Line Gearmotor CP combined with the new Asynchronous IE3/NEMA premium high efficiency electric motors. The synergies between these two new concepts create an efficient, strong, small and simple gearmotor ecosystem. The in-line gear units will be first released in six different sizes: 55, 100, 200, 335, 500, 650Nm, with motor power between 0.12 and 15kW IE3. Suitable for high precision and demanding

applications due to its reduced backlash, the EVOX CP gear unit helps to overcome friction issues due to a lubrication concept that enables the gear motor to be used in any mounting position, overcoming the need to change the oil level and the oil plug’s configuration. The geared motors will be available in both

compact and IEC flanged versions, allowing customers to choose between a standardised motor and a dimensionally optimised configuration. The BXN motor, the IEC standard, and MXN motor, the compact version, share most of the configuration and options, including dynamic brake, incremental and absolute encoders, thermal sensors and switches. Furthermore, the new standard motor terminal box is shaped with its nine PIN connectors, for up to eight different voltages at 50Hz or 60Hz power supply with a single winding, making it suitable for the EU, US, Indian and Australian market. A further six windings cover the rest

During the development of the EVOX CP gearmotor, a

complete mathematical model relating thermal behaviours of the gearmotors to the electrical variables has been developed. This will enable effective sensorless condition monitoring and predictive maintenance directly managed by the company’s AxiaVert Inverters acting as an edge computer. In the near future, the EVOX Platform will include other product range extensions.

AXIAVERT INVERTERS According to the company, the new AxiaVert Series – which is currently available in four sizes with a power range between 0.25-15kW – offers flexibility, modularity and connectivity. It is designed to offer an optimal response to specific industrial application requirements across a wide range of sectors and with different degrees of complexity. The advanced digital and open communication

protocols, which comply with automation and Industry 4.0 standards, allow a smooth integration into automation networks, thanks to compatibility with a variety of fieldbus protocols and machine controllers. Communication encryption is embedded into AxiaVert to ensure secure communication; while condition monitoring functions on the key inverter components as well as on the gearmotor’s critical parameters mean AxiaVert is able to provide real time diagnostics, energy optimisation and predictive maintenance information related to the motion system up to the entire machine. In addition to this, AxiaVert offers a wide

range of advanced integrated functional safety functions in compliance with EN ISO 13849-1 and IEC 61508 international standards, and its modular structure and PLC software programmability mean the system can be customised to meet application demands. For further design freedom, the AxiaVert Series offers a variety of frame and power sizes, mounting variants and cooling concepts. It is also user- friendly, versatile, compatible with a wide range of motors (asynchronous, synchronous, and synchronous reluctance), and is suitable for both open and closed loop applications. More information in these new introductions

can be found by visiting the company’s website. Bonfiglioli / DESIGNSOLUTIONS

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