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A new drive technology platformA new drive technology platform

Posted by Jack Mans

March 11, 2015

9 Min Read
A new drive technology platform
ABB- ACS880-600.jpg

Learn it once; then use what you know for all drives to come: ABB's new low voltage, industrial AC drive portfolio is built on a common architecture, specifically designed to simplify operation, optimize energy efficiency, and maximize output.


ABB's new AC drABB- ACS880-600.jpg

ABB- ACS880-600.jpg

ive portfolio introduces a new era in control panel design, featuring an intuitive, high contrast and high-resolution control display, enabling easy navigation. Many flexible data visualizations - including bar charts, histograms, trend graphs - help users to analyze processes, with assistants available to simplify set up. The menus and messages are customizable for specific terminology for applications. An integrated USB port also allows easy connection to the PC tool.

"The introduction of a drive that allows for users to learn a single platform, and apply it simply and seamlessly across any market or industry, sets the future for motor control," notes Cliff Cole, global product portfolio manager for the company's Drives and Controls business unit. "This advancement saves users the frustration of treating each drives family as separate silos. Now, everything a user learns can be applied across all the drives technology ABB offers, going forward. Ultimately, as the full product portfolio is released, a customer will be able to use a single operator panel to program any of the drives within the family. Additionally, the field bus modules will be the same and will be connected and set up the same way; the parameter names and set up will be very similarly, if not identical. The PC programming software used for set up and monitoring is the same; connection cables to the PC are the same. This commonality simplifies training, installation, start up and operation by allowing the customer to re-use his/her knowledge across the full ABB Drives portfolio.


Fast, fast set up
The drive composer PC tool, for all drive types, offers fast and harmonized start-up, commissioning and monitoring. The free entry version provides start-up and maintenance capabilities, while the professional version of the tool provides additional features, such as custom parameter windows, control diagrams of the drive's configuration, basic parameter programming, and safety settings. The control diagrams save users from browsing long lists of parameters and help to set the drive's logic quickly and easily.


The integrated safety functions simplify the configuration and reduce installation space by reducing the need for external safety components. The safety features include safe torque-off (STO), which can be used to prevent unexpected start-up or other stopping-related functions. In addition, the ABB industrial drives offer further integrated safety options, including safe stop 1, safe stop emergency, safely-limited speed, safe brake control and safe maximum speed. The drives' functional safety complies with the requirements of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. 


Simplify your world, without limiting your possibilities
"ABB drives are designed for maximum energy saving and productivity. The built-in energy calculators provide essential information including used and saved kWh and MWh," notes Cole. "CO2 reduction and money saved are shown; these help the user fine tune processes to ensure optimum energy use. It's simple to see savings in real time. The energy that is saved world-wide by drives being applied to motors is staggering. The last time I saw the statistic, it approximated the equivalent of 2-3 nuclear power plants running full tilt 24/7. But even if the motor's energy consumption is not a big deal in a given application, it is reasonable to conclude that virtually all 3-phase induction motors will benefit from having a drive connected to them. If not for energy savings, alone, then for motor protection, soft starting, adjustable speed, intelligent control (using the drives internal logic), remote monitoring, easy reversal, adjustable acceleration and deceleration rates, vibration avoidance and, let's not forget, motor-speed control. Drives are being used everywhere for these reasons and they have expanded into applications that we did not even know they would be desirable to be applied to - our customers and their applications bring to bear these needs."


The new ACS880 series will be available as single drives, multidrives and drive modules, with a wide power range and voltage range up to 690 V. They offer maximum control and functionality with remarkable user-friendliness and advanced safety features. At the heart of the ACS880 series is direct torque control (DTC), ABB's premier motor control technology. 

"The DTC motor control algorithm enables application benefits that are sometimes not realized until an issue occurs, Cole continues, "As an example, for many other drives...if they are running closed loop and then experience an encoder failure, the application process must stop. In the case of these ACS880 drives, they can be set up to continue running the motor and controlling the application, even with the encoder feedback failure. The control is that smart.

"DTC always has been known for getting the best performance out of an AC motor, but it is now better than ever. If you look at the speed/torque motor curves produced during real-life testing on laboratory dynamometers or other customer machinery, it becomes obvious that this new generation of DTC motor control performance really can make a difference for our customer's applications," says Cole. 

These industrial drives are flexible and can be customized to precise needs of any range of industries, including pulp and paper, metals, marine, material handling, mining, cement, power, chemical, oil and gas. The drives support the same software used for ABB's AC500 PLC, CoDeSys programming environment, in accordance with IEC 61131-3. This commonality allows easy integration of the drive and PLC.

One of the first drives to be available from the ACS880 series is the wall-mounted single drive ACS880-01. The drive will be available with a power range from 0.75 to 350 HP and voltage range from 380 to 500 V, with plans to extend to a wider voltage range. The ACS880-01 is designed to control a wide range of applications, such as extruders, cranes, winches, winders, conveyors, mixers, compressors, pumps and fans. Along with DTC, the drive offers extensive range of options, including EMC filters, resolvers, encoders, I/O options and brake resistors. Integrated safety functions include safe torque-off (STO) as standard.


The drive is available with UL TYPE 1 (IP21) enclosure rating. UL TYPE 12 (IP55) rating for dusty environments will be available later on. Alongside with the foundational release of the wall-mounted single drive, the ABB industrial drives series builds upon the all-compatible portfolio with the ACS880 cabinet-built single drives, multidrives and drive modules.


Modular design delivers flexibility and customization
The ACS880 cabinet-built single drives are easy to adapt to different customer needs, since they are built-to order and modular in design. The drive's compact design enables easy installation in a wide range of environments, such as in cement, water and wastewater, mining, chemical, pulp and paper industries. The ACS880-07 will be available, initially, with a power range from 60 to 350 hp and voltage range from 380 to 500 V, with plans to extend to higher powers and wider voltage range. The drive offers UL TYPE 1 (IP21), IP22, UL TYPE 1 FILTERED (IP42) and UL TYPE 12 (IP54) enclosure ratings.


The ACS880 series multidrives are compact cabinet-built, drives providing maximum process control to a wide range of industries, including pulp and paper, metal, mining, marine, oil and gas and material handling. Single supply and DC bus arrangement with inverters reduce line power and system size. The multidrives will initially be available with inverter power up to 300 hp and diode-supply unit (DSU) up to 850 kVA, 380 to 500 V, with plans to extend to higher powers and wider voltage range. The drive offers UL TYPE 1 (IP21), IP22, UL TYPE 1 FILTERED (IP42) and UL TYPE 12 (IP54) enclosure ratings.


Cole commented: "Providing true Industrial-grade drives is not something that every drive manufacturer wishes to do. The applications are challenging and often require substantial coordination and high performance control code. The complexity of the application often is combined with installation environments that require robust and time-proven mechanical and electrical designs. The new ACS880 has seen further refinements in both of these areas. The ABB drives engineers, hundreds of them, have combined these abilities with the all compatible customer user interface and connections. 

"The cooperation and teaming amongst so many engineers to make everything work so simply is something I have personally never seen - this has been a world-wide drives development working on drives that can be used anywhere in the world. Complex applications are being addressed world-wide with time-proven ABB drives. This new portfolio intends to continue this legacy and is expanding every day to cover almost every motor control application in the world - in the same way I just described - able to take on challenging motor control, complexity of processes, and doing it with a new, simple and easy-to-understand human connection and set up."

*Modules for OEMs and System Integrators 

The ACS880 drive modules are designed for machine builders or system integrators to integrate into their own solutions. The drive modules include everything that is required for a complete single or multidrive configuration including rectifiers, inverters, brake options, EMC filters, dV/dt filters, different I/O and communication options. In addition, a wide selection of electrical and mechanical kit accessories and detailed design documentation is available. The drive modules will initially be available with inverter power up to 300 hp and diode-supply unit (DSU) up to 850 kVA, 380 to 500 V, with plans to extend to higher powers and wider voltage range. 

"Sometimes customers want to create packaged solutions for their specific application,' Cole says. "They know exactly how they want to enclose a drive, what cabinet materials they want to use, how to best protect the electronics and wiring. So, they take the ABB drive module and put it into a cabinet design of their own, along with the accessories they need. The ACS880 modules allow just this - for our customers to integrate the drive modules into an overall solution for a given application that is part of a broader industry solution. Our customer needs, their voice, originally helped us develop these drive modules and I am confident that they will continue to challenge us with new requirements, and we look forward to new improvement ideas," said Cole.


ABB Inc., 800 435 7365, www.abb.us

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