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Universal motor controller aims to cut downtime

06 January, 2010

At the recent SPS/IPC/Drives show in Germany, ABB unveiled a modular, expandable motor control and protection device for use with fixed-speed low-voltage motors. The UMC100-FBP “universal motor controller” integrates protection, monitoring and control functions, reducing wiring considerably.

The compact device provides protection and diagnostics functions aimed at avoiding unplanned downtime. Even if a motor trips, the fault can be diagnosed quickly.

One version handles all current ranges from 240mA–63A (or higher when using an external current transformer). A variety of fieldbuses (including Profibus DP, DeviceNet, Modbus and CANopen) can be connected via ABB’s FieldBusPlug communications adaptor.

The controller (above) transmits operational, service and diagnostic data continuously from the motor to the control system, allowing faults to be detected early, and their effects limited.

It provides overload protection with a choice of tripping classes. The controller can protect a motor in the event of a locked rotor and can detect problems such as phase failures, incorrect phase sequences and asymmetries.

Control functions include pole reversal, inching and adjustable restarts with load shedding. Application-specific functions can be programmed and a library of functions is provided.

Parameters that can be monitored include motor currents, run-up times, thermal loads, cool-down times, operational hours, numbers of starts and overload trips, and time to trip.

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