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High-speed VSDs are affected by new ‘dual-use’ legislation

30 November, 2015

Emerson has added two new models to its Control Techniques family of variable-speed drives, which have been designed specifically to operate at high speeds. The Unidrive HS30 and HS70 VSDs are capable of output frequencies of up to 3kHz, and are thus controlled products under new laws in the EU and US that cover the export of “dual-use” technologies that are normally used for civilian purposes but may have military applications, or could be used in equipment such as high-speed centrifuges used to produce weapons of mass destruction.

The new Unidrive HS70 and HS30 drives have similar specifications to Control Techniques’ standard Unidrive M700 and M300 VSDs, which are restricted to a top output frequency of 550Hz. The main difference is that they have been engineered for high-speed applications, such as testing automotive and aeronautical engines and transmissions, machine tools, and centrifuges for the food and beverage and oil industries.

The Unidrive HS70 can be used to control induction, permanent magnet and servomotors, and incorporates real-time Ethernet, an advanced motion controller and a PLC. Variants include models with RS-485 ports and dual Safe Torque Off (STO) functions.

The Unidrive HS30 is designed for applications that need cost-effective integration into safety systems and incorporates dual STO functions and advanced rotor flux control for open-loop control of induction motors.

The new Control Techniques high-speed drives are subject to 'dual-use' legislation

OEMs and machine-builders that incorporate high-speed drives into their designs are now responsible for checking whether their machines contravene the new laws restricting the sale of VSDs with output frequencies above 600Hz.

To comply with the new legislation, businesses that export goods or machines that incorporate “dual-use” goods to locations outside the EU, must apply for the export licences from their governments. The changes also affect the required documentation, as well as measures taken to store the controlled goods securely. 

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