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Japanese drive-maker sets its sights on the UK market

22 November, 2019

The Japanese drives-maker Fuji Electric has announced a pair of multi-purpose variable-speed drives as part of a concerted effort to boost its presence in the UK market. After being represented in the UK by distributors for many years, Fuji set up its own UK office three years ago, headed by industry veteran, Stuart Cardall, who was previously UK sales manager for B&R and earlier in his career worked for IMO.

Initially, the Bedford-based UK operation (part of Fuji’s €111m turnover European business) focused on drives for lifts and cranes, but now it is promoting its general-purpose drives as well as taking on project work, particularly in environmental applications such as vertical farming, bio-digesters, solar pumping, and water purification and desalination. It is also supplying complete drives cabinets with high IP ratings, built in Europe.

One factor that differentiates Fuji from most other drives-makers it that it develops and manufactures its own IGBT power semiconductor modules, which it also sells to rivals. This allows it to stay at the cutting edge of semiconductor technology. For example, it is developing silicon carbide (SiC) devices which, it says, will cut commutation losses by 28%.

Fuji’s latest drives for the UK market are its :

•  the Frenic-Ace (FRN-E2), which spans ratings from 0.1–315kW and incorporates customisable logic of up to 200 steps; and

Fuji Electric’s UK manager, Stuart Cardall, is hoping the raise the company’s profile in the UK

•  the Frenic-Mini drive, spanning ratings from 0.1–15kW, and claimed to have the fastest CPU in its class.

There is also variant of the Frenic-Ace dedicated to HVAC and building automation applications. This version, called Frenic-Ace-H, includes PID and multi-pump controls, and a fire mode for extracting smoke in emergencies.

In addition to its drives products, Fuji is also promoting its HMIs in the UK and has recently launched a new range of widescreen HMIs that can be monitored and controlled remotely.

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