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Gear-motors work with drives to deliver maintenance services

25 September, 2020

The Italian drives manufacturer Bonfiglioli has announced a modular geared motor platform that, it predicts, will set new benchmarks for reliability and efficiency. The first product based on the Evox platform is a range of helical in-line gear-motors incorporating new high-efficiency (IE3 / Nema Premium) asynchronous motors. They have been designed to operate with a new family of inverters from Bonfiglioli that will act as edge computers to provide sensorless condition monitoring and predictive maintenance functions for the gear-motors.

The aluminium-housed CP gear-motors will be available initially in six sizes from 55–650Nm – thus covering up to 70% of the market, according to Bonfiglioli – and powered by IE3-efficiency motors from 0.12–15kW. The company claims that they will deliver an average of 8% more torque than similar machines from rival suppliers.

By moving from constructing its gear-motors using sub-assemblies, to a modular platform based on individual components, the motor-maker says that it can offer “an order of magnitude” more configurations. The components that can be specified include dynamic brakes, incremental and absolute encoders, thermal sensors and switches. Other options include C3/C4 surface protection, reduced backlash configurations, and Atex explosion-proof versions.

The low-noise gear-motors, which are interchangeable with other machines on the market, will be available in either compact (MXN) or IEC flanged (BXN) versions, allowing users to choose between standardised motors and dimensionally optimised configurations. The two versions share most of the same options and configurations.

The new geared motor platform is characterised by a simple, clean design, suitable for any environment. It is “easier to make complete products smooth and washable” says Alessandro Piscopo, Bonfiglioli’s head of strategic business development.

An innovative lubrication system overcomes the need to change oil levels and oil plug configurations, allowing the motors to be used in any mounting position or orientation.

Bonfiglioli is producing its new gear-motors either with built-in sensors or in sensorless versions designed to work with inverters to provide predictive maintenance functions

A new terminal box with nine-pin connectors supports up to eight different voltages on 50Hz or 60Hz supplies with a single winding, making it suitable for the EU, US, Indian and Australian markets. A further six winding configurations cover the rest of the world.

Bonfiglioli’s r&d team designed the Evox platform to facilitate condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. The gear-motors will be available either with on-board sensors, or in sensorless versions designed to work with a new range of inverters to provide predictive maintenance functions,

Bonfiglioli has developed a mathematical model that relates electrical variables to the thermal behaviour of its gear-motors. This will allow its new AxiaVert inverters to act as edge computers to perform sensorless condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. They will, for example, be able to predict the remaining useful lives of mechanical components in the gearboxes (as well as components in the inverters themselves). They will also be able to perform real-time diagnostics, duty-cycle monitoring, trend analyses, and energy monitoring and optimisation.

The Evox platform will form the basis for other products. Piscopo describes the new gear-motors as “the first stage in a journey of rejuvenation” for Bonfiglioli.

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