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On-machine drives cut time and costs, and simplify set-ups

12 April, 2022

Rockwell Automation has released a series of machine-mounting AC variable-frequency drives designed for quick installation, simple commissioning and predictive maintenance. The Allen-Bradley Armor PowerFlex drives, available in standard or safety versions, replace multiple components for easier integration into automation systems.

The drives move controls and hardware out of cabinets and onto machines, close to the application. This can simplify machine designs as well as cutting costs and deployment times. The drives are designed for use in harsh environments, where reducing installation times and costs can be critical.

The smart drives have built-in EtherNet/IP dual-port switches for fast collection of real-time data. They also monitor their component lives, allowing users to predict and schedule replacements to help avoid costly downtime.

To improve cybersecurity, the drives support CIP Security which provides data authenticity, integrity and confidentiality, helping to protect against the risk of someone accessing a network remotely and acting maliciously.

Rockwell Automation’s machine-mounting drives simplify machine designs as well as cutting costs and deployment times

The safety version of the drive offers built-in CIP Safety and hardwired STO (safe torque-off) or SS1 (safe stop 1) functions, avoiding the need for external safety monitoring or control components. Using the new drives with Allen-Bradley GuardLogix PLCs and encoders enables advanced safe-speed functions.

“Manufacturers can expect greater efficiency and productivity when using the new Armor PowerFlex drives, which have built-in technology that’s smarter, safer, more secure and easier to apply than other solutions on the market,” says Rockwell global product manager, Joe Azzolina. “Armor PowerFlex drives can reduce time-consuming tasks within the machine lifecycle. They can also help users realise greater profitability as part of a decentralised, zero-cabinet design approach.”

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