Home > Compact AC drives series debuts new AC drive to meet machine builder needs for ‘just enough’ control

Compact AC drives series debuts new AC drive to meet machine builder needs for ‘just enough’ control

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article image PowerFlex 523 AC drive

Rockwell Automation has introduced a new range of compact AC drives designed to reduce configuration and installation time and costs.

Rockwell Automation engineers designed the Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 520 Series of compact AC drives including the new economical PowerFlex 523 AC drive using inputs from global drive users. Incorporating flexible features that help users become more competitive, the PowerFlex 523 AC drive is ideal for builders of simple, standalone machines, balancing user needs for ‘just enough’ control with a design that lowers total costs to design, develop and deliver machines. 

Jimmy Koh, global marketing manager, Rockwell Automation explains that prior to designing the PowerFlex 520 Series drives, their engineers interacted with hundreds of drive users around the world to learn first-hand the features they valued most currently, and would want five years from now. Standalone machine builders wanted ‘just enough’ motor control and emphatically shared the need for features that eased configuration and speed up installation. 

The PowerFlex 523 AC drives offer several advantages to the user including ease of configuration, and flexible control and modular design for improved application flexibility.

Ease of configuration 

Configuration is simplified with machine builders using a standard USB connection for uploading and downloading drive configuration files. The drive can also be programmed through its built-in human interface module (HIM), which displays data on the drive’s LCD with scrolling QuickView text and detailed explanations of parameters and other codes. The HIM also has multiple language options to address global needs. 

AppView and CustomView tools - unique to the PowerFlex 520 Series AC drives - help speed up configuration by providing groups of parameters for common applications and allowing users to save their settings to new parameter groups. These tools can be easily accessible via the HIM as well as configuration software tools.

Connected Components Workbench software from Rockwell Automation also helps speed up drive configuration and further reduces development time with on- and offline configuration, AppView and CustomView groups, and start-up wizards. Machine builders gain more time to focus on design and improve a machine’s competitiveness. 

For more sophisticated networked machines, machine builders can take advantage of an optional dual port EtherNet/IP adapter for the PowerFlex 523 AC drive. This module supports ring topologies and offers device level ring (DLR) functionality, which can help provide network resiliency and drive machine availability. Adding a dual port EtherNet/IP adapter to a PowerFlex 523 AC drive provides Automatic Device Configuration, which saves time by automatically downloading configuration files when a drive is replaced. 

Flexible control and modular design improve application flexibility 

Addressing a wide range of application needs, the PowerFlex 523 AC drive has a power range of 0.25 hp (0.2 kW) – 15 hp (11 kW) and motor control options including volts-per-hertz, sensorless vector control and Economizer mode in sensorless vector control. 

The modular design of the PowerFlex 523 AC drive gives machine builders greater installation flexibility. Removing the drive’s control module from its power module further reduces start-up time, as machine builders can complete configuration and installation simultaneously.

The PowerFlex 523 AC drive requires 50mm of clearance on the top and bottom when installing into a cabinet and can be installed vertically or horizontally as well as side by side in either orientation. The smaller clearance and mounting flexibility can help customers reduce the panel space. Additionally, the PowerFlex 523 AC drive is rated up to 50°C, and can withstand temperatures up to 70°C with current derating using an optional control module fan kit.

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