Manufacturing, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment provider Mitsubishi Electric is set to launch the latest addition to its FR-A800 inverter drives in Europe in April this year.
It is based on its FR-A800 series variable speed drives (VSDs) with an integrated Web server and 100 Mb Ethernet transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) connectivity as standard.
The company mentions that the new features are in addition to the FR-A800 series’ already extensive network connectivity options. This provides machine builders and systems integrators with increased functionality for remote system monitoring and parameter adjustment, as well as easier integration into existing network environments.
The drive will also be launched with a new mobile application (app) that provides engineers and end-users with a range of control and monitoring options from a mobile device.
Moreover, the new inverter FR-A800-E was on show for the first time in Europe on the Mitsubishi Electric stand at the SPS IPC Drives Expo 2016. “It is significant within the automation industry because it contains a wide range of connectivity and control features that are often additional extras or simply not available on other inverter drive products,” the company details.
Mitsubishi Electric notes that Ethernet connectivity as standard, considerably lowers the cost of connecting this VSD into an Ethernet TCP/IP environment.
The company explains that engineers can use the Mitsubishi Electric FR Configurator2 software to search the network from a single location and easily identify connected FR-A800-E models. “Direct Ethernet connection not only eliminates the cost of option cards, but also makes the setup, monitoring and adjustment of parameters on an FR-A800-E more convenient,” the company illustrates.
Further, Mitsubishi puts forward that the integrated Web server provides users with additional cost benefits by allowing it to fine-tune production settings and reduce downtime by connecting directly to the drive.
A standard Web browser can be used to connect to the drive, either with an Ethernet cable, or remotely from anywhere in the world via a virtual private network (VPN). This connection enables convenient status monitoring and adjustment of the drive, as well as simplified diagnosis and improved response times for maintenance.
In addition, a direct network connection can be established to a Mitsubishi Electric GOT series human-machine interface for parameter backup and restore functions, with users able to perform the task either manually or automatically. An operator could also use the network connection to link to the drive via the USB port on a Mitsubishi Electric inverter.
Extending the FR-A800 inverter series networking capability with on-board Ethernet as standard increases the flexibility of the drive, as well as making connection to parallel networks simple.
Completing the almost universal connectivity options, compatibility with the latest 100 Mb CC-Link IE Field option is standard as well, in addition to the higher level gigabit variants.
The drive will also be launched with a dedicated app that will be suitable for use with mobile devices including iPhones and iPads. The app will provide a range of control and monitoring options, from simple incremental forwards and backwards motor control through to managing alarms and operating parameters remotely.
The convenience this provides will be attractive for system builders, maintenance providers and end-users while they are on the move, either on or off site.
Supporting predictive maintenance, an FAG SmartCheck vibration sensor mounted on a motor, pump, gearbox or other rotating machine can also be connected to the drive over Ethernet.
The FR-A800-E then provides speed information to the sensor so that it can combine speed data with vibration data to create a more accurate picture of the machine’s health.
The full range of Mitsubishi Electric FR-A800 series inverter drives, from 0.4 kW to 630 kW, are all designed for high-end applications where best performance, reliability and efficiency are required.
As such, the company mentions that standard features of the FR-A800-E also include intelligent auto tune functions and powerful built-in programmable logic controller (PLC) functionality based on the Mitsubishi Electric MELSEC-L series that ensures users have a scope for application-specific programming.
Moreover, a powerful built-in positioning function further enhances application versatility. FR-A800 drives also come with sophisticated function modules for applications such as dancer arms and cranes.
Mitsubishi Electric highlights that real sensorless and full vector control enable speed and torque accuracy, while an overload capability of 250% during start-up ensures trouble-free operation, even for arduous applications; in total there are four overload options. Terminal scan times of less than 3 ms guarantee a fast response, while speed rise times of less than 80 ms help to ensure performance and improved productivity.
The company comments that from a safety perspective, functional safety up to PLe/SIL3 guarantees operation in situations ranging from simple emergency stops to complex press actuation. Safe torque off comes as standard.
“Adding an Ethernet port, Web server and the app to an already high performance product with extensive networking facilities, safety, predictive maintenance, PLC functionality and more makes this product a great solution in a huge range of applications,” comments Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. factory automation European Business Group, product manager and inventor Oliver Endres.
He adds that one can control and monitor an entire machine or process with just one drive, and because of that it can save a massive amount of time and money for system integrators and machine builders during the design, build and commissioning phase.
“Not only that, but it will also be hugely beneficial to end-users by providing easier, lower cost operation and maintenance,” Endres concludes.