Tiny drive punches above its weight

2 min read

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Guy Kennett, Mitsubishi’s drives manager, is excited about the effect that D700 will have on automation engineering:

“We now have a single drive product that will cover all applications, from pumps and fans to conveyors and hoists – and just about any other small drive project you care to name! With it we can guarantee optimum performance for every application whether it needs buckets of power for shifting heavy loads and providing surges of torque when needed or the gentle touch for tweaking its settings to get maximum energy efficiency. You can draw a direct analogy with cars: for performance there is little to beat an Formula 1 car, but most of us only need performance occasionally, and are increasingly committed to fuel economy and need reliability above all else. The D700 does this in spades. Fortunately, with the D700 you don’t have to compromise one for the other.”

The design team had a number of goals when bringing the D700 to market. One of the main challenges today is energy reduction, and Mitsubishi have been able to add intelligent threshold control for a situation where the drive is running with no operational output such as a pump running at minimum speed with no real flow requirement, or a conveyor system which is running but totally unloaded for a period of time. The drive can stop the motor and be ready to come right back to speed using a fast algorithm to negate any demand dwell.

Mitsubishi has also added a drive safety stop within the drive which stops and safely removes the power from the output.  The drive can be fed directly by the system safety network removing the need for separate contactors to break the mains connection in the event of an emergency.

Drives tend to be data rich these days, and the D700 is no exception. However, one feature that is sure to impress is the integration of Mitsubishi’s Graphic Operator Terminals which connects direct to the communications port.  These can be fully customised to project needs giving complete graphic based, multi colour, touch screen monitoring and control. A far cry from the operational keypads normally associated with drives, and far more user friendly for operational staff.

Above all, the D700 is designed for reliable operation over many years. Mitsubishi has long championed trip less operation to ride through supply and load problems recognising that the most important aspect of any process is operational availability or reliability. This new D700 drives takes reliable operation even further by predicting the life of major components within the drive so that maintenance can be planned and action taken rather than any costly unscheduled stoppage.  The D700 actively monitors its own functional operation and safety, such as initiating a warning if the cooling fan becomes erratic, monitoring the major components such as capacitors and semiconductors for age and operational usage to give a predictive life expectancy. The predictive life function often means the difference between a planned maintenance or costly unscheduled stoppage.

All these features, along with Mitsubishi’s build quality are designed to bring confidence to the designers and operators of drive systems. By taking much of the guess work out of the drive selection process, and adding features to reduce system component count, while adding control simplicity. The D700 will find a wide range of use through out industry and building services for the future.

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