Winner: Alstom Drives & Controls

Runners-up: ABB Automation; Control Techniques; Keystone; Magnetrol International; Michell Instruments; Vega

When Alstom Drives & Controls developed the fifth generation of its ALSPA MV3000 AC variable-speed drive, the design objectives were ease of use, compact size and high performance.

Alstom has come up with a user-friendly operator keypad called Drive Data Manager. Full drive monitoring and diagnostics are rapidly accessible using a two level menu.

The MV3000 has been designed so that multiple drives can be housed in a single control panel without gaps between units. All sub-systems can be removed with the drive in situ, and components slide into place easily, offering fast upgrades and a maximum repair time of just 20 minutes. With 60% fewer components than previous generations, high reliability is a key feature.

The drive has a pre-set level of fault tolerance to avoid shock loads, mains supply interruptions and temperature extremes affecting its operation.

The ALSPA MV3000, which is available in power ranges of 22 to 3,600kW, offers a single-product solution for a wide range of industrial applications from fans and pumps to general-purpose machinery.


A close runner-up in this category was the UD70 module from Control Techniques. This AC unidrive system obviates the need for host PLC controllers, thus improving competitiveness, system processing speeds and the time required for system integration.

Other strong entries were Keystone’s novel electro-pneumatic positioner for quarter-turn electric actuators and Magnetrol International’s Eclipse liquid level transmitter, which uses guided-wave radar technology to detect level.

Also shortlisted were Michell Instruments’ ceramic moisture sensor, which features high-performance integrated digital signal processing; Vega’s VEGAPULS 56, a two-wire, loop-powered radar level transmitter designed to meet the challenge of arduous process conditions; and ABB Automation’s latest DC bus drives system.