Monthly Archives: October 2013

Unidrive SP AC Drives Used in Belgian Theme Park Ride

Wondering what Control Techniques Unidrive SP Drives are actually used for? Well here’s a pretty cool application for those of you that enjoy theme parks. This zero-gravity ride at the Walibi Theme Park in Belgium was recently refurbished using Unidrive SP Drives. Previously, the ride had been using Unidrive Classic Drives to run the motors which hoisted riders over 250 feet in the air.

Dalton Terror Ride powered by Unidrive SP Drives

More information about the retrofit:

The drop tower is based at the Walibi theme park; the ride is a round tower of 77m in height and has five rows of seats, each with four-person capacity, in a ring around the tower.

The seats, weighing 1.5 tonnes empty, are hoisted by speed-controlled Leroy Somer geared motors to the top of the tower, where they are released to drop in freefall at a maximum speed of 110km/hr, generating complete weightlessness.

Magnetic current brakes that comprise permanent magnets fitted in the seats generating powerful Foucault currents in the metallic frame of the tower provide fault-free guaranteed braking, independent of the power supply, bringing the ride to a safe slow speed with hydraulic shock absorbers providing the final soft stop at the base.

This, Control Techniques said, makes the ride a ’zero-risk’ attraction.

The Dalton Terror was originally installed in the park in 1998 and featured the previous Classic Unidrives to haul the seats to the top of the tower.

Compagnie des Alpes has been investing heavily in the upgrading of many of the rides, with the accent heavily on safety.

When it decided to refurbish the Dalton Terror, the precise movement of speed profile of the previous Control Techniques drives was a key factor in the selection of the latest-generation of AC drives and five heavy-duty 75kW Unidrive SPs, operating in closed-loop flux vector mode, were fitted as part of the total renewal of the control panels.

Signals from encoders fitted to each of the Leroy Somer LSMV motors feed back to the drives and, using SM Universal Encoder Plus option modules, are re-transmitted to the PLCs that control the safety of the whole process.

Here’s a video of the ride in action:

Get your Unidrives here:

Modicon Unity Pro Software for Quantum; Premium PLCs

Modicon Unity Pro Software for Quantum; Premium PLCs


Modicon Unity Pro Software upgrades are becoming increasingly popular for MRO Electric customers. We find ourselves quoting the software often, but before we can give you a price we need to know which version of the software is necessary for your purposes. That’s why we’ve created this blog post – the table below shows all the variations of part numbers for Unity Pro. Just find your part number and include it in your RFQ… we’ll have a price back to you in no time. Some common questions are answered at the bottom of this post.

If you’re upgrading from Concept, PL7 or ProWORX, here’s the designation you should purchase based on the version of your current software:

  • From Concept S, PL7 Micro, ProWORX NxT Lite and ProWORX 32 Lite purchase Unity Pro Small Version 7.0
  • From Concept S/M, PL7 M/J, ProWORX NxT Lite and ProWORX 32 Lite purchase Unity Pro Medium Version 7.0
  • From Concept S/M, PL7 M/J/P, ProWORX NxT Lite and ProWORX 32 Lite purchase Unity Pro Large Version 7.0
  • From all models Concept, PL7, ProWORX NxT and ProWORX 32 purchase Unity Pro Extra Large Version 7.0

Other notes:

Software Features:

  • “All-in-one” software
  • 5 IEC61131-3 languages
  • Customizable Function Block Library (DFB) integrated
  • Use the PLC simulator to validate your Program on a PC before installation
  • Full range of Online services

For product descriptions directly from Schneider Electric, check out this link:

Finally, remember to send us an e-mail at with the part number of the software version you need so we can send you that quote!

8 Standard Unidrive Macros for Uni2403 or any Classic UniDrive

Here at MRO Electric we get a lot of questions about Unidrive Macros for the legacy Classic drives. This post explains the 8 available macros for programming a Uni2403 or other Unidrive part. You can refer to the product manual for the parameters common to all of these macros. This table shows the available macros and their codes:

FaultsWhat happens when a fault occurs?
- The appropriate fault reaction is initiated
- Status signal ZSW1.3 is set.
- The fault is entered in the fault buffer.

How are faults eliminated?
- Remove the original cause of the fault
- Acknowledge the fault
AlarmsWhat happens when an alarm occurs?
- Status signal ZSW1.7 is set.
- Alarms are "Self Acknowledging" meaning they are reset when the cause of the alarm has been eliminated.

Now that you know the code for each macro, here’s a little information about how you would use each one:

Macro 1 – Easy Mode

The Easy mode macro for Unidrive classic gives the simplest operation of the drive for basic applications. It is identical to the default condition except that menu 0 has less parameters.

Macro 2 – Motorised potentiometer

The Motorised potentiometer macro enables the drive’s own internal motorised potentiometer to control the speed of the drive via digital inputs. A digital input selects between an analog speed reference and the motorised potentiometer reference.

Macro 3 – Preset frequencies / speeds

The Preset reference Unidrive macro enables the use of preset references to control the speed of the motor via digital inputs. A digital input selects between an analog speed reference and the preset references.

Macro 4 – Torque control

The Torque control macro configures the drive for use in Torque control mode, selectable via a digital input. Analog input 1 is configured for the torque reference. When in speed control analog 2 is the speed reference. When in torque control with the drive in closed loop mode analog input 2 is the speed override reference. Enabling torque mode with the drive in open loop mode will put the drive in to pure torque control. In closed loop mode the drive will be put in to torque control with speed override.

Macro 5 – PID (set-point control)

The PID control macro enables the drive’s own internal PID controller to control the speed of the motor. Analog input 1 is configured for the main speed reference, analog input 2 is the PID reference and analog input 3 is the PID feedback. A digital input selects between an analog speed reference and the PID control.

Macro 6 – Axis-limit control

The Axis limit control macro configures the drive for use with limit switches so that the drive is stopped when a position limit has been reached. The speed reference can be either unipolar or bipolar.

Macro 7 – Brake control

The brake control macro configures the drive to apply or release a mechanical brake on a motor in a crane or hoist application. The drive issues a brake release signal via a digital output when the relevant conditions are met.

Macro 8 – Digital lock / shaft orientation

^Only available in closed loop vector or servo operating modes.

Digital lock:

The drive operates as a slave in a closed loop master-slave system. The slave motor is digitally locked to the master motor.

Shaft orientation:

The motor speed is controlled in the same way as for default operation, but the motor shaft can be orientated to a specified angular position before and/or after running the motor.