Control Techniques Manufacturer Showcase

Established in 1972 in Newtown, Wales, this industrial part manufacturer owned by the Nidec Corporation continues to provide high quality AC Drives and motor control management products today. In this post, we will be showcasing some of the classes and parts Control Techniques has to offer.

Unidrive
The Unidrive line of products from Control Techniques includes devices like brushless AC servo motors. The Unidrive Classic series drives are available in five different sizes and twenty-six different models, allowing you to fit one of these devices in almost any existing automation system. This series of drives have enough built in parameters to meet most task demands.

UNI2403 by Control Techniques

The Unidrive Classic series offers complete I/O configurability, advanced position control, programmable logic functions, regeneration mode for four-quadrant operations, high speed communications for quick feedback, preset macros for simplified operations and more.

Focus DC
The Focus DC line of products are solid state analog DC drives built to last reliably in almost all environments. This family has regenerative models and different enclosure kits available to offer a wide range of custom configurations. Optional kits for these drives include ones that offer toggle switches, signal isolation, M contactor kits, dynamic braking and tachometer feedback modules.

Commander SE
The Commander SE line of products offer flexibility in many automated systems by being the top choice for microdrives. They are built to be rugged machines that can stay physically stable and constantly sit at correct temperatures. These devices are shipped with shipped with firmware that makes first time setup and installation as easy as possible, including the parameters that immediately meet the needs of most drive applications.

Commander SE products by Control Techniques

The Commander SE series offers full control of all levels of parameters, visualization of terminal connections, multiple motor speed preset settings, open loop vector control, fully configurable analog/digital Input/Output settings, sequenced switching between multiple parameters and communications via DeviceNet, PROFIBUS DP and Interbus S.

Unidrive SP
The Unidrive SP series comes in both free-standing and modular forms. The SP modular offers all the benefits of the normal Unidrive SP system along with more intense system power configurations. It is easily able to be connected together to create almost any custom setup necessary. Parallel drives are used together for higher powered motors. These drives are built to last and are flexible.

Some additional modules include SPMA AC in / DC out Drive, SPMC AC in / DC out Rectifier, SPMD DC in / AC out Inverter, SM Control MASTER, SM Control SLAVE, SPM Power Selector.

MRO Electric and Supply offers a variety of new and refurbished Control Techniques devices. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

Product Spotlight: Square D EDB34030 Circuit Breaker

The Square D EDB34030 is a three pole, 30 Ampere circuit breaker. At 277V, this miniature breaker is reliable, sustainable, efficient and safe.

Part Number: EDB34030
Item Weight: 3.6lbs
Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.1 x 4.5 inches
Voltage: 480V
Amperage: 30A
Trip Rating; 875A
Mounting Mode: Bolt-on
Interruption Rating: 18kA

Square D EDB breakers by Schneider Electric are available in a range of amperages varying from 20A to 60A. This particular model, the EBD34030, is 30A.
This breaker is set apart from other breakers because of its compact size at 9.7 x 6.1 x 4.5 inches, while the typical breaker is around 8 x 8 x 12 inches. As a bolt on mount, it is preferred in commercial and industrial applications where vibrations might be considered an issue. When installing, be sure to use the recommended #12-#6 AWG AI or #14-#6 AWG Cu Lug wire. This breaker is ideal for NF series panel-boards to offer superior overload and short circuit stability by utilizing thermal magnetic protection. It is also HACR rated, UL listed and CSA certified.

MRO Electric and Supply stocks Square D circuit breakers, including the EDB34030. For more information or to request a quote, please contact us at 800-691-8511 or at sales@mroelectric.com.

What are circuit breakers?

A circuit breaker is a preventative safety device that detects and stops a circuit if the current is insufficient or in excess. These devices help insure the stability of the electric current in our buildings. Unlike fuses, breakers are reusable and can be consistently relied upon to break a circuit to protect us from potential electrical fires.

How do they work?

A breaker is comprised of a few basic components. A switch is connected to an electromagnet that allows electricity to flow from the bottom to the top terminals.

Source:
http://spmphysics.onlinetuition.com.my/2008/06/uses-of-electromagnet-circuit-breaker.html

With current running through the electromagnet, it becomes magnetized. If the current is suddenly increased, the magnet becomes strong enough to pull down a metal lever attached to the switch linkage. By doing so, the contacts are broken and the electricity is powered off.

What’s the difference between certain breakers?

Residential Circuit breakers- Used in common household wiring to protect electrical appliances like refrigerators, washing machines and fans. Electrical panels can also be designed to have one breaker controlling one specific or multiple outlets in a room that shut off when overloaded.

Industrial Circuit breakers- Used with much larger electrical current applications for warehouses, factories, and other large industrial locations. They can be used to insure safety of the plant equipment, lighting, business systems, air conditioning and wiring.

Voltage– Describes the ‘pressure’ of the electricity. The most common voltages of breakers are . Most household voltage is 120V, with larger appliances around 240V.
Amperage– Measures strength of the current in amperes. Common amperages include 15A, 20A, 25A, up to 6000A.
Pole number– Describes the number of completely separate circuits that can be protected by a circuit breaker at the same time. These include single-pole, double-pole, triple-pole and tandem pole breakers.
Installation location/External Design– Breakers can be designed to be indoor or outdoor based on the application. Different enclosures can be made to withstand different weather conditions.
Interrupting Mechanism– Other breaker designs include air circuit, oil circuit, vacuum circuit, MCB, MCCB, GFI, GFCI and AFCI breakers. While these all serve the same purpose of breaking electrical current in the event of unstable electric power consumption, they have different means of interrupting the current.


Visit MRO Electric and Supply’s website to see all of our available Circuit Breakers. If we don’t have what you need listed on the site, contact us at sales@mroelectric.com or (800)691-8511 and we will be happy to help.

Considerations for buying automated parts

What are automated parts used for?

Automation is crucial in manufacturing and is the backbone of our industries. Robots can automate highly variant, dangerous and exhausting tasks in a high-quality and cost effective way. By increasing productivity at a lower cost, maximum cost efficiency is reached, which is ideal in a business setting.

What should I be looking for when buying automated parts?

There are a number of things to keep in mind when buying automated parts for your warehouse or setup. Below is a basic guide with questions to ask yourself to make the process a little easier.

Is there a warranty? If so, for how long?

Protect your investment on your automated parts. Warranties are important in insuring that your part is functioning as intended and in getting what you paid for. Make sure you check under what instances a warranty can be claimed and how long the warranty lasts. Are there detachable parts within the automated component that are covered? MRO Electric and Supply offers a minimum 12-month warranty on all listed parts.

Is the part compatible with the machinery that is already there?

There are a multitude of environments that certain parts can be more oriented towards, including in aerospace and automotive manufacturing, food processing plants or laboratories. It is essential that the part be used in the correct application to be effective. It is obviously important that the automated component works with the setup already in place. Some additional compatibility questions to ask yourself before buying:

Does the weight or form factor impact its compatibility? Is space an issue?

Many people are eager to buy large parts for their warehouses without considering the space to put them. Consider the part and its intended configuration. Include additional equipment that comes along with the part like peripherals, fencing, light curtains or mat guards.

Will the condition of the part affect its lifespan in this application? Is there a newer, better part for this application?

Check to see if the part is new, used or refurbished, and if the condition will affect its application. Many industrial parts are discontinued as new technologies evolve, and while these legacy parts are still useful, newer components might work more efficiently or effectively. Check to see if there are any advantages or disadvantages to older and newer generations of your part and weigh your options.

Visit MRO Electric and Supply’s website to see our selection of automated parts from manufacturers like Yaskawa, Modicon, Control Techniques, Siemens, and FANUC. If we don’t have what you need listed on the site, contact us at sales@mroelectric.com or (800)691-8511 and we will be happy to help.

Yaskawa Drive Types

Yaskawa

Yaskawa Electric is a global manufacturer of high-quality parts used in robotics and automation. They specialize in servos, controllers, switches, robots, drives and more. These parts are used for a variety of purposes in industry. In this post, we will be distinguishing the different types of Yaskawa drives.

CIMR Drives
E7 Drives– Designed for commercial HVAC applications. Embedded with Modbus, APOGEE FLN and Metasys N2.
F7 Drives– Well-rounded drive with a variety of uses. Contains NEMA Type 12 enclosure with space to expand filters, fuses, I/O cards and more.
G7 Drives– Low voltage drive that uses 3 level control to combat problems with long motor cables and premature motor bearing failure. Great vector performance and flexibility. Configured options with pre-engineered cabinet options available.
P7 Drives– Created for applications with variable torque like centrifugal pumps and fans.

yaskawa p7

GPD Drives
GPD 333– General purpose AC Drive, 1/4 the size of normal PWM drives.
GPD 503/505/506– High-performance three phase voltage/frequency output with adjustable speed control.
GPD 515– PWM AC drive designed for low motor noise and high starting torque.

Microdrives
J1000 Drives– General purpose drives with open loop voltage/frequency control with preferred parameter feature. Simple variable speed of up to 7.5HP.
V1000 Drives– Compact current vector drive designed for efficiency and maintainability. Capable of up to 25HP. Economical for basic variable speed applications.
V1000-4X Drive- The same as the V1000 but with an enclosure built for dust tight environments.

Other Drives
A1000 Drives – High performance general purpose drive capable of up to 1000HP. Used for general purposes.
P1000 Drives – Torque performance capable of withstanding 1000HP. Oriented towards variable torque applications including centrifugal pumps and fans. Configured and bypass options available.
U1000 Industrial Matrix Drives – Regenerative high performance vector drive capable of up to 800HP. Used for general purposes.

Source: https://www.yaskawa.com/

Visit MRO Electric and Supply’s website to see all of our available Yaskawa Drives. If we don’t have what you need listed on the site, contact us at sales@mroelectric.com or (800) 691-8511 and we will be happy to help!

How does a relay work?

What is relay?

A relay is an electrically controlled switch that has the ability to turn a circuit on or off. Depending on the application relays can do a number of things. Relays can be used as switches to turn things on and off, or as amplifiers to convert smaller currents into larger ones. They can also be used to control a circuit with a low power signal or when multiple circuits need to be controlled by a single signal.

There are two kinds of relays, electromagnetic and solid state. In this post, we will be focusing on electromagnetic relays and how they work.

Basic Parts of a relay

Armature– is a basic metal piece that is balanced on a pivot or a stand. It is considered the moving ‘arm’ of the relay. It makes or breaks the connection with the contacts connected to it.

Spring– is connected to one end of the armature and pushes the armature back into place if no current is passing through.

Electromagnet– is a metal wire wrapped around a metal core. The wire does not have magnetic property but can be converted into a magnet with the help of an electrical signal.

Yoke– is a small metal piece affixedon a core which attracts and holds the armature when the coil is energized.

Contacts– conductive material that exists within the device whose physical contact opens or closes a circuit

A break refers to the number of locations on a circuit that a switch can make or break the flow of current. In electromechanical relays, there can be single breaks and double breaks. A single break is usually used with low power devices while a double break is usually used with high power devices.

A pole refers to the number of circuits that relays can pass through a switch. A single pole contact carries current through one circuit, while a double can carry it through two.

A throw refers to the number of separate wiring paths. For example, a triple throw switch can be connected to one of three contacts instead of one.

How does it work?

Source:
https://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/io/io_5.html

In an electromechanical relay, a small circuit has the ability to switch a larger circuit on or off through contacts by using an electromagnet. When charged, the electromagnet creates a magnetic field that attracts the armature and closes the contacts. Some contacts come in different configurations depending on the use of the relay. A normally open (NO) relay’s contacts are open when there is no current passing through, while a normally closed (NC) relay’s contacts are closed when there is no current passing through.

Source:
https://www.explainthatstuff.com/howrelayswork.html

There are many things to consider when choosing a relay for a project. Lifespan, operating environment, mechanical loads, size, and number and type of contacts are all important factors in choosing the right relay.

Pros and Cons of Electromagnetic relays

Advantages

Fast operation and reset

More definitive ON/OFF

Simple and most reliable

Disadvantages

Suffers the effects of age

No directional features


MRO Electric and Supply has an extensive inventory of relays in stock.  Please email sales@mroelectric or call us at 800-691-8511 for a quote.

Yaskawa SIGMA 5 Troubleshooting

Yaskawa has established a firm position as the leading international developer of servo products in recent years, surpassing its competitors with innovation and utilization of advanced modern technologies.

Its Sigma 5 series is absolutely top of the class! Incorporated with the latest and most desirable features, this fleet of servo products does not disappoint. The Sigma 5 series catalog is briefly over-viewed below.

  • SERVOPACKs is a series consisting of high-end networkable amplifiers that support motors up to 55 kW
  • Rotary Servo Motors with outputs in the wide range of 50W – 15kW
  • Direct Drive Servomotors with peak torque 6-600 Nm
  • Linear Servomotors are directly driven by a coil
  • Linear Slides complete the package for customers using linear servomotors, comprising of components such as slides, carriages, etc.

With such a versatile range of products, Sigma 5 series is easily what you would want to have in your workshops and industries.

SGMGV-09ADA61

All servo drives are tailored according to contemporary market demands. With so many different kinds of motors, the drives make use of complex algorithms that allow engineers to exercise precise control over the motor output, helping them achieve the accuracy modern applications require.

Yaskawa is highly regarded among consumers and the industry for its professionalism. From product development to customer dealing, this quality shows through at each stage, and this is exactly what puts this company at the top.

This blog is dedicated to one aspect of this characteristic: Troubleshooting. Sigma 5 series is undoubtedly the most functional of all but this also means that the intricacies involved can sometimes be difficult to handle.

If one of these products does not perform as it should be, troubleshooting it should be something that field engineers should be able to do. Thankfully, the Sigma 5 series is accompanied by clear troubleshooting guidelines and is one of the most easy to handle.

  • Product Documentation

Each product comes with comprehensive documentation that can be accessed at any time to gain in-depth knowledge of its working. These documents contain important information like dedicated troubleshooting guides, operating parameter, alarm lists, product structure, and specifications.

With this information at hand, troubleshooting any of the Sigma 5 products becomes a piece of cake!

  • Software Support

Sigma 5 series comes with a very supportive software suite as well which can serve as the perfect troubleshooting tool. During installation and operation, these software used extensively for product setup and configuration.

The SigmaWin+ is an intuitive tool that allows convenient setup of each servo product. If you observe anything out of the normal with your Sigma 5 products, the first thing to do would be to check whether the configuration settings are compatible with your application.

Its most helpful function is the alarm diagnostic function. Troubleshooting is usually initiated after a machine raises an alarm. This software is designed to identify all the possible reasons that might have generated a specific alarm, and presents possible corrective measures as well.

Moreover, SigmaWin+ has enhanced features such as wiring check and auto-tuning of multiple parameters. Using these you can not only find the loopholes you are looking for but also optimize operations.

  • Yaskawa Customer Support

To top off the aforementioned troubleshooting options, MRO’s Repair team is always available for help. If you are experiencing a mind-boggling issue with your Sigma 5 products, this team is the go-to. Apart from repair work, MRO Electric and Supply has a core exchange program that saves the buyer time and money when receiving their new unit.

Keeping Your Breaker Running

In any industry of the modern era, the use of electronics is absolutely crucial and unavoidable. Whether you are operating a CNC shop, process plant, or assembly line, electronics devices and automation technologies are at work there.

Automation is understandably the backbone of our industries. However, it comes with an additional responsibility of maintenance and inspection. This is something industrialists sometimes neglect and core electronic equipment goes unchecked for long periods of time, which can lead to serious problems and financial loss.

In this blog, we focus on one basic electric device: the circuit breaker, and why do you need to keep it in tip-top condition.

Circuit breakers are installed at nearly every point in your plant’s electric layout and offer protection against over-current incidents which can damage sensitive devices like motors, drivers etc. They work by cutting off power supply to the circuit they are connected against if a high amount of current is detected.

siemens breakers

Proper maintenance of circuit breakers is an essentially that everyone must understand. If your breaker is faulty due to poor maintenance, you can end up with a burden that is far more than that of performing maintenance. The replacement of damaged devices in addition to the possible shutdown of an industrial process is not something what we want.

In our opinion, the best way to optimize breaker maintenance is to have a complete system in place. Discussed below are a few suggestions we have for people who wish to keep their breakers in proper running.

  1. Know Your Breaker

Circuit breakers come in different types and ratings. Usually in industries, they are categorized by the voltage they are supposed to handle, short-circuit current capacity (AIC value), and the medium they utilize.

You must know the sort of circuit breaker you are dealing with since each type has its own guidelines and precautions. This makes it much easier to narrow down your maintenance procedures and scheduling.

  • Never Forget the Instruction Manual

Once you have the basic know-how about the kinds of equipment you are dealing with, you should get your hands on their instruction manuals. It is always good to have a product manual at hand when testing out your breaker since it carries detailed guidelines about what procedure you should follow in order to ensure comprehensive maintenance.

  • Develop a Schedule

A maintenance schedule is a must if you want your breakers to be ready for a current overload. Usually the manufacturer advises the time period after which a breaker should be examined, a general thumb rule is that breakers should be tested every 6 months to avoid any breakdowns.

  • Avoid Negligence

This is where most almost everybody falls a bit short. If a breaker is tested and a fault is found, it should not be neglected and be rectified immediately. One should not put off the task of replacing damaged parts. You never know when your circuit might short out and be the cause of harm for your equipment.

In a recent blog post, we discussed the reasons why you should keep your machinery up to date. There are many important benefits to make sure your machinery is in its best condition, but none other than saving time and money down the road. It’s impossible to consistently run any machine and not encounter an issue sooner or later. For any inquiries on Siemens Breaker units or anything else, call us toll-free at (800)691-8511 or contact by email at sales@mroelectric.com.

ATS48 Soft Start Troubleshooting and Introduction

The Altistart 48(ATS48) series of soft starters by Square D and Schneider Electric allows for consistent start/stop rates that are independent of motor loads. These devices are more advanced than the standard drives that cannot control the applied motor torque. Featuring contact wiring and control, the soft starter allows for near-seamless integration with existing operations. Many preset parameters are included with the device and they cover a large spectrum of operations. Additional parameters may also be loaded up to meet specific needs. Available power ratings include:

  • 3 – 200 HP @ 208VAC, 60 Hz
  • 5 – 250 HP @ 230VAC, 60 Hz
  • 10 – 500 HP @ 460VAC, 60 Hz
  • 15 – 600 HP @ 575VAC, 60Hz

The ATS48 series features a dual configuration of two motors which allows for a cascaded start/stop in many operations. Using the Torque Control System(TCS) the unit can minimize wear on gears which allows for less time servicing the unit.

The Altistart 48 series takes advantage of the PowerSuite™ software for programming of your drive or soft starter.  With this software, you will be able to monitor and document all of your operations. Configurations are easily saved via hard disk, CD-ROM, flash memory, etc. Using Ethernet technology, the user is able to configure and monitor operations on the go, and a constant feed of information allows for real-time opportunity to modify and adjust configuration files on the fly.

Troubleshooting can be an issue for people when so many different things are going on. It just isn’t feasible to stop operations every time an error occurs. Below is a list of fault codes for the ATS48 Soft Start series that will help determine most issues:

Fault CodeDescription
nLP
rdY
Soft start without run command and:
• Line power not supplied
• Line power supplied
tbSStarting time delay not elapsed
HEAMotor preheating in progress
(Use SUP menu to set up monitoring
parameter. Factory setting: Motor Current.)
Soft start with run command
brLSoft start braking
StbWaiting for a command (RUN or STOP) in
cascade mode
CFF Invalid configuration on power-up
CFI Invalid configuration
CLFLoss of Control Power
EEFInternal memory fault
EtFExternal fault
ErFLine frequency out of tolerance
InFInternal fault
LrFLocked rotor fault
OCFOvercurrent fault
OHFSoft start overheating fault
OLCCurrent overload fault
OLFMotor overload/ground fault
OtFMotor thermal fault detected by PTC probes
PHFLoss of line or motor phase
PIFPhase reversal fault
SLFSerial link fault
StFExcessive starting time
ULFMotor underload fault
USFLack of AC line power on a run command

MRO Electric and Supply carries all models of this unit and has a fast and easy repair service to get your unit fixed and back into your hands as soon as possible.

Modicon PLC History

Richard E. Morley, also known as Dick, was an American electrical engineer. He was an employee at Bedford and Associates, located in Massachusetts. He is most commonly known for his involvement with the production of the first Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) for General Motors and the Modicon in 1968. General Motors Company, often referred to as GM, is an American multinational corporation that is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan that engineers, manufactures, markets and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts and sells financial services.

Known as an author, educator, influencer and specialized engineer, Morleys’ accomplishments and contributions have earned him numerous awards from families such as ISA (the instrumentation systems and automation society), Inc. Magazine, Franklin Institute, SME (the Society of Manufacturing Engineers), and the Engineering Society of Detroit. SME offers the Richard E. Morley Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award for outstanding technical accomplishments in the manufacturing space by engineers age 35 and younger.

Schneider Electric currently owns the Modicon brand of PLCs. The PLC has been recognized as a major advancement in the automation space and has had an unprecedented impact on the manufacturing community as a whole. PLCs were designed to replace re-wiring and hard-wired control panels with software program changes when production updates were necessary. Before PLCs came about, several relays, drum sequencers, cam timers and closed-loop controllers were used to manufacture vehicles and vehicle parts. Re-wiring the relays and other necessary components was a very in-depth and costly process, but clearly worth the effort. The Modicon 084 PLC was modeled to be programmed in ‘ladder logic’ which had the look of the schematic diagrams of relay logic it was replacing.  This made the transition to PLCs easier for engineers and other professionals in the manufacturing space.  The automotive industry is still one of, if not the largest users of PLCs today. MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished Modicon parts available including the Modicon Quantum series. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

Modicon PLC History

The Modicon PLC Timeline

A few years later, in the 1970’s, dialogue between PLCs came about. Introduced as the first industrial communications network, Modbus was based on a Slave/Master architecture that used messaging to communicate between Modbus nodes. All and all, a lacking standardization made PLC communications a nightmare.

In the  1980’s, General Electric made an effort to regiment the interconnection of devices from several manufacturers with MAP (manufacturing automation protocol). PLC programming software was also created to operate on personal as well as professional computers in order to remove the need for dedicated programming terminals or handheld programmers.

As years have gone on, PLCs have evolved as technology evolves. Nowadays, they include process, motion, and distributed control systems, as well as complex networking. Equivalent to an average, run-of-the-mill desktop computer, PLCs have capacities for data handling storage and impressive processing power.