U.S. production of new ABB ACS 800 drive line starts up; eases delivery and shortens lead time to customers throughout Americas

New drives pack big punch in small, narrow package

NEW BERLIN, WI, June 2003 . . . ABB’s new ACS 800 DriveIT Low Voltage family is now in production at the company’s drives factory in New Berlin, Wisconsin. Units will be shipped from ABB Inc., Automation Technologies, Drives and Motors, to industrial customers all over North and Latin America, selected South American countries – and to end users around the world.



Caption: Pedestal for ACS 800 Drive

Frame sizes R2 – R6 (3 - 150 HP) within the new line already are being assembled and tested. The R7 frame size (150 – 250 HP) will be in production by the end of June.

“This onsite production shrinks our lead time tremendously – by weeks,” said Chuck Clark. “Customers’ orders can be built and delivered rapidly. No need to wait for units produced from other ABB factories.”

The various frame sizes of the new drives line will be built in two adjoining areas of the factory, according to Chris Rian, ABB operations manager. “Assembly and testing time for the smaller units will run 40 minutes-to-one-and-a-half hours, with total throughput to shipping averaging four hours,” he predicts. Assembly time for the larger frame sizes will range two-to-three hours, he said.

The total parts count for the ACS 800 is significantly less than that of the ABB ACS 600 drive units, according to Sam Ryan, team leader on the factory floor – “and that helps streamline assembly.” An R2 ACS 800 unit, for example, includes a total of 85 parts, while the same frame size on an ACS 600 drive contains 203, he noted. Full-time assembly of the wall-mount versions of the new drives is underway, he said.

Fit Anywhere

The ACS 800 drives pack a great deal of punch into a very small space, and that’s helpful for original equipment manufactures and end users in all kinds of industries who have less and less space to free up for drive installations. The “punch” includes performance, programming power and flexibility – lots of it!

These new drives are 50 percent smaller than previous ABB drives of equal horsepower – and they are the narrowest in the industry. Designed in a “bookshelf style,” the units range from 6.5-inch-wide low-Hp designs up to freestanding 600-Hp units that measure only 13.78 inches wide! The freestanding enclosures of the drives in the range from 150 – 600 Hp turn easily to fit into deep, narrow spaces, or wide, shallow spaces. Best of all for ABB customers, the ACS 800 is backward compatible with ABB’s previous ACS 600 family -- settings have the same name and scaling.

“This is a drive that’s perfect for the OEM or industrial customer that needs a lot of precise motor control, and needs it to be easy to set up and use that control,” said John Tisdale, sales manager for the ACS 800. “Features like the interactive Intelligent Start-up Assistant and Adaptive Programming, which is software built in as standard tools, means, literally, that the start up and tuning of a this drive can be accomplished faster than ever before.”

Direct Torque Control For Trip-less Operation

The new drives include ABB’s Direct Torque ControlTM technology, which makes it possible for a drive to calculate the operating status of the motor 40,000 times per second; this helps ensure that the drive does not trip out and cause the motor to stop turning. “These drives can adapt to and handle changes in the load a machine puts on a motor immediately – a tremendous benefit to users who need their machinery to operate round the clock without a hitch,” according to Tisdale.

Start Up In Record Time With “Intelligent Start-up Assistant”

This standard interactive tool makes ABB’s ACS 800 drive family “the quickest and easiest on the market to start up, bar none,” according to Tisdale. “Particularly for users who are familiar with the various electrical terms, this tool saves time and eliminates fear and frustration.” Start-up Assistant automatically detects when the drive is turned on for the first time and then provides guided start up, step by step; no need to worry about which boundaries to set.

Built-in Adaptive Programming Only Takes Minutes

Adaptive Programming consists of a set of 15 blocks that can be programmed to perform any operation from a set of 20 functions. Using these blocks simplifies and speeds up detailed programming, so that users can get the drives set up operating quickly.

Fieldbus Control – Gateway To Automation Systems

A snap-on module, which ABB calls a field bus adapter, mounts easily inside the ACS 800 drive to provide connectivity to a wide variety of major automation systems. “The wide range of adapters means that users’ choice of an automation system is independent of the decision to take advantage of all the benefits built into these new drives,” said Tisdale. “It’s a win-win, because they can choose both.”

Pedestal Mount Provides Easy Connectivity, Portability – And Maintenance

With the ACS 800 drive introduction, ABB offers a new method of connecting motor and power supply cables to a drive that is 150 HP through 600 HP; the configuration saves time and money.

The cables are connected into a separate pedestal that is bolted to the floor. Once the cabling is complete, the drive – with built-in wheels/castors – is rolled over the pedestal and locked into it. “A NEMA 1 drive on wheels that is rolled in over the power terminations introduces a new level of convenience for an end user,” noted Tisdale.

New Drives Are At Work, Increasing Output of PVC at Cantex Plastics

A 100 HP ACS 800 drive and motor installation that replaced the motor powering the mixing screws (augers) on an extrusion line at Cantex Plastics, Reno, Nevada, was started up this past Christmas Eve – and, already, has increased production from the line by 30 percent.

“The AC ABB drive and motor take the place of the ageing DC equipment on these augers, which move the plastic pellets from the hopper tanks into the pipe extruder,” said Carl Wojtkowiak, the Reno, Nevada, branch manager for Intec Solutions, an ABB systems integrator. Cantex uses the line, one of 13 at the Reno facility, to produce electrical PVC up to four inches in diameter for customers such as Home Depot and Lowes.

The technology built into the ACS 800 drives make it easy to control the ABB motor, in order to maximize power and provide the precise torque (twisting power) needed, Wojtkowiak said. “The consistent speed control has eliminated all the previous speed variation of the DC equipment; that has reduced downtime and minimized scrap,” he said. Also, the new drive and motor have eliminated any need for replacing and maintaining the brushes used inside DC motors; the blower – and noise it made -- used to keep the DC motor cool has been eliminated, too.

In early June, Intec will start up a 150 HP ACS 800 drive on a line used to extrude up to six-inch PVC. Following that, a number of puller motors, used to draw the PVC out of the processing machinery, will be replaced with ABB drives and motors. And just like the puller motors with the printer motors, the hopper motors and the mixing screw motors will be coordinated, to optimize production and PVC output.

“Cantex has standardized on ABB drives, and this is one of four plants the company owns and operates,” Wojtkowiak, said. “There’s a lot of upside potential for using AC technology to increase both individual lines’ and all of these plants’ production dramatically.”

ABB Inc., Automation Technologies, Drives and Motors, is the world's largest manufacturer of electric motors and drives. In the USA, an integrated channel of sales representatives, distributors, and system integrators allow ABB, New Berlin, Wisconsin, to supply a complete line of energy-efficient electric drives, motors and engineered drive systems to a wide range of industrial and commercial customers. Products manufactured include AC variable speed drives for electric motors from 1/8th through 135,000 HP, large AC machines and drives, medium-voltage drives, power electronics and rectifier systems, AC & DC motors, and application-specific drive system solutions to meet diverse customer needs (http://www.abb-drives.com).

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people. The company's U.S. operations employ about 11,000 in manufacturing and other facilities in 40 states.


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    Ready For Production! -- Assembler James Davis puts the finishing touches on a new R5 frame size unit from the new ABB ACS 800 DriveIT Low Voltage family.

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