Motor Drives & Control White Papers and Technical Articles

Articles, tutorials and white papers on motor drives and controls used in the industrial automation and process control industry.

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VFDs Can Control Multiple Motors

Many applications use one or more motors operating in parallel at the same desired speed. Using one Variable frequency drive (VFD) to control these multiple motors provides a host of advantages as summarized in this article. Click here to read full article...

Choosing Between Soft Starters and Drives

Regardless of their application, motors that are started across the line require large amounts of energy when accelerating quickly to full speed. Both RVSSs and VFDs reduce AC RMS voltage and reduce inrush currents, and consequently starting torque, by as much as 30% to 70% compared to across-the-line starting. Click here to read full article...

Employing an Adjustable Frequency Drive with a Soft Starter Bypass Improves System Reliability

By Timothy R. Skell, Application Engineer at Eaton
Today's comprehensive drive packages typically combine several solutions to provide a reliable and robust system. Using a drive with a soft starter built into the bypass offers a spectrum of advantages. In general, soft starters are designed for customers requiring reliable and efficient soft-starting of three-phase motors. Click here to read full article...

Motor Management In Control Panels Drives Energy Savings

By Fabrice Meunier, Schneider Electric
How to save energy by using low power dissipation motor starters, how smart motor control systems can be used to optimize energy use, how power monitoring systems can help better manage energy consumption of electrical motors, and how variable speed drives can be used for energy savings.Click here to read full article...

Motor/Gearhead Selection: Selecting Keyless vs Keyed Connections for Motor to Gear Reducer

Knowing the differences between keyless and keyed-shafted connections is vital in distinguishing the advantages and disadvantages of both types of specifications when choosing a gearbox for your motor. In today’s marketplace, the need for speed, precision and small size are not only dictating the standard for shaft locking devices but also challenging motion component manufacturers to evaluate methods of keyless shaft locking for dynamic loads. Read complete paper from alpha gear drives, Inc.

The Growing Necessity: Harmonic Mitigation at the Device Level, to Help Keep Facilities’ Power Supply Clean

Harmonics are more of a concern today due to two factors: the extensive use of harmonic-generating equipment; and more of the equipment now being installed in stand-alone machines and processing lines is sensitive to harmonics. Harmonic distortion can result in mis-operation of sensitive electronic equipment and generators. Read complete paper by ABB.

Web-Enabling Variable Frequency Drives

Over the past several years, the networking of drives has gone through several phases of evolution. Today, web-enabled Ethernet communications represents the latest, and most powerful, of all of these phases. The level of control and the amount of information available are significantly improved over earlier methods. Most importantly, with web-enabled Ethernet, the ease of both getting information and displaying it is on an entirely new level than was possible with older technologies. Read full article

10 Benefits Adjustable-Speed AC Drives Provide to Industrial Users

Adjustable Speed Drives are used in any application in which there is mechanical equipment powered by motors; the drives provide extremely precise electrical motor control, so that motor speeds can be ramped up and down, and maintained, at speeds required; doing so utilizes only the energy required, rather than having a motor run at constant (fixed) speed and utilizing an excess of energy. Despite these benefits, the majority of motors continue to be operated without drives. Read full article

Drives 101: Lesson 1 - Functions of an Adjustable Frequency Drive (AFD)

This training document, provided by Danfoss, covers the basic functions of an Adjustable Frequency Drives (AFD).  Read this tutorial (pdf)

Energy Efficiency – The Other Fuel Alternative

Proven methods for industry to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact are already at hand. These cost-effective solutions promise substantial return-on-investment now and in the future, without sacrificing performance or quality. For most companies and organizations, the answers to maintaining a competitive edge in this era of rising energy costs are readily available. By applying a suite of cost-effective power and automation solutions from technology leaders like ABB, these facilities can achieve substantial energy savings today without waiting for the "alternative fuels" of the future. Read complete paper from ABB.

Intelligent Programmable Drives Become a Control for the Entire Machine

Mechatronic solutions and modular machine concepts become more and more important for machine manufacturers. Mechatronics has proven to simplify machine construction with servo drives and intelligent Motion Control software. With the right control architecture, machine building becomes extremely efficient and allows the development of very flexible machines with a high degree of quality and throughput. Read complete paper by Josef Hammer of Siemens Energy & Automation.

Drives 101: Lesson 2 - Control Arrangements for an Adjustable Frequency Drive (AFD)

This training document, provided by Danfoss, covers the major control arrangements for an AFD. The control arrangement shown in the previous lesson (Lesson 1: Functions of an AFD) were all Local Control. There can be other arrangements such as Remote control, Multi-motor, Master/Slave, Closed Loop, PLC signals and Serial communications, which are shown in this lesson. This lesson covers the simplest arrangement first then moves to the more complex.   Read this tutorial (pdf)

Drives 101: Lesson 3 - Parts and Operation of an Adjustable Frequency Drive (AFD)

This training document, provided by Danfoss, covers the basic parts and operation of an Adjustable Frequency Drive (AFD).  These parts are divided into 4 sections: Rectifier, Intermediate circuit (DC Link), Inverter and Control & Regulation.  Read this tutorial (pdf)

Flexible Coupler Design Assistance

There are as many as 10 issues that need to be considered when selecting a flexible coupler.  The issues of misalignment and torsional stiffness will be discussed in this article.  Read this article