i500 is the name of the radically new series of frequency inverters from Lenze, the specialist in Motion Centric Automation. The i500 sets new standards in terms of size, modularity, and easy commissioning, and it meets the highest standards of resource efficiency. Director of Innovation Frank Maier provides a look into the near future and shows how Industry 4.0 functions have been integrated into the new devices.
Compact, efficient, easy: this triad of qualities runs through the i500’s design concept like a thread. Lenze’s i500 series of inverters combines product features such as high efficiency and compact size with very good usability. “In terms of handling, the i500 is so simply designed that it can be commissioned without much previous knowledge. One has to bear in mind that settings for vector control are quite challenging, because this control can quickly become unstable,” says Maier. Because of demographic change, there is a shortage of skilled workers, so it is increasingly difficult to find people who can handle such difficult tasks and therefore “we must make technology so easy that anyone can master it”.
“The self-parameterising inverter is an ever-recurring topic,” says Frank Maier. In the past, it led to the electronic nameplate, for example – a development that Lenze did not adopt. “The production costs of standard three-phase AC motors cannot cover an electronic component that costs five to ten euros,” explains Maier. Today, however, we have RFID chips, which can be easily installed in the conventional nameplate – they cost only 10 cents and can be read out with NFC. The idea is this: “We use an NFC-capable smartphone, download the motor parameters via the Lenze app and import them into the i500 using wireless LAN – and that’s it.”
With this easy and at the same time trend-setting procedure, Lenze is linking the traditional field of speed-controlled drive technology with the new potential of Industry 4.0. “Once the inverter has the motor data, it can switch into a more efficient mode,” adds Maier. In practice, this can be done to adjust the magnetising current to a partial load, for example – something which Lenze has already made possible with the VFCeco function in the Lenze Smart Motor.
Providing maximum efficiency and requiring as little effort as possible: Frank Maier is convinced that users want frequency inverters that, ideally, do not need any parameterisation at all. This is why Lenze is looking for ways to adapt the devices to machines with as much automation as possible. Currently, Lenze is working on a way that works anywhere in the world: the combination of RFID chip, NFC technology, a simple smartphone app, and upload via wireless LAN. “Anyone can use a smartphone – no matter what language they speak.”
For more information, please visit http://www.lenze.com.