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Intel­li­gent Compact Drive with CAN Bus Inter­face

Users in mechan­ical and plant engi­neering are looking for compact, high-perfor­mance drive systems that commu­ni­cate with higher-level control systems via commer­cial bus inter­faces. Our compact, brush­less DC motor (BLDC) with inte­grated elec­tronics module and CANopen inter­face provides a work­able solu­tion now.


Espe­cially when many small drives in a system have to be coor­di­nated, the usual divi­sion into servo­motor and vari­able frequency drive saves neither space nor money. This is why ebm-papst expanded its ECI series of dynamic, industry-compat­ible BLDC internal rotor motors by the inter­con­nectable ECI 63.xx K5 model (Fig. 1).

ECI63-BLDC internal rotor motors

Fig. 1: The ECI63-BLDC internal rotor motor with an inte­grated elec­tronics module provides a stan­dard­ized CANopen inter­face.

With vari­ants from 180 to 370 W, the compact drive covers a wide range of appli­ca­tions. In compar­ison to AC stan­dard motors with vari­able frequency drives, it features higher effi­ciency and higher power density. The inte­grated elec­tronics module provides many fixed and freely program­mable func­tions. It not only relieves the higher-level control system, but can even replace it in some cases. Design complexity, instal­la­tion and ware­housing costs all fall.

Intel­li­gent drive takes over control tasks

The K5 elec­tronics module is directly installed in the drive as inte­grated intel­li­gence. This makes it freely program­mable – like a PLC. Via inte­grated I/Os, it can virtu­ally be acti­vated as required; external navi­ga­tion commands via bus connec­tion are a thing of the past. And the drive can also be used as a CAN master. In this way, networks that work as stand­alone appli­ca­tions without a higher-level PLC can be estab­lished for less complex appli­ca­tions. This system reduces costs signif­i­cantly (Fig. 2, p. 13). And an encoder system is inte­grated as stan­dard to resolve the drive shaft posi­tioning to 12 bit, achieving high posi­tioning accu­racy. Slow speeds and stand­still can also be accu­rately controlled, making it possible to use a very wide speed range.

Because the drive supports commu­ni­ca­tion and motion profiles as per IEC 61800-7 (DS402), it can be oper­ated in posi­tioning, speed, current or torque control. And inter­po­lated posi­tioning for cyclical set value require­ments is also possible. Stan­dard­ized homing methods and reduced-speed travel to mechan­ical stop (blockade) can be used to refer­ence the drive posi­tion.

ebm-papst expanded its ECI series of dynamic, industry-compat­ible BLDC internal rotor motors by the inter­con­nectable ECI 63.xx K5 model.
The K5 elec­tronics module is directly installed in the drive as inte­grated intel­li­gence.

Commu­ni­ca­tion via CANopen

Ethernet-based bus systems are required in many appli­ca­tions today, but as soon as the number of nodes in a system increases the proven CANopen bus is the solu­tion of choice. The reason is that systems with CANopen offer clear cost advan­tages with regard to hard­ware and imple­men­ta­tion. And CANopen’s perfor­mance is ideal for many indus­trial appli­ca­tions; it elim­i­nates the need for purchasing expen­sive commu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment. A stan­dard­ized CANopen commu­ni­ca­tion inter­face avail­able directly at the drive, the K5 elec­tronics module can be used for drive-to-drive or drive-to-PLC commu­ni­ca­tion as required.

Simple config­u­ra­tion

With epTools, the intu­itive, free startup and para­me­ter­i­za­tion soft­ware, the drive can be conve­niently and directly config­ured from a computer via CANopen. The most impor­tant para­me­ters are clearly visu­al­ized in the config­u­ra­tion window. Any number of addi­tional para­me­ters can be added to the GUI and uploaded to the drive. Plus, the entire para­meter set can be saved on a computer. The status window displays a visu­al­iza­tion of the rele­vant drive measur­ands and status infor­ma­tion. This enables controllers to be opti­mized quickly and simpli­fies startup. Users can also operate the drive in various oper­ating modes in the acti­va­tion window and enable the controller and specify set values directly (Fig. 3). They can also set digital inputs and output in the window. Appli­ca­tion-specific programs for inte­grated control are easy to compile in a different epTools window and upload to the drive.

The docu­men­ta­tion for the new drive solu­tions, including tech­nical data, draw­ings and 3-D models, is avail­able for viewing on the ebm-papst online portal and can be printed or down­loaded as required. ECI 63.xx K5 drives can also be config­ured online as solo and gear motors for a range of perfor­mance classes. All preferred items are ready to ship within 48 hours of order receipt.

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