© ebm-papst

“The Modular System is Constantly Growing and Changing”

With our modular system, ebm-papst customers find the right drive more quickly. Patrick Schu­macher helped work on the concept devel­op­ment. He can tell us all about what it contains and the bene­fits it provides.

Mr. Schu­macher, why was the modular system devel­oped?

In the past, the Indus­trial Drive Engi­neering busi­ness unit at ebm-papst focused on OEM projects. Our customers described exactly what kind of drive they wanted to purchase from us. Based on specific customer require­ments, we devel­oped special prod­ucts for them. We still develop customer-specific OEM prod­ucts, but at the same time we are ramping up our volume busi­ness. In other words: Customers tell us what they want. We look at our modular system and recom­mend a drive that best satis­fies their require­ments. In this case, we do not develop new prod­ucts. Instead, we pick from a fixed modular system and combine indi­vidual modules to create a drive solu­tion.

Does this mean the modular system is partic­u­larly suit­able for small compa­nies?

Exactly. And those are the customers we want to serve too. It used to be too expen­sive to initiate a devel­op­ment project for small special needs, but today that is a real option.

How is the modular system struc­tured?

It basi­cally contains five elements: motors, drives, elec­tronics, brakes and sensors. A product always has to at least have a motor. There are three sizes avail­able in the modular system: 42, 63 and 80 mm in an output range from 10 to 750 W. Since the motors typi­cally have speeds of around 4,000 rpm, customers usually require a suit­able drive. In this range, the require­ments can vary greatly. One customer wants to have the drive inline, in front of the motor, and the next wants it at right angles and requires an angular gear. Other customers may have little instal­la­tion space and require drives that are very flat. In this case, a spur gear is the solu­tion. Our modular system contains a range of vari­ants to meet customer require­ments.

The modular system contains five elements: motors, drives, elec­tronics, brakes and sensors.

What do you have to take into consid­er­a­tion in the case of elec­tronics?

When it comes to elec­tronics, we have to have drive regu­la­tors, which inte­grate the logic and power elec­tronics into the motor, in a range of vari­ants to match different require­ments. To do this, we have elec­tronics ranging from simple speed controllers to complex posi­tioning control units, and of course bus systems that can actuate the drive. And then we need brakes to reli­ably keep the motor in posi­tion. They must be pre-designed for the modular system to ensure that they fit into our motors later. The next element is the rotor posi­tion sensors. After all, in order to offer high posi­tioning accu­racy, I always need a high-reso­lu­tion sensor system.

On the one hand, the indi­vidual elements of the modular system are stan­dard­ized and on the other, highly differ­en­ti­ated. How do you manage that?

We differ­en­tiate between preferred and stan­dard types in the modular system. Preferred types are ready to ship within 48 hours. Avail­ability is a key customer require­ment when it comes to devel­op­ment. The faster the devel­oper has some­thing to work with, the more likely he is to iden­tify with the task and continue working with what he has on the work­bench.

How many drive solu­tions can be created using the modular system?

Currently, over 4,000 drive vari­ants are in the system. We could theo­ret­i­cally create many more. The modular system is constantly growing and changing.

Is there a size limit for parts from the modular system?

Not really; the basic issue is avail­ability. There­fore, end customers can order a maximum of 20 pieces per order. Of course we define a frame­work within which repeat customers can order – regard­less of whether they require 5,000 or 50,000 pieces.

What chal­lenges were involved in creating the modular system?

The solu­tions from the modular system had to be suit­able for a wide variety of purposes in the equip­ment tech­nology and indus­trial automa­tion sectors. There are numerous appli­ca­tions. We had to give up the idea that every­thing always has to be cost-opti­mized to the maximum extent. In some cases, we achieve vari­ance and repeat use by offering a little more.

Required fields: Comment, Name & Mail (Mail will not be published). Please also take note of our Privacy protection.