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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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