ABB proposed an automation package comprising an AC500-S safety PLC and an ACS880 industrial variable speed drive (VSD). One of the key features of the drive is a plug-in FSO safety functions module that provides a variety of drive-based safety functions developed to work seamlessly alongside the drive control system.
The removable memory card on the ACS880 drive plays a key role in helping to ensure the availability of Recom’s cranes. Because cranes operate in extremely harsh conditions with variable power supplies there are times when a drive will fail and need replacing. In the past, Recom would either have to send the failed drive back for refurbishment or ask the ABB factory to supply a new drive configured with the crane application. Now, because the application software is stored on the memory card, Recom can simply purchase a new drive from a local dealer and swap over the memory card from the failed unit to get back to work immediately.
According to Moritsch, the partnership with ABB has helped refine the way that the drive works with the crane motors: “We need to manage the operation of our crane motors so that they work efficiently and with a high degree of precision. The ABB drive guarantees very refined control even on the customized motors that we build for our cranes. The drive has been fine-tuned over a number of stages, with ABB technicians demonstrating in detail how all our scenarios can be resolved. They even assisted us in the testing phase at our motor manufacturer, verifying that our calculations effectively match the actual motor operation.”
Recom’s partnership with ABB is continuing to develop new approaches to crane automation. For example, in current cranes the rotation of the crane tower is controlled by direct current (DC) motors. However, the market is demanding a switch to alternating current (AC) motors and ABB and Recom are working on a specific solution based on the ACS880 drive.