Variable speed drives for SA market

2019-09-13T09:24:56+00:00 September 13th, 2019|

From bearings to variable speed drives (VSDs), motors, gearboxes, sprockets and chains, supplier Bearings International (BI) is able to offer total solutions for a diverse range of customers, applications, and industries.

Bearings International’s marketing manager, Victor Strobel. Image credit: Bearings International

Bearings International’s marketing manager, Victor Strobel. Image credit: Bearings International

Being part of the broader Hudaco Group allows BI to leverage synergies across a broad range of companies, meaning it can offer a complete product basket at its extensive branch network countrywide. One of these areas is electronic motor control solutions from Hudaco Group company Varispeed, which has just launched the VDrivePlus and AlphaDrive-Micro VSDs.

“For BI, it is all about the breadth of our product offering, which extends far beyond our customers’ core focus. This is because we look at customer requirements holistically. It is also a great way to introduce our customer base to the larger Hudaco Group,” comments Victor Strobel, offer marketing manager at BI.

“While the customer bases are different, there are definite synergies that we can tap into. It is all about positioning ourselves as a total solutions provider that is a single point of contact for all of our customer needs, as well as making them aware of everything else we are able to offer them,” Strobel highlights. This is where BI’s focus on customer service and support is critical, as it is able to back-up all the products it supplies with the necessary technical expertise and experience.

The AlphaDrive-Micro VSD from Varispeed is a compact frequency inverter ranging from 0.2kW to 5.5kW, and available in 240V and 400V. Together with the VDrivePlus, these VSDs offer the best performance-to-cost ratio on the market, without compromising on quality and reliability. “Due to the current economic environment, the market is very price-sensitive. Therefore, any energy-efficiencies or cost-savings we are able to offer is hugely beneficial,” Strobel notes.

Certified in accordance with the latest European standards and regulations, the Alpha Drive Micro and Micro Plus are ideally suited to most applications in the South African market, including mining, food and beverage, manufacturing, and agriculture.

The compact design of the AlphaDrive-Micro VSD means it is easy to integrate into an electrical panel, as it mounts directly onto a DIN rail. A built-in software menu caters for optimised parameters for basic functions and applications such as fans, belts, conveyors, and pumps. Applications range from mining plants to water reticulation, HVAC, food and beverage, canning and bottling plants, and injection moulding plants.

The AlphaDrive-Micro VSD is based on the MODBUS protocol for open networking, with an EMC filter as standard. An innovative feature of both drives is a parameter copy stick that allows for an automatic back-up of parameter settings in the event of load shedding. It also means that the same set of parameters can be transferred to many drives and even multiple sites.

The VDrivePlus from Varispeed is a much larger drive, ranging from 0.4 kW to 400 kW, available in 240V and 400V. This more advanced VSD features advanced motor control based on DSP technology, together with ‘smart’ auto-tuning. Additional features include flexible inverter control, dual high-resolution analogue inputs, and free mappable I/O channels.

A universal function set is available for a range of industrial and residential applications, including integrated PID/pump controller routines. ‘Smart’ PC tools allow for quick inverter control, parametrisation, and troubleshooting. Here the size and range of the VSD makes it ideal for harsh operating environments from mining to industrial and even agricultural.

Strobel adds that BI staff has received training on the new VSD products, while further information can be gleaned from the BI website. Looking at future scope for synergy, Strobel points out that the VSDs can be easily supplemented with the Bauer electric motor range from BI.

These aluminium three-phase 380 V motors are ideal for industrial applications such as fans, compressors, pumps, sanding machines, and pedestal drilling machines, among others. The main benefit is that the motors are far lighter than their cast-iron equivalents due to the aluminium casing and end shield.

The multi-mount design has the added benefit of being able to change the feet on-site. This gives customers the option of having the terminal box on the top or on the left- or right-hand side, depending on the specific requirements. In addition, Bauer motors can be fitted with an external brake of either an AC or DC type.