Drives and Controls Magazine

Drives shrink in size and price

01 March, 2004

Drives shrink in size and price

Schneider Electric has launched a new range of drives under its Telemecanique brand which, it says, will be cheaper to buy and install than its predecessors. The new Altivar 31 drives are, on average, 24% smaller than the earlier Altivar 28 models, and will cost 5-10% less.

The new drives will be available in two formats: mounted in customisable IP55 enclosures with space for items such as switch-disconnectors and circuit-breakers; and in a kit form consisting of a drive chassis and a separate heatsink, which can be mounted on the chassis or outside the enclosure.

The customisable versions cover single-phase ratings up to 3kW, and three-phase ratings up to 5kW. The kit versions, aimed at OEMs, extend the three-phase range up to 20kW.

The auto-tuning drives incorporate Class A EMC filters and CanOpen and Modbus communications. An enhanced configuration adds functions such as brake logic, plus-minus speed controls, and PI regulation.

The drives, developed by Schneider`s joint venture with Toshiba, will also be available in a Toshiba version with a different front-end and firmware. The Altivar 28 models will continue to be available until the end of this year.

Paul Pryor, Schneider`s variable speed drives product manager in the UK, predicts that the new range "will meet a lot of applications we couldn`t satisfy before". He adds that, by the end of 2005, Schneider will have changed the whole of its drive range in just three years.