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Decentralised motor starter

10 May 2022

When motors in conveyor systems are safely turned off in the traditional manner, the wiring and energy distribution involved is typically very complex. Wieland Electric wanted to reduce the complexity in installation and make it more user friendly, leading to the development of the motor starter podis MS 5HP.

The compact, robust, and user-friendly drive component includes an integrated STO (Safe Torque Off) function that, when activated, renders the connected motor torque-free and allows the power supply to be completely disconnected from the emergency stop circuits. As a result, STO circuits no longer need to be routed over long distances to a central distributor and assigned to a specific energy branch. This reduces the system's susceptibility to interference and provides significant benefits for planning and installation work.

This innovative combination of starter functions enables the distribution of all energy and the decentralized assignment of STO circuits in the field. Furthermore, a high level of safety (SIL 3, PL e) can be attained with little effort.  All motor starters in an emergency stop circuit are connected to STO female sockets, and the STO circuit is monitored and controlled by an auxiliary voltage generated in the field, as well as a two-channel safety relay. In addition, multiple STO circuits can be powered by a single power supply.

When an energy bus system, such as Wieland Electric's podis 5G6, is used, additional benefits of separating energy and signal are realized: Because the energy distribution for multiple motor starters and motors can be combined on a single line with only one feed.  This saves space in the cable trays and simplifies wiring in the distributor panel.

Furthermore, the podis MS 5HP is designed in such a way that a single size can cover a power range of 0.25 to 4.0kW. This aids in the reduction of storage and administration costs.  The procurement and materials management processes are also simplified because there is only one order option. The processes for installation and commissioning are also straightforward:  DIP switches can be used to fully program the motor starter. The user can make the settings for the motor and the application concerned after being guided through the procedure step by step by an intelligent web configurator guide. Scanning the QR code on the front of the device with a smartphone or tablet will bring up the configurator and other information on the motor starter.  

The podis MS 5HP is appropriate for worldwide use, with CE and cULus approvals due in Q4 2021. It meets the required operational standards in the US market, including the design of the disconnector switch in compliance with UL 508.  This is an integrated service switch for safely turning off drives for maintenance or repair work by disconnecting individual conveying lines or consumers from the power supply without shutting down the entire system. 

Another benefit is a specific inbuilt power supply that creates the 24V DC auxiliary voltage required to supply the attached sensors without using the neutral wire, eliminating the need for additional separate cabling.  This saves time and money on materials. The podis MS 5HP is designed to meet the protection class IP65 and the NEMA12 standard, which is applicable to the US market. It is also appropriate for use in tough industrial environments.