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One stop automation shop
02 March 2015
Stepping up its game as a complete automation supplier, WEG has opened a European Automation Centre at its site in Unna, Germany. Charlotte Stonestreet spoke to Fábio Gonçalez, who leads the facility
When it comes to its core business of electric motors and drive technology, there’s no doubt that WEG enjoys an enviable reputation of always being at the forefront of quality and innovation. Indeed, the company is the market leader in its home territory of Brazil and much of the rest of the Latin American market. However, according to Fábio Gonçalez, the company’s European automation manager, when it comes to the North American, European and Asian markets, WEG is looking to further enhance its standing and grow the automation side of the business.
As part of this initiative, Gonçalez has been tasked with heading up WEG’s European Automation Centre in Unna, Germany, which opened last year in June.
"While WEG still has electrical motors as a core business, many of our customers are wanting to implement a package from us, so more and more we are acting as a solutions provider,” says Gonçalez. "At the same time WEG has expanded to provide more automation products – inverters, starters, servo drives – together with its core portfolio.”
As well as housing the company’s range of automation products the Automation Centre acts as a centre of excellence, and is WEG’s main European hub for automation expertise, testing and training. Focussing on OEM business, as well as end users, when it comes to automation Gonçalez is keen for WEG to be seen as a one-stop-shop. European customers can benefit from all-in solutions comprising servo drives, servo motors and gear units for servo applications based on the modular line of MAS gear motors from WEG subsidiary Watt Drive.
"Our customers are looking for high quality solutions that are reliable, flexible and cost effective,” says Gonçalez. "As well as this, we provide high level aftersales service and support.”
Dynamic servo drive simulator
WEG highlighted its automation offering at SPS by unveiling a dynamic servo drive simulator for the first time in Europe. The simulator incorporates five synchronised servo drives consisting of SCA06 servo drives and SWA servo motors, which perform their positioning tasks with utmost precision. Additional automation components from WEG, including contactors, circuit breakers, an HMI, a touchscreen, motor protection switches and pushbuttons, are also integrated into the simulator.
All of the programming, including relay logic programming with pre-programmed function blocks and CAM control, was done using WEG's WLP software and implemented using the SPS functionality of the servo drives. The programming software is available free of charge on WEG's website.
New products include the MW500 robust frequency inverter with decentralised design that simplifies commissioning, installation and motor start-up. The high performance drive is a space-saving solution that can be mounted directly on motor terminal boxes without any special protective housing, or adjacent to the motor on the wall. As a result, the need for lengthy cables and switch cabinets is eliminated, which reduces installation costs, and it provides flexibility of installation.
Robust with an IP66 protection rating, the MW500 can withstand high overloading of 150% for 60 seconds every 10 minutes, and operate in temperatures up to 40°C (wall installation) and 50°C (motor installation).
Offering reliable operation over a long service life, the drive is also easy to maintain. Three LEDs on the top of the inverter indicate the state (ready, alarm and fault) of the motor so users can identify at quick glance the performance of the equipment. An optional line disconnector can be fitted for simple and safe maintenance.
The water-cooled CFW11W variable speed drive offers up to 40% higher power in a more compact size than standard air-cooled inverters, enabling manufacturers across a wide range of industries to increase efficiency and optimise processes.
With power ratings from 450 kW to 2,800 kW, CFW11W is suitable for low-voltage applications and is ideal for critical and support drive systems. As the inverter is water-cooled, there is no need for fans, which offers significant size and cost savings compared to air-cooled models.
Available with an IP54 protection rating as a minimum, the CFW11W is robust, with enhanced cooling efficiency enabling it to operate without power loss at temperatures of up to 45°C. Additionally, the modular architecture of the CFW11W allows up to five power modules to be incorporated in a switchgear unit and controlled using a single operator panel, allowing the inverter to be optimally adapted to specific customer power requirements.
- WEG is looking to further enhance its standing and grow the automation side of its business in Europe
- At SPS the company unveiled a dynamic servo drive simulator incorporating five synchronised servo drives
- The MW500 robust frequency inverter with decentralised design that simplifies commissioning, installation and motor start-up