Energy-efficient pump drive solutions

Running permanently at full speed may work for you but not so much for your pump drives. Speed control balanced to actual requirements greatly enhances the energy efficiency of pump systems. NORD Drivesytems supplies complete pre-assembled distributed drive units for a wide performance range up to 22 kW. In addition to energy savings of up to 60 per cent, users benefit from reduced noise emissions, low wear, and increased plant service life as well as the ecological advantages.

NORD Drivesytems integrated pump drives can store up to four operation modes which can be displayed and changed directly at the control unit. The SK 200E series comprises of reliable and economical frequency inverters, especially tailored to pump applications that require precise adjustments of power output; these are compatible with mains voltages worldwide.

For improved customer ease, NORD configures complete drive systems for various application areas (IP55/IP66, ATEX zone22/3D), and its integrated process and PI controller functions enables the fully-automated control of process variables as well as compensation of disturbances. This is applicable both in stand-alone and mobile applications as well as in complex setups with several drives.

Martin Broglia, Managing Director of NORD Drivesytems Australia says that thanks to two analogue inputs, the inverters can directly process sensor data such as pressure or flow rate. “Optional signal and power plug connectors facilitate handling and ensure compatibility. A programmable energy-saving function automatically reacts to partial load operation – increasing efficiency and significantly reducing running costs,” he said.

Operation is straightforward and flexible via control terminals, bus, or via an optional potentiometer that enables adjustments directly at the inverter. “In an effort to reduce labour hours whilst being cognisant of productivity levels, up to four operation modes can be stored to save on setup time,” Broglia said.

In addition, the customized parameters can be quickly exported to other units via a pluggable storage module, the system bus, or Ethernet interfaces. Once again keeping productivity in mind, with control cabinets no longer required, the decentralized option minimizes cabling effort for users, and since the inverter is supplied pre-assembled the electro-technical effort doing installation is nominal.

Single stage helical gear unit

NORD Drivesystems has extended its successful NORDBLOC.1 series with a single stage gear unit for applications with high speeds and torques.

The new single stage NORDBLOC.1 helical gear unit from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS was specifically designed for applications with high speeds and torques. The gear unit is especially robust, efficient, quiet and compact.

The new NORDBLOC.1 helical gear unit features ultimate efficiency, high torsional rigidity, low running noise and a long service life. In addition, it meets even the most stringent hygiene requirements thanks to its wash-down design. These innovative gear units do not have any separating joints or closing caps, this increases the stability of the product and at the same time provides a smoother surface on which neither liquids nor solid materials can accumulate.

The FEM-optimised UNICASE housing ensures maximum strength and rigidity. In addition to increased rigidity the internally reinforced design also ensures especially quiet running. All bearings and seal seats are contained within the casing to help eliminate joints which can weaken the housing and allow for oil leakage.

Bores and mounting faces are machined in one step, enabling extremely precise tolerances — thus ensuring accurate positioning of gear teeth, bearings and seals – and an overall longer life for all components. The housing is made from high strength, corrosion resistant aluminium and is therefore especially lightweight and robust.

Martin Broglia, Managing Director of NORD DRIVESYSTEMS says that the new edition to its already comprehensive range is welcomed to ensure 100% customer satisfaction. “In addition, NORD offers added options for this unit such as nsd tupH surface treatment for more protection,”

“The smooth, easy to clean housing makes the NORDBLOC.1 gear unit particularly suitable for users operating in hygienically critical sectors such as the food or pharmaceutical industries. These gear units are generously dimensioned and can withstand large radial and axial forces,” said Broglia.

A big benefit of the large bearings is the larger diameter of the internal shafts, which increases the bearing strength. The gear wheels are made from case-hardened steel and permit high short-term overloads.

The new NORDBOLOC.1 is available in five sizes with motor powers from 0.12 to 7.5 kW for output torques of up to 280 Nm. All variants are available as flange mounted (B5 or B14) or foot/flange mounted versions. Options for IEC and NEMA motor mounting as well as a wide range of equipment variants for shafts, bearings and lubrication can be flexibly implemented.

“The NORDBLOC.1 series truly strengthens our customer offering as its robust, efficient, quiet and compact. We have created a reliable and economical drive solution for pumps, mixers and fans, as well as for conveyor technology applications,” said Broglia.


Sage partners with Nord over waste

Container Deposit Systems Australia (CDSA) approached SAGE Automation with an unusual automation challenge. Recent environmental legislation has seen many recycling plants facing the same problem – reduced efficiencies and increased costs thanks to the purchase of an expensive sorting machine from Europe, coupled with expensive, unreliable labour.

With the machine using barcodes to sort, waste was of major concern as damaged products could not be read. NSW Environmental Protection Authority’s “Return and Earn” scheme has come under fire for accepting only perfect rubbish. The “Return and Earn” website says “containers should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and have the original label attached”. This is so that each container’s barcode can be scanned. All of these factors had put a strain on their customer satisfaction.

At the core of its business, CDSA looks to optimise recycling facilities through decades of experience. CDSA harnesses technology to improve productivity within recycling depot facilities where the manual handling of materials is still prominent.

“CDSA works with current and prospective operators of recycling facilities seeking to grow businesses and sets best practice in the industry. We position recycling facilities to realise significant productivity gains, improved customer relationships and highly secure and auditable product management” says Brett Duncanson, Executive Chairman of CDSA.

Brett continues: “Priding ourselves on customer satisfaction, the issues that we were facing was hindering our business and we were turning customers away rather than make them want to take on the task of recycling and collecting money”.

Understanding the issues that CDSA was facing, SAGE Automation worked closely with automation partners such as leading drive technology supplier, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS to improve efficiencies through immaculate accuracy via a prototype. SAGE Automation developed a range of counting and sensing technologies to accurately determine the container types being retained – even when containers were not in their original condition. What’s more, answering to the calls for IoT technology, the system provides valuable data which is delivered into the cloud and used for reporting.

At the heart of the machine was the vision system which was provided by UniSA. The camera uses an algorithm to identify what each item is and sorts them into the correct skid. This includes not just identifying cans and bottles, but also colour.

Paul Johnson (pictured), General Manager of Operations at SAGE Automation says that by providing customised, innovative solutions, SAGE looks at developing commercially viable solutions for OEMs. “SAGE incorporates various component suppliers into an integrated solution for customers. The challenge with CDSA’s request was that the plant was already operational and customer required that the solution be installed easily and very quickly on-site. It also had to require minimal maintenance and provide intelligence about the facility operations.”

Johnson continues: “We looked for ways simplify the installation. Five skids with twenty six conveyors needed to be installed within a day so we looked to a ‘plug and play’ solution to get it up and running as fast as possible”.

A distributed drive solution was used to achieve the brief. It required a 240V drive which used EtherCAT and could be Beckhoff integrated. SAGE partnered with leading drive manufacturer, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS who were the only provider who could provide this unique solution.

“We hadn’t worked with NORD previously and we were really impressed with the way that the team listened to what we wanted. They understood our needs and their engineering team configured the unit to ensure seamless integration with Beckhoff – literally overnight!” says Paul.

“The solution was exactly what we wanted and the local stockholding, price point and engineering expertise sealed the deal. The products used were of the highest quality and latest technology. The motor gearbox drive is distributed so that inverter sits on top the gearbox and it is neatly daisy chained together” comments Paul.

In the end SAGE Automation was able to install 26 conveyors with five skids in just one day.

With the second prototype underway and recognising the formation of what hopes to be a fruitful and strengthened partnership, Nord Drivesystems sales manager for the region, Vinod Pillai, looks forward to more exciting projects with SAGE Automation. “It’s an honour to be associated with a South Australian-founded company such as SAGE Automation. SAGE is known across the industry for its expertise and quality, and we hope that this is the beginning of a very successful partnership.”

“Nord’s decentralised solution looks to modular assembly for ease and reduced downtime during component failure. It also offers a decentralised inverter which is economical and robust. The site did not have access to three phase power and as such, the project made use of a Nordac base – a single phase input supply option for 0.25 – 1.5kW,” said Pillai.

With their development team NORD managed to engineer plug connector solutions for both power supply and EtherCAT connection.

“In keeping the footprint compact, the Nordac base offers assembly of an internal EtherCAT field bus card. The flexibility of being able to assemble dual plugs on the Nordac Base for both power supply connection as well as M12 connectors that enabled field bus communication, in turn allowed for simple daisy chain topology to be realised for the inverter modules” he concludes.

For Duncanson it is all about the war on waste. The new development comes just ahead of the national legislation roll out of new Government Recycling Program. It places CDSA in the fortunate position of being able to help recycling plants to be up and running and ready for the new program in no time.

“We are more than pleased with the solution and are currently busy with the second prototype,” says Brett. “What we do is extremely important to both our customers and the environment. The solution supplied by SAGE Automation and its partners will make a big difference to our customers by helping to improve productivity

Cost-efficient logistics drives in three preferred configurations

In plants with many drive units, the total cost of ownership can be reduced by up to 70 per cent through intelligent management of variants. Therefore, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS has established three preferred sizes for efficient variable-frequency drives in materials handling and conveyor applications. These cover the typical functional and performance requirements in postal hubs, intralogistics applications, and baggage handling systems. The standardized drive systems greatly simplify purchasing, engineering, commissioning, and spare parts stocking. Moreover, they are particularly easy to install, operate, and maintain.

Limiting the number of variants can yield greater total cost of ownership (TCO) savings than any other measure except for lowering energy consumption. Therefore, drive manufacturers should be able to provide viable drive system standardizations for specific industrial segments. Preferred variants will also benefit customers by simplifying the procurement process, from the first drive purchase to any orders that may follow. Fewer variants also make inventory management much easier.

Furthermore, they make planning and engineering processes less complex for everyone – the drive supplier, the OEM, and the end user. The challenge is to select as few drive configurations as possible in such a way that they adequately fulfill the varied tasks without being oversized. Drive engineers therefore need to thoroughly analyze sector-specific patterns of drive operation and application-specific needs.

NORD DRIVESYSTEMS has been designing efficient drive technology for intralogistics and airports for many years. Based on this wealth of experience, the German manufacturer has developed the LogiDrive line of three preferred drive variants optimized for these applications. LogiDrive systems ensure leaner purchasing, engineering, system maintenance, and staff training processes. Only very few spare parts must be kept in stock. As a result, the TCO in postal hubs, warehouses, and baggage handling systems can be reduced by up to 70 per cent.

1.LogiDrive systems are equipped with IE4 motors which pay for themselves very quickly in applications with frequent partial-load operation.
1. LogiDrive systems are equipped with IE4 motors which pay for themselves very quickly in applications with frequent partial-load operation.



Three variants, much flexibility

The LogiDrive line is the solution for conveyor systems spanning many hundred meters. The variable-frequency drives (VFDs) allow for simple daisy-chaining; short power lines can be connected from one drive to the next. NORD has tailored this line to intralogistics and airport technology. Three geared motor variants meet all typical performance requirements. IE4 permanent-magnet synchronous motors with power ratings of 1.1 kW, 1.5 kW, or 2.2 kW are combined with efficient two-stage helical-bevel gearboxes in two sizes for torques up to 260 Nm. Robust frequency inverters from the NORDAC LINK series enable a wide range of speeds. The systems feature a high overload capacity and offer a uniquely versatile range of functions. Interfaces for all commercially available communication protocols are available, including PROFINET, Ethernet POWERLINK, EtherCAT, and EtherNet/IP.

Extremely user-friendly and efficient

LogiDrive systems are easy, quick, and safe to install thanks to coded plug-in connectors. Maintenance switches, key switches, and direction switches on the devices allow for flexible direct access to individual drive axes for setup or service. Sensors and actuators can be connected via M12 plugs. Sensor data collected by the inverters can be passed on to higher-level systems, which reduces otherwise necessary wiring. Plug & play, pre-parameterized inverters also simplify maintenance. Drive components can be easily replaced. Instead of swapping out entire drive units, for instance, only the geared motor can be exchanged. Thanks to their light-alloy housings, the compact drives are easy to handle as well: on average, they are about 25% lighter than steel-alloy drives. The LogiDrive systems’ IE4 or Super Premium Efficiency synchronous motors take their energy-saving potential to its full extent in conveying systems with frequent partial-load operation. By consuming significantly less energy, they pay for themselves in a very short time.

Integrated safety

LogiDrive systems efficiently and safely power horizontal, inclined, and vertical conveyors. A load monitor protects the driven equipment by stopping the motor in case of blocked applications. NORD can even implement the STO and SS1 safety functions according to EN 61800-5-2 for every single drive axis by means of TÜV-certified electronic modules. Employing field-oriented vector control, the inverters achieve high-precision control. In hoist applications, for example, they provide full torque from zero speed and reliably deliver set speeds even under load fluctuations. Standard inverter features furthermore include connection options for incremental and absolute encoders. The drives manage absolute and relative positioning as well as smart braking. Positions and distances can be programmed via the bus or directly on the device. Multiple drives in master/slave operation can synchronize speeds or positions. Featuring integrated PLC as well as PI controller functions and a wide range of sensor interfaces, these systems can even be used to drive fully autonomous modular equipment in a larger installation.


NORD DRIVESYSTEMS has extensive practical experience in the field of conveyor technology. The drive manufacturer has designed efficient drive systems for hundreds of intralogistics plants and airports worldwide. The company draws on a large modular program of drive components that are manufactured in-house. The energy-saving motors are suitable for worldwide use and available in all common efficiency classes. The NORD gear portfolio comprises numerous gear types and covers an extremely wide range of torques and gear ratios. The VFDs provide enhanced intelligence in plant segments and ensure high efficiency especially in partial-load operation. Furthermore, electronic inverters enable highly flexible speed adjustment. This allows for limiting the drive variants in a larger installation to only a few sizes and gear ratios. The new LogiDrive systems for airport and other logistics applications demonstrate the benefits of greatly simplified variant management and the major cost savings associated with it.


Upgrading F&B manufacturing facilities to minimise contamination risk

Maintaining hygienic conditions when introducing new equipment plants can be a challenge for food makers. However, as the case of a chicken processing plant which introduced new equipment from SEW-Eurodrive shows, it can be successfully achieved.

Food processing companies set high standards for cleanliness in their production facilities. While they can control their own production environment by implementing strict processes, the installation of externally sourced equipment that keeps the production lines rolling is a different matter.

HACCP compliance

To guarantee that these standards are met, the food processing industry and its suppliers typically adopt the hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) risk management methodology. The methodology can be applied at any stage of the food manufacturing process.

Many retail food sellers insist on their suppliers being certified by an independent organisation such as HACCP Australia or its international equivalents. It is not only the ingredients and food processing plants that require evaluation and risk analysis. If the equipment within the plants is certified as fit for purpose, this gives suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers alike extra assurance that the food that reaches our tables has been processed in a suitably hygienic manner.

According to John Gattellari, national industry specialist – food and beverage at SEW-Eurodrive, this certification is critical for the motors and gear units driving the equipment in food processing plants.

“SEW-Eurodrive realised this early on, and is endorsed by HACCP Australia in the manufacturing equipment category. Certification demonstrates that the mechatronic drive system Movigear type B variant for wet areas that we supply for these projects can be successfully cleaned by the high-pressure hoses and chemicals without any difficulty or detriment to the units,” he said.

Frequent audits

In the wet areas and tightly-controlled clean areas of food-processing facilities, these standards are upheld rigorously.

Food manufacturers conduct their own audits and also bring in external auditors to ensure that their facilities meet their own standards and those required by the organisations they supply.

The auditors typically inspect the whole plant, paying attention to all systems and manufacturing processes, including those that govern use of the conveyors, motors and gear units.

According to Gattellari, the food industry now prefers drive systems that are HACCP certified. This is in addition to being easy to clean, reliable, and being able to meet the necessary technical and performance requirements.

Applying the knowledge

One site where this approach has been put into practice is the Golden Farms chicken processing plant at Geelong, in Victoria. Joe Cammaroto, maintenance supervisor at Golden Farms, now uses the Movigear type B drive system throughout the large facility, which employs around 400 people and processes up to 100,000 chickens a day.

He agrees that the cleaning step is critical, and says that the whole plant is cleaned every night after production ceases. The consequences of hygiene issues arising in the clean areas of a food production plant are substantial. At the very least, they could mean delays in production, with associated financial losses. Even more importantly, if contaminated food were sold to the public, public health could be put at risk.



Cammaroto says that a number of previously-installed drives remain in the plant. These must be covered up prior to high-pressure cleaning and uncovered again afterwards. Without the covers, the chemicals used in the cleaning process eat the paint away, so each unit must be cleaned separately from the rest of the plant. This extra handling of equipment every day is time consuming and inconvenient.

These older drive systems – which are traditionally in two pieces rather than a single sealed unit – also have the potential to cause contamination. Removing the peeled-off paint and rust from the older drive systems is time consuming and costly. The process has to be thorough to overcome the risk of contaminating the food product.

Frequent independent audits assist Cammaroto and his colleagues to check that this risk is minimal. A comprehensive system provides for different audits at three and six-monthly intervals, in addition to annual checks. Auditors verify that processes are being adhered to, and look at the preventative measures that are in place.

To further alleviate the risk, Golden Farms is systematically replacing all the older drive systems as they age and wear out.

“We were looking for an alternative motor and have been introducing the Movigear type B to power our conveyors because it is designed and certified for use in hygienic environments,” said Cammaroto. “With its special coatings, it is washable and the food product can’t stick onto it.”

As well as using them to replace the older style motors, Golden Farms now installs them whenever a new conveyor line is added. Cammaroto says that there are now more than 19 of the HACCP-certified units installed.

Installation has proven to be a simple process and has been carried out by the technicians at Golden Farms. The drive motors are horizontally mounted on the left or right side so they can be placed wherever needed within the conveyor system.

“The long-term upgrade project has been straight forward. Several of the motors have been operating for about three years already, and I’ve been impressed by how long they have lasted. They’ve been excellent. The units we used prior to the upgrade would have lost paint and begun to rust in that time,” said Cammaroto.

No more fiddling in the roof

Hygiene is not the only benefit of the plant’s refurbishment. The controller of the Movigear drive system is attached in a sealed housing and the speed of each drive can be adjusted in situ.

At Golden Farms, the conveyors move a mix of fresh product and boxed product, so the speeds of the conveyors vary according to where they sit in the manufacturing process. The convenience of being able to adjust the speeds of the drives directly at the conveyor was another reason for upgrading.

“We can adjust the speeds of the conveyors and match them up so you can go from slower to faster. It’s more convenient than having a speed controller up in the roof space where you’ve got to get up and change it,” said Cammaroto. “With the Movigear, we just undo a bolt at the back of the unit, adjust the speed and replace the bolt. It’s a lot easier – very simple.”

Designed for the job

Behind the scenes, SEW-Eurodrve’s engineers had been working for many years to perfect the design of the Movigear for use in wet areas and hygienic environments. Gattellari says that the result of this endeavour was the mechatronic drive system Movigear type B, a compact and totally enclosed system, comprising the gear-unit motor and electronics.

The Movigear drive system complies with the international energy standard, IE4 (Super Premium Efficiency), the finless and fanless design eliminates air swirls usually associated with fan cooled motors. There is no distribution of germs and bacteria – a vital requirement in a hygienic environment.

With no fan, there is an added benefit of reduced noise in the production environment. The drive system complies with air cleanliness class 2 according to the international standard ISO 14644-1 and consumes about 50 per cent less energy than conventional drive solutions.

A major issue for gear units and motors in wet areas and hygienic environments is the choice of materials and coatings. While stainless steel components and fixtures are the preferred choice for food-manufacturing facilities, traditional motors and gear units are often supplied with housings made from aluminium or steel. This is due to cost pressures, weight restrictions and component availability.

Traditionally, motors and gear units are coated with a paint system that is prone to premature failure when exposed to the harsh and abrasive cleaning regimes. Exposure to the caustic cleaning agents can also cause corrosion within the drive systems. An alternative approach is to employ surface finishes such as Nickel or Teflon, or use of anodising for Aluminium substrates. This gives the motors and gear units superior corrosion-inhibiting properties and abrasion resistance.

The smooth housing of the Movigear type B is finished with an “HP200” treatment which is burned into the surface during application. Highly resistant to the cleaning chemicals and high-pressure wash-down the surface finish eliminates the possibility of flaking paint.

These inherent anti-stick properties contribute to a reduction of debris build-up, resulting in faster cleaning times and less system downtime. The standard inclusion of stainless steel shafts, fasteners and auxiliary fittings further enhances the Movigear type B anti-corrosive properties.

At facilities like Golden Farms, this means that standard cleaning routines can be continued, without the need to cover the drive units before the wash down and uncover them again afterwards.

It was this approach to design that has made the Movigear type B eminently suitable for the Golden Farms upgrade project. By introducing a program to replace the older drive systems with HACCP-certified units, the facility has improved efficiencies and minimised risk – a move that satisfies the twin goals of reducing costs and ensuring the health and wellbeing of its customers.

Movigear Type B variant for wet areas.
Movigear Type B variant for wet areas.



New communication protocols for motor controller

Responding to the demand for broadening the communication capacities of one of the its most popular controllers, SMC´s Direct Input Step Motor Controller is now available in three additional communication protocols, namely DeviceNet, EtherCAT and PROFINET. These now join EtherNet/IP fieldbus protocol which is already available.

The recently launched JXC series from SMC with its three additional communication protocols is designed to directly control the LE range of electric actuators, providing real-time, high speed communication as well as added security, thanks to a dual port in/out.

The controller is ideal for general machine builders who rely on accurate speed, position or force, but at the same time look to improved flexibility and stronger security. The DLR option gives added security and peace of mind as communication continues even when there is a disconnected element. In addition, real time feedback is achieved through numerical data input, in addition to half/full duplex high speed communication.

The JXC is another example of a recent innovation from SMC, with several new product launches taking place from the end of 2016 to date.

Now using four of the most common networks within process and automation applications, the Series opens the door to simpler and closer control for customers.

Due to its clever design, the series delivers a wealth of savings in terms of space, cabling and maintenance for customers.

Nord Drivesystems at foodpro

Keeping its finger on the pulse, Nord Drivesystems has answered to the call of the food & beverage industry with its nsd tupH aluminium drive, which it will showcase at foodpro.

The company recognised a critical gap for drives specifically suited to the demands and stringent requirements of the food industry. The nsd tupH drive delivers with its industry-unique surface protection system which has been developed to withstand hostile environments and meet high hygiene requirements.

An electro-chemical process is applied to fully machined aluminium castings which changes the surface properties of the aluminium to render it corrosion free.

“No coating is applied but the surface itself converted and the stainless-steel like surface is unaffected by blows and scratches,” explained Martin Broglia, Managing Director of Nord in Australia. “What’s more it’s up to 1000 times harder than paint.”

This treatment complies with FDA Title 21 CFR 175.300 and yields much reduced maintenance and a significantly extended life with an overall TCO that is compelling.

Ambit Project, a large UK based company, recently replaced existing drives with nsd tupH drives.

Specialising in engineering solutions for the food industry, Ambit Projects has gained a reputation for providing innovative solutions, designed to increase capacity through improved performance, decreased downtime and enhanced final product quality.

“This is a great success story for Nord as the drives were used in a major upgrade and line expansion to a celery cutting and packaging machine for one of Europe’s leading fresh produce growers and suppliers,” said Broglia.

“Regular washdown and foaming agents were used on the machine and this had caused the old drives to split and peel over time with a danger that paint debris might contaminate the produce”.

Broglia explained that Ambit looked to Nord for a cost effective, long-term solution. “The real beauty of the story lies in customer satisfaction – the Ambit team recognises the value which Nord’s nsd tupH drives have delivered to ensure extended protection and trouble-free reliability whilst remaining affordable,” he said.

Visitors to the company’s foodpro stand can expect more than just the nsd tupH aluminium drive. “This is one of many exciting products that visitors have to look forward to learning more about at the exhibition and we are confident that Nord will impress,” said Broglia.

Visitors to foodpro can find Nord Drivesystems at Stand S17


Brewer goes for smooth-surface motors in the malt house

In the selection and configuration of drives for the food and beverage industry, food safety is only the most obvious major concern. Various other issues must also be addressed with common challenges including adverse environmental conditions that must be kept under control from the outset. A knowledgeable specialist in this field, Nord Drivesystems has configured clean and resilient systems based on efficient smooth-surface motors for a Czech malt house.

Traditionally, beer brewers used to prepare their own malt. Now, specialized malt houses often handle this job for them. The processes in these facilities are largely automated and carried out with state-of-the-art equipment. One large, modern malt house can be found in Nymburk near Prague, the Czech capital. The people of this region remain very committed to the high standards that make Czech beer famous all around the world. In the first phase of processing, grain is steeped in water until it is ready to germinate. Next, the grain is placed in a so-called Saladin box, where it sprouts leaves and roots. Enzymes are formed and enriched. They convert the starch into malt sugar. All the while, the grain is regularly raked and aired. After about five days, the green malt is transferred to a drying kiln.

Retrofit with over 100 new drives

Before the advent of automation, turning the barley and clearing the malting floor were strenuous physical tasks that took many hours to complete. Modern malt houses have long ago switched to large mechanical turners, which enable production volumes of tens of thousands of tons per year. When the Nymburk malt house required a full-scale retrofit of these machines, they turned to Moravské potravinářské strojírny (MOPOS), a Czech OEM for the food industry with a particular focus on malt house and bakery machinery.

Eight turners, each over 7 m wide and weighing over 7.5 tons, were refurbished. A total of 120 drives had to be replaced with new, state-of-the-art systems. Each turner includes a main drive which moves the machine on rails that span the length of the Saladin box – over 53 m. These boxes are about 2 m deep. In addition, there are 14 individually driven vertical screws per turner. These rake the germinating grain once or twice per day as needed to keep it cool and aerated. Finally, a scraper mounted on the machine serves to discharge the green malt.


New smooth-surface motors preferred

In this project, Nord was the single source of drive solutions. NORD supplied 112 geared motors for the screw agitators as well as eight main drives with drive electronics for speed control. The drive manufacturer’s Czech subsidiary, NORD-Poháněcí technika, s. r. o., worked closely with their long-time customer MOPOS to configure these systems to suit the application. The ambient conditions in the malt house are tough. The atmosphere is saturated with 100 percent humidity. Moreover, water vapor reacting with carbon dioxide also leads to the permanent presence of weak carbonic acid (H2CO3). Given these very tough operating conditions, MOPOS selected smooth-surface motors, which NORD has been manufacturing since 2013, for the very first time. In contrast to conventional motor types, the casings of these motors have no cooling fins, which eliminates typical dirt traps and surfaces prone to attract condensation moisture. The standard versions of these systems already provide IP66 ingress protection. Their terminal boxes are filled with solid resin. Both the rotors and stators are treated with a special, moisture-resistant lacquer.

Efficient thermal management

The smooth cases of the motors provide extra resistance against harmful influences as noted above.

However, this design requires careful thermal management, especially since the drives in the MOPOS machine run in continuous operation. The smooth-surface motors on the screw agitators feature a temperature sensor and a cooling fan. This allows for smaller sized motors without a risk of overheating. The motor on the main drive is non-ventilated and therefore solely cooled by surface heat dissipation. These motors are controlled by frequency inverters to be run at different speeds at various stages of the process.

Like all AC vector drives manufactured by NORD, the SK 500E units on the main drives use field-oriented vector control and partial load detection. Due to the harsh environmental conditions, the inverters are installed in a control cabinet.

Sturdy, food-grade drive configuration

Robust BLOCK series parallel-shaft gearboxes were selected for the main drives. These multi-stage gearboxes feature a high gear ratio to enable slow and gentle agitation of the grain. The parallel-shaft gearboxes on the agitators are filled with a fully synthetic oil certified for the food industry. They feature stainless steel output shafts. They ensure corrosion resistance as well as high resistance against cleaning chemicals used in the facility. All drives were supplied with a special coating adapted to the wet environment in malt houses.

Drive partner with extensive industry expertise

MOPOS, a major customer of the Czech branch of the Nord Drivesystems Group, has been using NORD solutions for many years in numerous machines and plants. “We appreciate working with NORD and acknowledge their share in the technological advances we have achieved for our machines”, says Jan Kubáček, managing director at MOPOS. “I am especially delighted that the success of this recently completed project has caught the attention of Pilsner Urquell Plzeň brewery.”


Goodbye control cabinet!

Cabinet-free drive technology enhances productivity throughout the entire value stream. Bosch Rexroth outlines five requirements of the future.

Quickly convert machines for new products, subsequently expand production lines, reduce installation area – these and additional customer requests inspired Bosch Rexroth to develop cabinet-free drive technology. The current IndraDrive Mi generation also reflects the future requirements of mechanical engineers and end users.

Intelligent servo drives are indispensable for modern machines. The advantages are clear: at the touch of a button, they apply format conversions or changes in the movement profile and, in so doing, shorten changeover times. The other side of the coin: larger and larger control cabinets increasingly occupy “unproductive” space. At the same time, in almost all industries there has been a loud call for modular drive concepts that help shorten product life cycles and flexibly adapt existing production lines to new tasks.

Five requirements of the future

For Bosch Rexroth engineers, this resulted in the following five key requirements for developing cabinet- free drive technology. They oriented themselves to these requirements on the path to the current IndraDrive Mi generation. The first requirement revealed itself with a glance to the conventional drive technology: here, the motor and control device are separate from one another, a power cable and an encoder cable run from each motor to the control cabinet. Rule of logic: less cable, less control cabinet.

1.Less space, more flexibility

The advantages of the servo technology can also be enjoyed with an up to 90 percent reduction in cabling requirements. To this end, the decentralised drives of the IndraDrive Mi are entirely connected through a common hybrid cable for communication and erformance. Up to 30 servo drives can be combined with a cable harness up to 200 meters long to make one drive assemblage. The first drive is connected directly to the power supply and control unit through the hybrid cable. Mechanical engineers can also connect sensors, I/ Os, and fieldbus components directly to the decentralised drives without laying an additional fieldbus cable in the machine.

The mains connection and power supply components up to this point located in the control cabinet can now also be installed in the machine – performed in IP65. The mains module, including the filter, throttle, and contactor, is connected directly to the network. A regenerative supply module is responsible for supply and control electronics and integrates brake resistors and transistors alongside control electronics. In this way, the end user can completely forego the control cabinet and gain precious space on the surface.

2. Modularity in Electronics

The second requirement of cabinet- free drive technology follows the trend of modularisation. As the mechanical engineer can pre-install the drive modules and get them operating at his own plant, stations created subsequently to this can be incorporated quickly into existing production lines. Only the power supply and connection with the higher-level control unit need to be established on-site with the end customer. Moreover, if the drives are already parameterised, the quicker start-up also reduces the machine downtime resulting from modification.

To enable further integration of the modules into the end user’s automation landscape at no additional cost, Bosch Rexroth provided its solution with a Multi- Ethernet interface that supports all common Ethernet protocols, Sercos, PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, and POWERLINK among them. This means fewer variations and less warehousing for maintenance.

3. Standard-compliant safety

Of course, conventional approaches cannot detract from machine safety

but ideally should increase availability. In the end, the machinery directive with Bosch Rexroth decentralized drive concepts easily translates into a basis for modularization. In addition to certified safety functions within IndraDrive Mi, the hybrid cable ensures transfer of all safety signals without additional wiring, thereby also eliminating an additional source of error.

What is particularly interesting is the easy adaptation of safety zones with several drives in one drive train. For Safe Torque Off, the first drive of a safety zone is wired in such a way that it processes the safety signals. To add additional drives to a safety zone, all that needs to be done there is to use a safety plug, which is extremely easy to do at start-up and transparent during operations. Several safety zones are possible within one drive train. This solution shortens the time required for restart after a manual adjustment and thus increases the machine’s availability.

4. Efficient use of energy

It is often right at the top of specifications: energy efficiency. Beyond its contribution to climate protection, it exerts a significant influence on life cycle costs. To this effect, cabinet-free drives can score with an energetic coupling for the system. As an energy exchange is possible between the drives using the hybrid cable, the brake energy of a stalling drive can be available to an accelerating drive, for example, and surplus energy can be fed back into the network. Power consumption can be cut in half as a result. On top of this, the power dissipation in the control cabinet drops as does the energy demand for cooling the control cabinet.

5. Ready for integration

The last and increasingly important requirement lies in the ability to network with company IT in terms of Industry 4.0. The decentralised drives already fulfill a major prerequisite for this as they operate independently according to higher-level instructions.

The Multi-Ethernet interface ensures the communication ability needed for horizontal and vertical networking. Beyond this, Rexroth is the first drive and control manufacturer to bridge drive technology and IT – in addition to the options for SPS-based automation in accordance with IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen as well as OPC UA technology.

For on-demand access to all drive parameters by way of high-level language-based applications, Bosch Rexroth has incorporated Open Core Interface technology from the higher-level Open Core Engineering solutions portfolio directly at the drive level. With the help of Open Core Interface for Drives, end users can for example read out and analyse energy consumption using common spreadsheet programs via macros. To simplify drive start-up, parameterisation, and diagnosis, self-programmed commercial smartphone and tablet apps using Open Core Engineering have found their way into day-to-day mechanical engineering.

Cabinet-free means future-proof

With its cabinet-free drive technology, Bosch Rexroth meets the essential requirements for the future with regard to spatial requirements and modularisation, safety and energy efficiency as well as vertical and horizontal networking. What appears especially promising is the integrated intelligence and interface technology suitable for implementing Industry 4.0 applications which are now at the top of the agenda for mechanical engineers and end users alike.


Sew-Eurodrive to open new facility in Mackay

Global drive technology specialist SEW-EURODRIVE says construction has begun on a state-of-the-art facility in Mackay to house its new Heavy Industrial Solutions Service Centre.

The 2000sqm Service Centre, scheduled to open in March 2017, will allow the company to better support gear drive customers in Mackay and surrounding areas.

The Mayor of Mackay Regional Council, Cr. Greg Williamson recently went on site to officially open construction of the Service Centre and expressed his delight in this new development.

“The confidence shown by SEW-EURODRIVE in establishing a new centre in Mackay is indeed welcome. The fact that a multinational company, as highly regarded as SEW-EURODRIVE, is willing to back itself in this region, in these tough times, speaks volumes for the ongoing future of the industry sector in the Bowen Basin region,” said Cr Williamson.

“The Council and in fact the industrial sector in our community, welcomes SEW-EURODRIVE and we look forward to their contribution as a partner in this region’s growth.”

According to Daniel Dallari, SEW-EURODRIVE’s Sales & Operations Manager for the region, customers will be able to take advantage of the technical expertise of a global player with a strong local presence to ensure reliability of their operation and processes.

“SEW-EURODRIVE has established a service alliance with Werner Engineering to support gearbox service and repairs with local, state-of-the-art machining and fabrication capabilities,” Dallari said.

Many gear drives within the region are now reaching a stage where they require some serious servicing/rebuild or possible replacement.

“SEW-EURODRIVE’s state-of-the-art Heavy Industrial Solution Service Centre combined with our product specialists and the support of Werner Engineering’s machine shop will provide assistance from repair of SEW products, all the way to replacing aging non-SEW units with energy efficient, modern and space saving ‘drop-in’ engineered replacements,” said Mr Dallari.

Progress press releases will be posted on a regular basis to keep the market informed.











Bonfiglioli appoints CBC as a national distribution partner

Bonfiglioli Transmission has appointed CBC Australia as a national distribution partner in a major expansion in distribution of its range of industrial motors and drives.
CBC is Australia’s largest distributor of bearings, power transmission and engineered solutions. With more than 450 staff, 60 branches and over 100 channel partners, CBC is more than equipped to partner Bonfiglioli and achieve their expansion objective, said Bonfiglioli’s Managing Director Malcolm Lewis.
For over 60 years, CBC Australia has been servicing mining and heavy industry all over Australia. CBC has continued to grow their product range to meet all facets of industry.
Lewis said CBC adds a new dimension to Bonfiglioli’s established distribution network for the locally engineered and global ranges of Bonfiglioli products.
“Bonfiglioli motors and drives are among the world’s most advanced and reliable for industrial processes, automation, mobile and renewable energy applications in 80 countries on 5 continents. They are extensively supported in Australia by local engineering expertise and excellent inventory, qualities which are ideally complemented by CBC’s similar emphasis on in-depth service and customer satisfaction,” Lewis said.
CBC Sales Director, George Khoury said the Bonfiglioli range complements CBC’s philosophy and resources, which includes inventory of more than $50 million and a strong team of engineers to apply local service and expertise to Bonfiglioli’s outstanding global technology.
“Bonfiglioli has the range, quality, customer-responsiveness and local skills to contribute to a powerful partnership that aligns with CBC’s values, to secure our customer’s productivity through exceptional service, technical support, superior range of international brands and assurance of stock availability.”


DriveACADEMY training program raises level of expertise among users

SEW-EURODRIVE has launched the 2015 calendar for its nation-wide motor and drive training program, DriveACADEMY.

Based on the same in-depth technical training syllabus used to educate SEW’s own engineers, DriveACADEMY provides end-users and system integrators with a comprehensive set of skills to get the most out of motor and drive technologies and applications.

According to Michael Stranieri, SEW-EURODRIVE’s Training Manager, the DriveACADEMY training program raises the level of expertise among motor and drive users. “By encouraging open discussion and the sharing of ideas, even the most experienced participants can learn a lot from these courses.”

Each course focuses on the application of SEW-EURODRIVE’s technology from both an in-depth engineering and maintenance perspective. 

“The combination of theory and hands-on practical segments used in each course equips attendees with specific knowledge related to SEW’s diverse range of products, meaning they are better able to utilise this functionality in their own work place,” said Stranieri.

All courses are tailored to a variety of end-users, including drive engineers, service application engineers, operations managers and maintenance technicians. 

“The participants in 2014 ranged from large organisations to smaller boutique companies, but one thing seemed clear, the organisations that took part understood that the knowledge DriveACADEMY provided helped their staff improve their systems,” said Stranieri.

The schedule begins with training on the company’s MOVITRAC B frequency inverter in early February, followed a course on the MOVIDRIVE B a few days later, and many more in the subsequent months.

Explore the DriveACADEMY course schedule or register for a training session via SEW-EURODRIVE’s customer website.

Drive systems show their sweet side

Many steps are necessary to make chocolate from cocoa beans.

During this process, ingredients and mixtures in various states remain in near-continuous motion for hours and days on end, which requires reliable drive systems.

In Zotter Schokoladen’s factory in Austria, the durability and fail-safe operation of these drives is doubly significant: firstly, smooth operation ensures top quality of the final product.

Secondly, the production line is always open to thousands of visitors who should of course not witness any malfunctions.

For years now, the facility has been using geared motors from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS for conveying, mixing and pumping tasks.

Chocolatier Josef Zotter is a man of principle, and sustainable production is his prime directive.

His factory in Riegersburg in the South of Austria completely relies on renewable energy and generates most of it from burning in-house waste products. Fair treatment – of both farmers and consumers – is equally important to Zotter.

Therefore, he is the only chocolate manufacturer in Europe to exclusively use fair trade materials in organic quality.

Zotter expects the same sort of commitment from his suppliers. The Riegersburg factory therefore has strict requirements regarding the standard of machines and plant equipment and the customer service of his technology partners.

The cocoa paste is compressed by a dedicated worm gear unit powered by a helical geared motor.

The cocoa paste is compressed by a dedicated worm gear unit powered by a helical geared motor.

Swiss process engineering expert Bühler was responsible for the design and implementation of the chocolate production facility. Geared motors from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS significantly contribute to smooth operation during all process steps.

“Our suppliers, including NORD, are very reliable”, says Thomas Linshalm, head of cocoa processing at Zotter. “Reliability is essential in all our machines. Therefore, it is good to know that NORD is there to react quickly in case of a problem. We can simply call them and be sure to immediately talk to someone who can help – we are very pleased with that.”

Black gold, roasted and ground

Safe in the knowledge that smooth operation of the plant can always be relied on, the Zotter masterminds can bring their power for innovation to full fruition. The company introduces dozens of new flavours with a wide variety of ingredients every year.

These range from pineapple to lemon, from celery to asparagus, from coconut to cheese, and to even more extravagant raw materials. Zotter currently offers bars and other sweets in 365 different varieties.

Belt drive during conche loading.

Belt drive during conche loading.

But regardless of exotic flavours and new creations, classic chocolate remains an indispensable ingredient for a large part of the product range. For years now, chocolate has been produced in-house according to Zotter’s recipes, which is quite unusual for a small manufacturer.

Cocoa beans delivered to the factory are cleaned and then roasted for several minutes at temperatures above 100 °C, and subsequently sterilized under steam pressure. Conveyor drives with 0.75 kW rated power ensure transportation between the cleaning, roasting, and sterilising stations.

The next step is a crusher, where the cocoa nibs are de-shelled. A grinder with a NORD drive then turns the nibs into liquid cocoa paste, which is piped to a mixer. The pumps required for this stage feature 4 kW geared motors.

Inside the mixer, sugar and – for some recipes – dried milk are added to the cocoa paste. On top of that, extra cocoa butter is added from neighbouring tanks which are equipped with several 1.1 kW pump drives.

Liquid turns solid . . .

Mixing the cocoa mass with the other ingredients results in a pourable mass, which is ground in a rolling machine in order to achieve a fine texture. A dedicated worm gear unit powered by a 4 kW helical geared motor then ensures compression.

Based on the current NORDBLOC.1 design, this drive features an innovative construction: The gears are introduced and mounted through the bearing bores. While the axis-to-axis distance is the same as in conventional helical gears, the NORDBLOC.1 design allows for using larger bearings in an overlapping offset configuration.

The shafts are also larger than in other market-standard one-piece systems. Thanks to the larger bearings, the drive systems are considerably stronger and more durable, since wear through radial and axial forces is further minimised.

The larger shaft journals allow for a very flexible implementation of customer specifications, for example regarding shaft diameters or the shape and length of the shaft studs.

. . . and solid turns liquid

Conveyor drives then transport the solidified intermediate product through five rolling machines, where it is gradually refined. Only then does the mixture arrive at the last step of chocolate production. 

Developed by Bühler with special industry know-how, the single-shaft conche is used to reduce the water content, which ensures a smooth, silky consistency. Bitter compounds are evaporated through sophisticated temperature monitoring while the desired aromas remain.

Ingredients and intermediate products are moved from tanks and from one machine to the next by means of several pump drive. Shown above: conche evacuation.

Ingredients and intermediate products are moved from tanks and from one machine to the next by means of several pump drive. Shown above: conche evacuation.

In this application, NORD drives are used for transportation, agitating, and pumping tasks. A helical geared motor serves as a belt drive for filling the conche.

Depending on the recipe, the chocolate mass is agitated for up to 48 hours at increased temperatures in a liquid state, until a product with the finest glaze and the desired aromatic profile is created.

The agitator arms are moved by a space-saving direct drive. The parallel shaft geared motor used for this purpose provides a rated power of 55 kW. The conched mixture is evacuated via a pump system driven by a helical geared motor.

In chocolate production, machines such as grinders, mixers, and agitators as well as many conveyors and pump lines rely on robust drive technology. Various geared motor types from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS accomplish a wide range of these tasks in Josef Zotter’s factory.

Thomas Linshalm, head of chocolate processing at the inspired confectionery company, explains: “We operate a large number of geared motors. Just in case, it is therefore very important for us to always have quick access to spare parts. In general, however, the drives perform very reliably.”