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WORLD OF INDUSTRIES - MOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 4/2017

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WORLD OF INDUSTRIES - MOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 4/2017

Drives that power one of

Drives that power one of the largest parcel distribution centers in Australia The company BCS, provider of solutions in intralogistics and conveyor systems has built a modular and intelligent facility that takes in parcels, sorts them, and loads them into trucks in the newly built sorting and distribution center in Melbourne. For the configuration of the drive units, BCS chose the expertise of the German drive specialist Nord Drivesystems. new distribution center in Melbourne with a capacity of 35,000 A parcels every hour gives Australia’s largest mover of freight, Toll IPEC, an edge over its competitors in the booming sector of shipping merchandise for e-commerce businesses. With the new distribution center, Toll IPEC has instantly tripled its capacity in the Australian metropolis. Plant manufacturer BCS has designed and implemented an automated facility with more than 1,000 conveyor modules. This extensive installation handles everything from arrival into depot and parcel registration to tracking through the entire facility, overall system control, high-speed sorting, and loading onto trucks. The conveyors stretch across hundreds of meters and multiple levels, and it is often necessary to change belt speeds or reverse the direction at various points. “We were looking at over 1,000 variable frequency drives,” says Frank Kassai, Engineering Manager at BCS. “They range from 0.37 up to 5.5 kW.” Complete drive solutions from a single source Nord Drivesystems, the German drive specialist, configured all the required drive sizes based on geared motors and frequency inverters manufactured in-house. The key product categories were twostage ‘Nordbloc.1’ helical bevel gearboxes, which the company developed especially for intralogistics applications. Extremely compact and easy to handle, the gear units are nevertheless very sturdy and offer a long service life. The wide range of gear ratio (i=3.58 to 70) allows for a very precise configuration to individual requirements. It is important for BCS that the gearboxes can be mounted on various shaft sizes without any changes being made to the shafts. This way, although the facility comprises various types of conveyor modules, the variety of different drives can nevertheless be limited to an easily manageable level. Engineering Manager at BCS, Frank Kassai highlights the gear units’ high efficiency. The inverters, too, have been especially designed for conveyor applications. The motor-mounted electronics create fully integrated mechatronic drive units. The ‘Nordacac Flex’ decentralized inverter series covers motor ratings from 0.25 up to 22 kW. Interfaces for all commercially available fieldbuses, like the industrial Ethernet protocols, are available for networking the AC vector drives in the field and connecting them to the system controller. Easy installation and commissioning “The Toll Melbourne courier project was the largest of its kind delivered by BCS in Australia,” says Kassai. “So it is nothing short of remarkable that the installation and commissioning processes DRIVE TECHNOLOGY More than 1,000 drives move the conveyor belts in the parcel distribution center WORLD OF INDUSTRIESMOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 4/2017

About Nord Drivesystems A developer and manufacturer of drive technology for over 50 years, Nord Drivesystems employs more than 3,500 people and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of drive solutions. In 2016, the company’s gross sales amounted to EUR 560 million. With subsidiaries and distributors in 89 countries around the world, Nord has an extensive service network. Nord’s wide variety of gears covers torques from 10 Nm to 250 kNm and more. The company also supplies motors with outputs from 0.12 kW to 1,000 kW and manufactures frequency inverters up to 160 kW. Nord’s inverter line-up features conventional models for installation in control cabinets as well as fully integrated drive units and the all-new field distribution systems for decentralized automation environment. 02 The electronic drives electronic drives Nordac Flex feature a maintenance switch for safe disconnection from the mains and easy exchange 01 The drives consist of an especially slim helical bevel gearbox, a high-efficiency motor, and a decentralized frequency inverter 03 ‘Nordac Flex’ distributed drives move horizontal belts as well as inclined conveyors – and also take care of the more demanding brake management associated with inclined loads worked seamlessly. We were able to save a lot of time in commissioning because Nord supplied ready-to-use drive packages, fully pre-installed and pre-parameterized.” The individual units were neatly numbered according to their allocated positions, so it was easy to match them to the right conveyor module during the installation. The hollow-shaft gearboxes were fitted directly onto the machine shaft with shrink discs. They are all equipped with a torque arm, which only had to be screw-fastened to the machine frame at a single point. Thus, the installation efforts were much reduced compared to a flange mounting with up to eight screws. Kassai adds: “The maintenance and installation is made easy by the fact that Nord offers plug-in connections. This enables the operator to change a motor drive in a few minutes, instead of needing an electrician to physically rewire a new motor drive.” The company has also fitted each AC vector drive with a maintenance switch for easy and safe mains disconnection. If an AC vector drive needs to be replaced, the parameters can be transferred to the replacement unit using a pluggable ‘EEPROM’ module. Inverters with load monitoring and brake management With its robust decentralized drive electronics, Nord was able to supply fully integrated, pluggable drive units, which greatly reduced the necessary cabling effort for the plant manufacturer BCS. The distributed inverters are mechanically resistant, have a high overload capacity, and resist typical interferences such as fluctuating mains voltages or rapid temperature changes. Since they also integrate comprehensive protection mechanisms, BCS saves the cost for installing and wiring control cabinet components such as motor protection switches and reversing contactors. The inverters monitor over-voltage, under-voltage, excess temperatures, short circuits and over-current (I²t) and thus prevent downtime, damage to the drive and interference on the supply network. In the Toll IPEC distribution center, they are used to driving horizontal as well as inclined conveyors. Hoist technology is another textbook application for these systems in which they have been tried and tested many times over. The inverters support four-quadrant operation, i.e. acceleration and braking in both directions. They enable wear-free brake actuation, precise speed control, high starting torques, and safe torques. The distribution center is not the first joint project between BCS and Nord and will not be the last. In addition to other facilities of this type, the companies have in the past also collaborated on baggage handling systems for Australian airports. The cornerstone of their continued cooperation is Nord’s engineering expertise and extremely reliable service that has always met the high expectations of BCS. Kassai says: “We are very happy with the support from Nord. Nothing has been a problem.” Photographs: Getriebebau Nord GmbH & Co. KG www.nord.com WORLD OF INDUSTRIESMOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 4/2017

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