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Variable-speed drives gain more fieldbus options

02 February 2016

ABB has introduced a number of features and additional tools that offer variable-speed drives users more options when connecting drives to fieldbus networks. The new features are available on the company’s general purpose drive, the ACS580 and its industrial drive, ACS880.

One of the features is PROFIsafe, which allows safety signals to be sent via fieldbus instead of using expensive hard wiring, reducing costs. The addition of PROFIsafe to ABB drives brings commonality with the ABB AC500 PLC, allowing a complete safety system to be designed and built. 

To enable PROFIsafe a special Ethernet module is required, the FENA-21. This module has the added advantage that it is a two-port device, allowing networks to be created with a daisy chain connection, removing the cost and complexity of Ethernet switches.
A remote monitoring module, the NETA-21, allows the drive to report via e-mail or text, generating tables and data about performance or faults. The NETA-21 makes the system more secure and also allows for monitoring of remote locations from anywhere in the world. 
A new version of the MOXA modem allows the NETA-21 to be connected to the telephone network, useful if an Internet connection is not available, or if firewall issues prevent connection. The modem allows a telephone SIM to be included so the NETA-21 can access the telephone network to send text messages and alerts to phones, and also allows remote connection of the drives when Ethernet connections are not directly available.

A new PC tool allows electronic data files to be generated to teach the PLC about the drive connected to the fieldbus network, giving more accurate connections to industrial fieldbus networks. It will also allow the PLC to use all of the features available within the drive with minimal manual intervention required by the PLC programmer.

An RS485 embedded ModBus link allows Ethernet to be used without the need for a separate fieldbus adapter and allows easy connection of the drive to PLCs and HMIs.
User programmable status and control words give added flexibility about the status data that can be sent over fieldbus, while a raw data mode makes it easier to see if signals arriving at the drive are correct or not. This gives greatly reduced diagnostic and set up times when commissioning and using fieldbus.

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