DC drives are ‘here to stay’

11 March 2009

Control Techniques launched its first digital DC drive over 20 years ago, in 1986, and since that time the market for DC drives has not seen much expansion. ‘It’s still 5% of the world market,’ says Gareth Jones (photo). ‘It’s not growing, for sure, but it’s not declining either.’ Product Manager Richard Smith says his research tells him that ‘DC drives are here to stay.’

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

DC motors have found their place in large cranes and steel plants. In fact, says Mr. Jones, the metals industry makes up nearly a quarter of the DC market.

So while some major manufacturers have left the DC market, Control Techniques decided there was enough interest and potential to invest several years of development time into its new Mentor MP drive. It is built on the same type of platform as its flagship AC drive, the Unidrive SP, with its modules and smart cards. The designers built it so that end users, if they one day decide to upgrade to AC technology, can transfer the speed and motion control options from the DC drive to the AC drive.

DC motors are both efficient and robust and offer years upon years of service, says Mr. Jones, ‘Retaining an existing DC motor and upgrading the drive makes good environmental and investment sense to any customer’s upgrade project. It provides the opportunity to enhance the overall system performance and reliability while minimising problematic reengineering and installation work; an attractive proposal in today’s economic environment.’

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