Smooth control for roof-mounted fans

09 December 2010

The extract fans in a new PCB manufacturing facility have been designed to ensure that no vibration transmits to the printed circuit boards (PCBs) in production.

The new facility is part of a major site redevelopment by Eurotech and will contain new and improved equipment, including new plating lines and will allow Eurotech to better match the requirements of capability and capacity for future UK, European and worldwide customers.

Eurotech wanted to reduce ambient vibration to a minimum, so called in drives expert David Ede of KLJ Group. He identified that locating all eight fans required in the roof void would maximise their distance from the production machinery and that rubber mountings would reduce transmitted vibration significantly.

“Eurotech takes its carbon footprint seriously, so didn’t want the fans running continuously, but to switch in only when required,” explains David. “This meant we had to start and stop them smoothly, so Direct on Line starting was not acceptable. We looked at several options and decided on fitting each fan with Hyundai variable speed drives which are supplied in the UK by SoftStart UK, choosing the appropriate size and model in each case.”

The final selection involved only two models - the N100 and N700E. The smaller N100 (0.4-7.5kW) is a sensorless vector high starting torque inverter drive suitable for applications such as fan, pump, conveyor and wood working machinery. Its auto-tuning function automatically measures the motor parameters and sets it into the drive without inconvenience of the user having to enter parameters manually.

For the larger fans the Hyundai N700E drives, which goes up to 132kW, is high durability, and provides sophisticated speed controllability and excellent torque response. The sensorless vector control technology provides perfectly optimised performance for industrial equipment.
David added: “Hyundai drives are new to the UK (but are market leaders in Korea and other Asian markets) and SoftStart had to import a batch especially for the Eurotech job. Almost inevitably there was a paperwork delay in Felixstowe, so once they were through customs I piled them in my car and drove straight down to Exmouth. We fitted all eight drives overnight – thank Heavens for autotuning – and were up and running ahead of schedule.”

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