July 08, 2016

Quality sunshine

EMC filter for solar power applications
EMC filter for solar power applications
Maintenance and repair specialist CP Automation now distributes and fits Roxburgh EMC's innovative high voltage, high performance three-phase EMC filter range. The KMF3420V is specifically designed for use with high kW inverters used in photovoltaic solar power applications.

Roxburgh's distributor of the year for 2015, CP Automation, can help customers integrate the filters along with compatible inverters into their solar power systems.

Roxburgh's electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) filters are fitted on inverters to minimise harmful electromagnetic noise that can damage electrical equipment or cause spurious malfunctions

The high voltage model of the KMF series operates at a voltage rating of 690V, significantly more than competing products that usually only work up to 500V. The innovation came about after a world-leading manufacturer of solar inverters got in touch with Roxburgh and asked it to develop an EMC filter that worked at 690V instead of 600V. The 690V model has the same footprint as the 600V, resulting in significant space savings.

The KMF3420V works at a temperature rating of 65 degrees Celsius, as opposed to the industry norm, 50 degrees. This makes the filters perfect for the difficult conditions of photovoltaic power applications, which present high ambient temperature challenges.

"Renewable energy now provides approximately 18 per cent of global electricity generation," explained John Mitchell, global business development manager of CP Automation. “For that number to continue to rise, solar power generation and distribution needs to be as efficient as possible. That's why quality EMC filters are so important to the industry.

"Our KMF3420V was one of the first EMC filters to be rated at 690V in accordance with UL1283 Edition 6. Compliance with North American certification gives customers peace of mind globally and makes it easier to achieve local certifications for their finished products”

For more information about CP Automation's catalogue of Roxburgh EMC products, go to www.cpaltd.net

June 10, 2016

Think outside the box for cranes and hoists

Systems integration complexities in cranes and hoists market
Systems integration complexities in cranes and hoists market

When contemplating entering the cranes and hoists market, panel builders and system integrators need to think outside the box - not only laterally but vertically as well. Mainstream horizontal applications like conveyors cannot be shoehorned into the same category as cranes and hoists. Tony Young, owner and director of CP Automation explains the complexities of vertical lift applications. 

Cranes and hoists is a specialised market requiring expertise in variable speed drives (VSDs) and inverters, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), motion control, braking, safety systems and last but not least, best practices.

The latter is important when working at height and systems integrators need to be fully insured when taking on this specialised environment. They need to be ISO-registered and carry out risk assessments on all crane installations.

If one considers moving a heavy object on the end of a length of cable, there are lots of complexities involved, like using anti-swing program software for example, when setting motion ramps and profiles in an inverter or PLC.

The systems integrator needs to make sure that whatever the weight of the object, the crane or hoist should not be stopped so suddenly that the object starts swinging back and forth to the point of losing control and causing potential damage as well as delaying the actual hoisting.

This is not the same thing as a soft start because the problem is one of controlling motion along several axes at the same time. For example, where a load needs to be lifted from a ship while the boom of the crane is also rotating, the load is swinging around and needs to be slowed down correctly to avoid the crane operator losing control of the load.

A crane’s load suspended from a cable creates a pendulum that swings in motion. Anti-swing control calculates and compensates for this motion. The trade-off is between reducing load oscillations and transferring the load in a reasonable time.

Anti-swing software
In the past, before proprietary anti-swing software was available, this required considerable skill on the part of the crane operator. Controlling the load position and its swing may be implemented in a proportional derivative (PD) tracking controller to follow a prescribed trajectory.

Then, another controller may need to be added to the control loop to damp the load swing using techniques like time-delayed feedback of the load swing angle and an anti-swing fuzzy logic control. A mapping method used for generating the rules can be applied to mimic the performance of an expert crane operator.

Other functions may also need to be programmed in an IEC 61131-compliant PLC language like ladder diagram (LD).

By partnering up with electrical and automation companies, systems integrators and panel builders can increase their technical capabilities and understanding of the market. A good industrial automation supplier should be able to provide both in house and on site commissioning, servicing of inverters and ancillary products used for motors in cranes and hoists.

Systems integrators need to kit out workshops that are fully equipped to rapidly identify faults and components failures. They also need to employ experienced and highly trained engineers to provide both in-house and on site services for all types of drives. Furthermore, they should offer a complete industrial electronic service.

Training instructors need to be industry experienced engineers with current hands-on application experience, whose technical skills are annually assessed and updated. They should provide a comprehensive selection of first class industrial automation training products, assessment services and courses to meet customers’ changing needs.

So when designing panels for cranes and hoist applications, it pays to think outside the box. 

March 08, 2016

The race to replace - CP Automation helps Tata Steel replace legacy motor

Bookmark and Share
Heavy industries often use electrical equipment older than the majority of their staff. That means when legacy motors, drives or control systems need replacing, finding the right balance between cost, power, energy efficiency and simply doing the job can be tricky. When Tata Steel wanted to replace a 40-year-old motor used in one of its pipe manufacturing facilities, the company worked with Rockwell Automation and repair and supply specialist CP Automation to find a solution that boosted overall production and energy efficiency. 

As a leading international steel manufacturer, Tata Steel capitalises on decades of experience and global capabilities to deliver pipeline solutions for challenging offshore and construction projects. The Hartlepool SAW (pipe) mill, located in the North East of England, has three manufacturing facilities with a combined annual production capacity of 440,000 tonnes of tubular products for the construction, engineering, energy and power markets.

The problem with old motors

At the very heart of the production process lies a powerful expander used to shape, size, and strengthen pipes. This unique machine is used only in pipe making and is the only one of its kind in the UK.

The expander’s large gripper car move the 12.5 m long pipes over the expander head and, until recently, a 40-year-old DC motor drove the gripper car. The motor used an obsolete control system that was not very accurate and, as a result of the low speed, it often caused bottlenecks in the production process.

Tata Steel was using a 40-year-old DC motor to drive the gripper car that moved
the 12.5 m long pipes over the expander head

Because of its age, the DC motor also required frequent maintenance and had high-energy consumption rates. As the motor was obsolete, the spares and DC drives it required were hard to come by, so the entire application had a serious reliability issue.

To reduce the risk of costly downtime and make the entire production process more efficient, Tata Steel asked Rockwell Automation for advice on a replacement motor and drive for the application. In turn, Rockwell Automation enlisted the help of repair and supply specialist CP Automation for the high power requirements of the drive project. CP Automation worked alongside Rockwell Automation and Tata Steel to identify, deliver and install a replacement motor and drive for the application.

The right fit

Tata Steel shared the mechanical drawings and old drive system drawings of the application with Rockwell and CP Automation and supplied a set of twelve specifications for the new system.

“The sheer size and scale of the application made it a challenging project, but the additional requirements for better energy efficiency and accuracy meant an off-the-shelf motor and drive system simply wouldn’t suffice,” explained John Mitchell, global business development manager of CP Automation. “To fulfil the requirements, we worked with Spanish motor manufacturer and partner VASCAT to produce a bespoke 150kW motor, at 300Amps and with a speed of 1070 rpm. Rockwell supplied the 250kW Powerflex 755 inverter drive with CIP motion function and associated PLC.”

VASCAT produced a bespoke 150kW motor, at 300Amps and with a speed of 1070 rpm

VASCAT designed the motor especially for the application with customised windings, and delivered it in time for the summer shutdown. The motor had to be about the same size as the previous one and come with pre-installed cabling so it was easy to position on the existing motor plate bed. The new motor is 1m long by 0.75m wide and weights 853 kg.

CP Automation worked with its distributor Routeco to supply the equipment in time for the summer shutdown. The close collaboration between the different parties involved meant the project timeline started at the beginning of 2015 and the new drive system was up and running at the end of August.

“One of the challenges we faced during the project was that initially we didn’t think there was any need for a regenerative braking unit,” explained Tony Brown, electronics engineer Tata Steel. “However, when the motor, drive and PLC were up and running, the stop and start function wasn’t as fast as we wanted it to be, partly because of the sheer size of the motor. The drive kept tripping, so we needed to find a solution.

“CP Automation suggested introducing a Revcon regenerative braking unit to make stops and starts more seamless and to increase the speed of the application, thus making the pipes move faster. This is where we really reaped the benefits of the new equipment, both in terms of speed increase and energy efficiency.”

Regen unit REVCON RHD for continuous braking

Clear improvements

“Perhaps one of the most significant improvements in the process came from the accuracy of the new servo drive system,” explained Brown. “The new drive system allows us to position the pipe within 1mm accuracy, whereas the old DC system’s accuracy was closer to 50mm. This increased level of accuracy coupled with a ten per cent improvement in speed has resulted in productivity improvements throughout the application.

“The success of the project convinced us to replace the auxiliary drive system on the expander,” continued Brown. “We have already discussed the details with CP Automation and Rockwell and are hoping to upgrade the auxiliary drive unit during the 2016 summer shutdown.”

Bringing legacy systems up to speed

In an era of Industry 4.0 and smart factories, the temptation to fully replace an obsolete production line is high. However, this isn’t always the most cost-effective or productive approach. Sometimes it’s better to just replace the inefficient or unreliable parts of a system – and these are often the parts that work the hardest, like motors, drives or pumps. Each application is different, so the first step has to be performing an audit to identify any sore spots.

If you are struggling to bring your obsolete production line up to speed, get in touch with CP Automation on +44 (0) 1724 851515 or on enquiries@euroservltd.net.

February 17, 2016

Roxburgh EMC Awards 2015 distributor of the year

Roxburgh EMC are delighted to name CP Automation Ltd, as their 2015 Specialist Distributor of the Year.

After remaining a distributor of Roxburgh EMC products for over three years, CP Automation, a supplier and repair specialist of industrial equipment, is now being awarded for their dedication to the Roxburgh EMC brand.

Tom Downing, Product Manager of Roxburgh EMC commented; “CP Automation stocks an extensive range of our industrial filters and they have gone from strength to strength since the beginning of our partnership. Their growth has enabled Roxburgh EMC to enter new markets and we presented this award to them in recognition of their commitment and effort. We have enjoyed working with CP Automation and hope to see continued success in the future.”

CP Automation stocks over 40 of Roxburgh EMC’s industrial filter lines, including the popular three phase filters, three phase and neutral products, plus, high current single-phase ranges. The team also comprises skilled engineers, who can offer technical advice that proves extremely valuable to customers.

"Since our partnership with Roxburgh EMC, we have been able to help our customers by solving their EMC issues, which makes it a great fit to CP Automation's portfolio," explains John Mitchell, Global Business Development Manager of CP Automation.

CP Automation specialises in universal peripheral equipment for variable speed drives as a core part of its offering to include dynamic braking resistors, external brake choppers, regenerative units, harmonic filters - both passive and active - line, motor, sine wave chokes and motors.

"Our decision to stock from 1A to 820Amps has given our customers the ability to win projects when they have been let down by their current suppliers due to lead-time issues,” continues Mitchell. “We work closely with OEMs in helping them design the right product into their application. Roxburgh EMC's manufacturing ability to design custom filters with brand labelling, as well as responding to time pressures, has also been key to our customers’ requirements."

Tony Young, Director of CP Automation Ltd, concludes; "The synergy to market between aspects of both businesses has resulted in this success utilising the key people in sales, marketing, engineering, procurement and manufacturing. We look forward to continuing the growth we have seen into the future."

Roxburgh EMC is a manufacturer of EMC solutions including EMC filters, EMC components and surge protection devices for a range of industrial applications. Roxburgh EMC was established in 1969 and is one of four brands of DEM Manufacturing; a division of Alpha 3 Manufacturing Limited.

For more details about Roxburgh EMC, please visit www.dem-uk.com/roxburgh.
For more information about CP Automation, please visit www.cpaltd.net.

Photograph (L-R) Louise Underwood, Accountant at CP Automation, Tom Downing, Roxburgh EMC Product Manager and Gary Cook, Internal Sales Engineer at CP Automation.

January 05, 2016

SME partnership promotes motor customisation

~ CP Automation teams up with Spanish motor expert VASCAT ~

Supply and repair specialist CP Automation and motor manufacturer VASCAT are working together to challenge the way companies commission industrial motors. Through electrical and mechanical customisation, VASCAT adapts each motor’s design to reflect the requirements of specific applications. Together, CP Automation and VASCAT can offer a complete motor and inverter drive solution even for the most complex industrial projects.  

VASCAT and CP Automation are calling for engineers to opt for customised motors instead of off-the-shelf solutions to help improve the performance and accuracy of the application and increase overall system productivity.

“Our two companies see eye to eye when it comes to commissioning a new drive system,” explained John Mitchell, global business development manager of CP Automation. “In most cases, choosing a standard motor will involve some kind of compromise. However, by commissioning a custom-made motor instead, a company can significantly reduce the size of the inverter it uses, which results in considerable energy and cost savings in the long run.”

“The VASCAT-CP Automation collaboration means customers in the UK and internationally benefit from no minimum order quantities, short product delivery times and stronger technical support,” continued Xavier Palomar, sales and marketing manager of VASCAT. “Because VASCAT’s motors are not commodity products, we prefer to work with technically-oriented partners that can help us offer a complete drive system solution for different application across industry sectors.”

VASCAT and CP Automation have already worked together on projects to retrofit old machines and installations in the steel sector and replace older generation motors with more efficient ones, built to the same specifications.

VASCAT offers solutions for low and high-speed motors. VASCAT’s gearless high-torque low-speed synchronous motors allow the elimination of gearboxes, belts and pulleys by directly coupling the motor to the load. VASCAT direct drive motors are available with outputs from 2kW to 340kW in the 100RPM to 1000RPM range, which makes them ideal for applications in renewable energy, converting, testing systems, metal processing lines and more.

VASCAT’s high-speed asynchronous vector motors ensure the high dynamic performance required by power train and engine dynamometers, energy recovery and test rig applications.

CP Automation specialises in the supply, repair and field service for industrial electronic boards, PLCs, AC and DC drives, resistors and inverters.