Those who believe that the paradox inherent in progress is the premature obsolescence of products which are still in perfect working order will have to think again. This paradox, indeed, crumbles when faced with the ability of a company to update its present by transforming it into the future it has conceived for itself. It is called the DR SERIES, and it is the new range of devices which Mini Motor has created to bring all its classic single- and three-phase gear motors in line with the company’s most advanced design guidelines: INTEGRATION, COMPACTNESS, CONNECTIVITY AND DESIGN.
The DR range is composed of sensorless integrated drives, which can therefore be directly applied to the motors without the need for an encoder, and which elevate the classic gear motors on the market to a smart all-in-one model: a perfectly integrated combination of MOTOR, GEAR UNIT AND DRIVE. The technology used is the same as for the DBS Series, and they also feature the same extensive functionality and advantages that the new generation of Mini Motor products offers. The application of the DR Series drives indeed allows daisychain control – one input and one output – of numerous sequences of motors via all the main industrial communication protocols (Ethercat, Ethernet/IP, Powerlink, Modbus, Profinet I/O and CanOpen), reducing the complexity and amount of wiring and favouring neat, compact systems. The guiding principle of total integration not only concerns the hardware, however – it also relates to the software applications designed by Mini Motor to operate in concert with the motors. This combination offers possibilities previously unimaginable for classic gear motors, such as real-time torque and speed control, gathering of data and diagnostic information, and the prevention of machine errors. The control systems communicate with the drive via a Micro USB interface, while the operator can manage motor settings and parameters via an app installed on any device connected via WiFi.
Some of the key advantages offered by the application of DR devices include:
• Constant speed can be maintained even as the load on the motors changes
• A reduction in overall space of up to 50%
• A reduction in the length of wiring used of up to 50%
• Significant reductions in energy consumption due to integration between the motor, gear unit and drive
Sectors such as logistics, packaging and food&beverage will be those to see the biggest advantages from the introduction of the DR Series.
Series motor applications in systems with large numbers of format changes, for example, can be controlled simultaneously via a single PLC, instead of requiring intervention on each individual element; this principle also applies to the power supply for conveyor belts, trolleys and all systems which require adjustment on the basis of the product being processed.
For Mini Motor, the introduction of this new range of devices means virtually updating its entire classic range of gear motors up to a 240 watt power output, with the prospect – already being analysed – of extending the range up to 740 watt applications. Aside from the evident strategic value that this operation has for
the company, the deeper meaning behind the launch of the DR series is summed up as follows by mechanical engineer Alessandro Ciccolella: “In Mini Motor, innovation is the bread and butter of dozens of people who are researching and developing tomorrow’s automation and motion control systems every day.
But our view of progress would be too narrow if we did not take into consideration the present as a founding element of the future.
In other words, the principle of total integration between the motor, gear unit and drive must apply, and be applied, also to products developed according to other models. Continuing to experiment and obtain success in this direction will tell us how effective our approach to the future is, and therefore how valid our strategic choices are.”