Smart Machines & Factories
Drive technology makes pump systems Industry 4.0 ready
Published:  06 July, 2021
Decentralised drive technology from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS makes pump systems INDUSTRY 4.0 READY! Find out more about intelligent drives now

For future pump applications, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS says it can supply a wide selection of decentralised drive technology that can be individually adapted to any required application and can be flexibly integrated into the system environment.

The intelligent, network-capable and autonomous drives offer significant functional advantages, and also set standards in efficiency.

When it comes to transport and distribution of incompressible fluids, users increasingly rely on concepts with decentralised intelligence that controls processes autonomously, identifies faults and independently solves problems. Depending on the application type, required speed and torque, different drive solutions come into question for the pump applications. For example, pumps used for the supply of drinking, cooling and process water or cleaning agents, or the disposal of waste water must primarily ensure an uninterrupted flow (flow mode). This requires a highly stable drive speed. On the other hand, pumps for filling liquids (filling or batch mode) require maximum positioning precision. NORD DRIVESYSTEMS, one of the world’s leading complete suppliers of electrical, mechanical and electronic drive technology, offers a wide range of gear units, motors and decentralised drive electronics, and can cater for all requirements and customer specifications in pump technology. The range also includes explosion-protected pump drives for use in highly sensitive hazardous areas.

Maximum performance at minimised costs

Decentrally controlled pump drives offer significant advantages: They save space in control cabinets, reduce cable and wiring costs, simplify maintenance and therefore increase the efficiency of the entire drive system. The NORD drive components have a power range of up to 22 kW and a PLC that is integrated as standard, and can be supplied with all commercially available connectors. The frequency inverter is installed directly on the motor. Because of this, the drives can be easily integrated into the customer's plant topology without the need for major changes. This significantly reduces the plant design costs. Pre-commissioning in the plant also allows for a better installation planning and reduces costs. Thanks to their modular structure, the inverters can be easily extended and offer an impressive variety of scenarios for use in Industry 4.0 automation networks.

Actuating the pump drives via frequency inverters allows for the selection of different pump characteristics by simple parameter changes. The parameter sets are directly stored in the inverter and pumps can be adapted to different media, flow rates or process requirements. In case of special controls for pumps, the inverter takes over all functions – from the collection of measurement values to PID control through to speed control. For almost all standard field bus systems, NORD offers modules that are simply plugged into the inverter to include it into the field bus network.

Integrated PLC ensures high pump performances

Due to the integration of the PLC into the frequency inverters, the decentralised pump drives from NORD can form master-slave groups that communicate with each other and autonomously take on control tasks. The PLC records and processes the drive and pump data (e.g. flow rate, pressure, pressure difference and temperature) and can autonomously initiate sequence controls. For example, if there is a blockage in a sewage treatment plant with a self-monitoring system of waste water pumps, this is identified and – if possible – automatically remedied. If this is not possible, the blockage in the waste water pipe is reported to the central control unit and a networked replacement drive is actuated. This continuous monitoring of the field level and the linkage of communication, sensors (temperature, current consumption), process data (torque, acceleration, speed) and vital parameters of the drive allows for a continuous condition monitoring and forms the basis for a status-oriented maintenance. Together with the customer, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS can develop predictive maintenance solutions for predictable and therefore plannable maintenance of the pump drive units. The objective of these algorithms is to reduce unscheduled downtimes, to lower service and maintenance costs and to increase the service life of the drives and connected pumps.

The NORDAC FLEX is optimally matched to pump applications

Due to its large range of functions and its great flexibility, the NORDAC FLEX SK 200E frequency inverter has primarily proven itself in the field of pumps. It provides powers of up to 22 kW and thanks to a wide range of accessories can also be easily adapted to subsequently changed situations. Thanks to the exchangeable memory in the form of an EEPROM which contains the parameter set and the PLC program, the PLC settings can be easily transferred by exchanging it from one inverter to another. In case of changing requirements, the energy-saving function for partial load operation allows for an automatic adjustment of the motor power to the actual requirements. As well as this, the NORDAC FLEX has all the necessary interfaces for integration into the customer's automation solution. In addition to digital interfaces, it also offers the possibility to process analogue values, and can therefore evaluate the customers’ flow and batch sensors. High protection classes up to IP66 also ensure reliable operation.

Reduction of energy consumption

Often, pump drives are in continuous operation without interruption and therefore require energy-efficient solutions. With its modern IE4 synchronous motors, NORD provides powerful and economic answers. Thanks to PMSM (Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor) technology, the motors feature a high and relatively constant efficiency over a wide speed and torque range and thus offer optimum energy consumption performance even in partial load and partial speed ranges – a clear advantage over the conventional IE1, IE2 or IE3 asynchronous technology. They achieve high cost reductions over their entire service life and an early break-even point with just a small additional investment.

More power, lower costs

Whether water supply or waste water disposal, process engineering or food and beverage industries: Pump systems are used in almost all sectors and are elemental plant components. The decentralised drives from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS are networked, autonomous and scalable. They meet the most stringent requirements for flexibility, modularity and user-friendliness, and optimally cater for the increasing levels of automation and networking in the pump industry. Furthermore, they ensure reliable and safe operation, and offer many options for process, energy and cost optimisation.