Title
Full Digital Vector-Controlled Inverter
Application of Microcontroller technology to increase competitiveness of automation products targeted to paper machinery manufacturers
Technologies used
Microcontroller
Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    333 Industrial Process Control Equipment
    29 Automatic controls for paper, textile, marble machinery
Abstract
Elettronica Lucense business deals with supplying electronic parts as motor controls and supervisor systems to Paper Mills Machinery manufacturers. It is a small family enterprise that develops, manufactures, and markets its own electrical/electronic products. It has staff of twelve people of which five are assigned to the design department, two are involved with sales, and five are assigned to the production plant. Its systems are based on analogue technology using off the shelf components.
The Paper Mills Machinery manufacturers are today requiring for AC motors (Alternate Current motors) instead of DC motors (Direct Current motors), since with the AC motors they save in terms of maintenance and overall system costs.
AC motors controls manufacturing requires a higher level of technology than that the Company actually has, and in particular the adoption of digital techniques and components. The Company is then obliged to supply its customers with third parties’ AC motor controller, with higher final prices and lower profits.
The objective of this Application Experiment consisted in the development of a fully digital vector controlled drive for asynchronous AC motor, based on a micro-controller. This allows the Company to supply their customers with its own AC motor controller, improving then the profit even if maintaining an adequate selling price.
A digital board and a power board compose the new AC motor control. The new product realised with this Application Experiment is able to drive AC motor with a power of 15 kW; with a more capable power board it is possible to drive motors with even higher power. The Application Experiment started May 1, 1997 and finished on the December 31, 1997; its cost was of 40KECU.
By producing full digital vector control inverters, the Company aims to increase the number of electric drives to be mounted in the electrical equipment driving AC motors, conquering new segments of markets where the dominance of extra-European competitors is unopposed. Based on an estimated production of 80 units per year, the Company reasonably trusts in an investment payback period of 1 year and 8 months. Based on a product lifetime of 5 years the ROI (Return of Investment) has a figure of 150%.
This Application Experiment showed the Company the importance of keeping up with technology advances to remain competitive and also revealed the importance of good project management even in small structures. So, the skills gained by Company designers during the Application Experiment have already been used into new projects where the flexibility and power of digital technology can be effectively put into place (DC motor digital drives, axis control boards, etc).
The Application Experiment is of interest to companies using analogue circuitry who could benefit from digital technology used in this project. In particular, for every Company that is operating in motor control and in industrial control in general.
Company
ELETTRONICA LUCENSE
Via Colle Stabbiano 794/A
55060 S.Lorenzo di Moriano
LUCCA ITALY

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided ELETTRONICA LUCENSE with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.


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