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New keypad makes variable-speed drives even easier to use

Posted: Thursday 4th December 2014

ABB launches a keypad with features that make programming and operating variable-speed drives more straightforward than ever.

The new keypad has a left and right key, allowing numbers to be edited digit by digit, or words to be edited character by character. This gives very rapid and intuitive editing for all parameters and text values, while also making it easier to move through the assistants.

The screen has an adjustable contrast offering white text on black, black text on white and several other contrasts to suit the lighting levels in the control room.

On start-up, the user sees home screens, which can be easily edited to display the information and parameters the user requires. Each of the home screens can hold up to three selected parameters, which can be displayed in various formats, such as history trend graphs, amplitude loggers, peak load detectors and load profiles.

This feature lets users monitor their drive’s operation, allowing processes to be optimised and trends to be used to diagnose process faults. Peak load and profile displays allow the motor load to be monitored effectively, allowing preventive maintenance to be conducted before a problem occurs.

It is also possible to "point" a parameter at any other parameter this makes the drive much more flexible than with previous keypads, allowing internal links to be made and new functionality to be achieved without the need for PC tools.

Connecting and scaling parameters for fieldbus use is achieved with simple browse and selection editing, while it is also easy to select 16- or 32-bit operation.

Keeping track of the multiple inputs and outputs in use on the drive is made straightforward with an I/O function that displays all of the connections. This allows users to readily see what each I/O is being used for.

Start-up assistants are included to guide the user through the basic set-up steps for the drive. Currently the basic start-up assistant is included, which will be followed by PID set-up and fieldbus assistants.

A new step that checks motor direction is included to ensure correct motor wiring. Software controlled phase correction means heavy motor cables do not have to be disconnected and moved. The final step asks the user to make a back-up, ensuring that the basic drive set-up is stored straight away.

Main Menu levels have associated icons, while graphics and small thumbnails are used to display some parameter choices, or if a parameter is 32- or 16-bit for fieldbus.

Users can also see just the modified parameters, making it easier to see the edits that have been made. It is also possible to display the parameter set as a full list or "by function", making it quick and easy to find the parameter needed.

Another option is the ability to generate a favourites list, a selection of the most frequently edited parameters. The favourites list can be used to shrink the parameter list to a manageable length, or to allow OEMs to generate special parameter selections for their customers.

Parameters associated with energy saving are now grouped into their own menu, making it easier to discover, edit, read and configure them and so help contribute to using energy more efficiently.

The keypads can store two backups, both with a date and time stamp information, allowing the user to tell when the backup was made. The keypad takes an additional automatic backup every hour. Users can look at what the backup contains and check the edits have been saved before restoring the edits to the drive.

Users can view and select the items they wish to restore to the drive. This can be all parameters, restore selected groups or restore only application data, making for more effective re-programming.

The keypad contains 14 languages on-board. OEMs can program the drive in the UK in English and then simply change the language to the destination country before shut down. The drive will operate in the destination country’s language on next power up.

The new keypad is a major feature of ABB’s ACS880 variable-speed drives.

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