Equipment & Technology, Mining and Heavy Industries

Bonfiglioli’s Harry Singh talks Variable Frequency Drives

Bonfiglioli Variable Frequency Drives. Photo: Bonfiglioli

Harry Singh, applications engineer for Bonfiglioli, says Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) can bring machinery out of the past.

Singh told ABHR some of the most crucial machinery to mining and heavy industries requires a huge amount of power for different tasks such as startup and production changes, but once some inertia is created, a lower level is needed to maintain operations.

In the past, drives had to cater to the highest level of power needed on equipment like apron feeders and conveyors, which meant that they were not operating at optimum efficiency at other times as well as consuming large amounts of energy.

But Singh says VFDs, which Bonfiglioli Transmission Australia has been engineering for Australian applications since 2002, offer a better solution.

Also known as Variable Speed Drives, VFDs vary the frequency and voltage supplied to the motor, allowing for different speeds, torque or power to be used at different times (a high torque upon startup, and a lower torque during operation, for example).

“You can save a lot of energy by using a lower power once operations have passed that initial startup stage,” Singh says.

“Further to this, Bonfiglioli’s Agile Inverter reduces impact on the environment using flux reduction and standby of electronic components.”

“There are other situations where varying the speed will help the efficiency of the operation.

“A mining conveyor is a typical example – it may have to handle different types of ore with different weights, which will each require a different amount of power to operate. VFDs are very useful here.”

Bonfiglioli’s VFD range is broken up into the kilowatt range required in each application:

  • S2U for 0.20kW to 2.2kW: a plug and play frequency invertor often used in on apron feeders and conveyors, where starting torque and process speeds need to be managed.
  • Agile for 0.25kW to 11kW: particularly suited to food and beverage, textiles, wood, packaging, ceramics and even wind turbines.
  • Active for 0.55kW to 132kW: a system drive featuring integrated PLC functions with connectivity to most bus systems, but also commonly used on apron feeders and conveyors, where starting torque and process speeds need to be managed.
  • Active Cube for 0.55kw to 1200kW: designed for extensive motor control and functionality to suit machine automation using servo drive package solutions.


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