With the launch of its new DC Platform, Interroll is once again setting standards in material-handling technology. The range of perfectly matched RollerDrive, controls and power supply units enables system integrators and machine builders to provide an even better fit for their customers’ needs – from standard applications to equipment with Industry 4.0 or smart digital manufacturing functionality. The new DC Platform has a solution to match every challenge.

With the DC Platform, Interroll has developed a high-performance technology platform to meet precisely these needs. “Our new DC Platform provides system integrators and machine builders with an innovative and perfectly matched technology solution, which has undergone years of development and testing,” says Armin Lindholm, Managing Director of Interroll’s Global Center of Excellence for Rollers and RollerDrive. Everything is available from a single source. The platform enables customers to meet their customers’ needs with even more customized solutions. At the same time, we are ensuring backward compatibility with existing equipment.”

Developing conveyor systems with 48 Volt technology

The new possibilities of the DC Platform to realize powerful, zero pressure accumulation conveyor systems already evident in the electrical voltage: With the new platform, users can now design systems that use 48V technology. Interroll backs the technological evolution in extra-low safety voltage solutions, following the example set by international carmakers. New vehicles increasingly use 48V electrical systems to take advantage of the higher voltage. Conveyor technology with 48V systems require up to 50 percent fewer power supply units compared to 24V equipment. They also allow smaller line cross-sections and longer line lengths, which reduce faults, for example, from voltage drops on the line. This means that the complete system requires considerably less investment and can be put into operation with far less potential for faults.

Choice of three power levels

The new DC platform not only expands customers’ voltage options; it also brings greater flexibility in mechanical output power of the new RollerDrive EC5000. The 20W version is ideal for carrying lightweight materials or empty containers. It provides a cost-effective conveyor solution in applications requiring relatively low power. The 35W version of the EC5000 is similar to the predecessor and suited to most applications. The 50W version rounds off the portfolio. Where speed-torque requirements previously meant using two EC310s, one 50W EC5000 is now sufficient, saving in the ideal case half the motor rollers and their control systems.

To help implement conveyor solutions for heavy materials, Interroll offers not only a version with considerably higher power output, but also a RollerDrive with 60-mm diameter tubes. The familiar IP66 and Deep Freeze design options are still available, allowing deployment in areas where powerful water jets are used for cleaning or products need to be moved at temperatures as low as -30° Celsius.

Bus interface opens up the world of Industry 4.0

“Conveyor systems now offer data transparency for the first time. The EC5000 with the bus interface allows users to constantly obtain data on performance as well as information on the number of cycles or operating hours,” says Daniel Heinen, Global Product Manager Rollers & RollerDrive at Interroll. “This means users can precisely analyze how well and, above all, for how long our products are working.” The EC5000 will remain available with the long-proven analog interface. However, the bus interface based on the CANOpen standard opens the door to the world of fully automated Industry 4.0 functionality.

Together with Interroll’s control system, which is compatible with multiple protocols (PROFINET, EtherNet/IP and EtherCat), this solution allows users to visualize on-screen a wealth of information and functions via the PLC or a web interface. This includes general information on the current operating condition as well as the operating load of the individual drives over time.

Detailed information for preventive maintenance

The control systems can also be used to upload a wealth of detailed information, such as fault conditions, torque or temperature, from each individual drive. “The integrated lifetime indicator allows preventive maintenance to be performed during less busy periods,” says Heinen. “This considerably improves the equipment’s availability and efficiency.”

The bus interface on the new RollerDrive EC5000 can do much more than just transmit operating data. It enables completely new control functions, such as those needed in automation environments. This communication link not only enables users to more accurately control the acceleration, speed and braking of the materials being conveyed, but also to position the product on the conveyor with millimeter precision – essential for seamless integration with robots or automated gripper arms.

Large conveyor belt range possible

In short, Interroll’s DC platform offers perfectly matched controls and motor rollers as well as power supplies that simplify cabling. Users can realize a unique range of conveyor solutions, including those used together with the Interroll Modular Conveyor Platform (MCP). These range from plug and play-enabled autonomous conveyors, which can be operated without a PLC, to customized high-performance systems. Comprehensive and transparent integration into the data environment of modern Industry 4.0 applications allows monitoring in control consoles, preventive maintenance and other functions.

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