Optimize Your Industrial Operations With Schneider Electric’s Smart Motor Control Solutions, Available at RS

April 22, 2024

Optimize Your Industrial Operations With Schneider Electric’s Smart Motor Control Solutions, Available at RS

Smart motor control solutions, including Schneider Electric’s TeSys island smart motor starter, Altivar variable frequency drives, and Modicon PLCs, help organizations in every sector of the industrial market improve their productivity, efficiency, profitability, and sustainability

RS, a trading brand of RS Group plc (LSE: RS1), a global provider of product and service solutions for industrial customers, offers a wide range of Schneider Electric motor control solutions engineered to help organizations in every sector of the industrial market overcome common challenges and improve their productivity, efficiency, profitability, and sustainability. 

Labor shortages, unplanned downtime, and rising energy costs are affecting profit margins throughout the industrial market. The U.S. has been suffering from labor shortages related to both skills gaps and Millennial and Gen-Z preferences for more efficient, connected workplaces and is expected to have 2.1 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2030, which will negatively affect productivity and profitability.

The average cost of unplanned downtime, which encompasses maintenance costs in addition to lost revenue, financial penalties, idle staff time, and restarting production lines, is $562,428 a year for a single asset or small group of assets, which can easily add up to $2.3 million in annual losses for even small to midsized industrial facilities. For large, multinational industrial facilities, unplanned downtime can cost up to $532,000 an hour or $172 million per year. Rising energy costs are also eating into profit margins, and industrial operations are facing increased pressure from both consumers and governments to improve the sustainability of their products and processes.

These challenges are as wide-ranging as they are pervasive, but smart motor control solutions, including intelligent load management systems, variable frequency drives (VFDs), and high-performance PLCs, can effectively minimize the impact of all of them.

Schneider Electric is a leading global supplier of smart motor control solutions designed to empower users to optimize their productivity, efficiency, profitability, and sustainability, and it offers many of these advantageous Industry 4.0 products, including the TeSys island digital multifunctional load management system, Altivar VFDs, and Modicon PLCs, through RS.

Schneider Electric’s TeSys island smart motor starter is a modular and multifunctional smart motor control solution that provides users with near-real-time visibility into, data-driven insights about, and direct control over the switching, protection, and management of low-voltage loads in motor-driven systems deployed in an extensive array of industrial markets and applications.

The feature-rich TeSys island load management system empowers users to remotely monitor and control motors and other loads through a secure digital platform, which can help reduce the impact of labor shortages and minimize on-site staff deployments. The condition monitoring data it collects also enables users to employ predictive maintenance strategies that can help prevent unplanned downtime and even unnecessary planned downtime, troubleshoot issues quickly and accurately, and improve uptime, efficiency, and equipment lifespans.

Another way that TeSys island helps reduce the impact of labor shortages and costs is through ease of use. Its simple, modular, click-together device design eliminates control wiring and mechanical adjustments, minimizes breakage points, and enables quick, easy, and cost-effective installation. Its intuitive and user-friendly software allows users to select and modify prebuilt digital functions instead of writing code line-by-line, which makes configuration and programming a breeze. And its compatibility with third-party PLC and automation platforms, including Schneider’s powerful EcoStruxure platform, Rockwell Studio 5000, and the Siemens TIA portal, simplifies and speeds integration and commissioning as well.

Schneider Electric’s TeSys island consists of a set of devices — including couplers, analog and digital modules, voltage and power interface modules, standard starters and SIL starters — installed on a single DIN rail and connected with a ribbon cable and is seen as a single node on the network. TeSys island manages motors and other electrical loads up to 80A (AC1) or 40hp, 480V, and 65A (AC3) and supports up to 20 modules connected to one bus coupler under a single 24V supply.

It also supports EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, PROFINET, and PROFIBUS fieldbuses and features integrated digital and analog I/O that eliminate the need for distributed I/O. Additional features include Achilles Level 2 cybersecurity certifications and PLe Cat4, SIL 3, and SIL CL3 functional safety certifications.

Schneider Electric’s Altivar VFDs leverage built-in intelligence to manage motor control applications up to 20MW and gather and share data that helps users improve asset management, productivity, safety, reliability, energy efficiency, and sustainability. These smart, connected drives also offer additional power options and firmware upgradability features that allow users to maintain maximum machine control and peak performance as they scale their operations without having to change or retrofit their existing drives, which reduces operating and maintenance costs. Ideal applications include industrial machinery and processes, commercial buildings, and utilities.

Altivar 320 VFDs are designed to manage three-phase synchronous, asynchronous, and permanent magnet motors in open loop control and are available in IP21, IP65, IP66, UL Type 1, and UL Type 4X models for broad application suitability in harsh environments. These smart, connected drives deliver a powerful combination of safety, reliability, and simplicity with more than 150 embedded functions optimized for building more efficient and effective machines. Altivar 320 VFDs are available in robust, compact, and book form factors that suit a variety of different types of cabinets and machine frames, carry global certifications, and conserve space and support the most common Ethernet- and serial-based communication networks, including EtherNet/IP, CANopen, and Profibus, which further simplifies installation.

They also exhibit high torque and speed accuracy at very low speeds, high dynamic performance with sensorless flux vector control, enhanced resistance to polluted atmospheres, and long lifecycles; offer an extended frequency range for high-speed motors; and support the parallel connection of motors and special drives using a voltage/frequency ratio. They’re rated for 0.18–15kw, 200–690V, and operating temperatures spanning -15°C to 50°C without derating and up to 60°C with derating without the need for additional cooling. Ideal applications include material handling, packaging, pumping, and hoisting systems, textile manufacturing, and general machine control.

Schneider Electric’s Modicon PLCs are another smart control solution that supports smart, profitable, and sustainable industrial operations and is available at RS. Engineered for high-performance automation applications ranging from individual machines to complex robotic systems and assembly lines, Modicon PLCs deliver far more than basic PLC monitoring and control functions. These flexible, IIoT-ready devices deliver the amplified processing power needed to handle big data analysis, support multiple-device and cloud connectivity, and offer integrated cybersecurity to protect against vulnerabilities, and like the TeSys island and Altivar solutions, are quick and easy to program, commission, and maintain.

RS also offers a number of Schneider Electric products designed to support the deployment of smart motor control solutions, including AC drivessoft startersmolded case circuit breakersTeSys Deca contactorsdisconnect switchesHMI touchscreensmonitoring relayspower supplies, and pilot lights.


More Information

For more information about Schneider Electric smart motor control solutions, watch or listen to Episode 15 of the RS Expert Advice Podcast, “Improving Workforce Productivity With Smart Motor Control,” featuring Erik Barnes, the Offer Marketing Launch Manager at Schneider Electric, and visit the links embedded here. For assistance identifying, procuring, deploying, and maintaining Schneider Electric motor control solutions proven to help improve productivity, efficiency, profitability, and sustainability in an extensive range of applications and industries, please contact your local RS representative at 1.866.433.5722 or reach out to the RS technical support team.

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