The first NFC microdrive can be programmed inside its box
At the recent Drives & Controls Show in Birmingham, UK, Nidec Control Techniques unveiled a microdrive which it claims is the world’s first to provide programming, commissioning, diagnostics and other functions to using built-in NFC (near field communications) capability.
the Commander S drive, which took three years to develop, is available in three frame sizes covering a power range of 0.18 to 4 kW (0.25 to 5 hp), in 100 V and 200 V single-phase versions, and in three-phase 200 V and 400 V.
The built-in NFC works with an app called Marshal running on a smartphone or tablet which can be used to get the reader up and running in just 60 seconds, even when it’s still in its box without power. The app can also be used:
• clone parameters from one drive to another;
• to provide real-time diagnostics even when the drive is powered off;
• provide step-by-step instructions to help users troubleshoot problems; and
• to share PDF files of wiring diagrams and drive configurations via e-mail, WhatsApp or other messaging applications.
The Marshal app, available for Android or iOS, provides simple setup routines tailored to specific apps. A FastStart menu provides assisted commissioning, with only four key settings needed to run an engine.
Control Techniques President Tony Pickering predicts that NFC will be a game-changer for the hard drive industry. “NFC is in all of our lives, and we use it to make payments in a store, for example,” he points out. “We knew it was the go-to technology, and we adapted it for Commander S.”
Pickering believes NFC will be “disruptive to the industry and change the entire customer experience, from installation to programming.” The app could replace the drive’s built-in display and keypad, and Control Techniques could offer less expensive versions of the Commander S without these features. The company also plans to add NFC functions to other drives in its portfolio.
In the future, predicts Pickering, “keyboards will only be used by people who don’t understand how good it is.”
Linked by NFC: Microdrive Commander S from Control Techniques and Marshal app
Commander S space-saving drives offer snap-in DIN rail mounting and can be mounted side-by-side in cabinets, saving cost and space. Laser-printed terminal designations simplify identification, while offset angled terminals provide easy access to screws and cable entry.
The conformal coating protects the disc against moisture and corrosion. Control Techniques offers a five-year warranty on the Commander S, as it does on all of its general purpose drives.
The drives are optimized for simple applications. Built-in features include smart fan control, Modbus RTU and a C1 EMC filter. They also meet the energy efficiency requirements of the European Ecodesign Regulation.
Pickering reveals that Control Techniques has already received an advance order for 1,000 of the new records from a customer in the United States.