Electric soft starter in latest solid state motor controllers


The Allen-Bradley SMC-50 smart motor controller

Rockwell Automation has launched the Allen-Bradley SMC-50 smart motor controller, the company’s latest generation of solidstate motor controllers.

This new product line includes a newly designed three-phase, fully solid-state, silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) power structure. The new SMC-50 controller addresses the motor control needs of OEMs and end users seeking a more economical alternative to drives and more advanced control than across-the-line starters.

Designed for customer flexibility, the SMC-50 controller combines advanced monitoring and protection features, multiple start and stop options, and expandable control inputs and outputs. These features help users increase efficiency, reduce downtime and improve control.

Rated at 200V-690V AC and with software from 90-520 amps, the SMC-50 controller is ideal for controlling motor speed and torque in a range of normal-duty applications, including pumps, compressors and short conveyors, as well as in heavy-duty applications, such as rock crushers, wood chippers, centrifugal fans and long conveyors.

The SMC-50 smart motor controller’s design improves voltage output to maximize efficiency of motor starts and stops. For application scalability, it features nine standard starting modes, six stopping modes and several slow-speed functions.

In traditional starting mode, for example, if the SMC-50 controller senses that the motor has reached full speed before completing the selected ramp time, it will automatically switch to providing full voltage to the motor. Depending on the application, controlling voltage during motor stopping is equally critical to controlling voltage during motor starts. For example, the SMC-50 smart motor controller using the AllenBradley smart motor braking feature engineered with automatic zero-speed quickly stops a motor without the need for additional hardware or feedback devices.

To further protect motor assets and decrease downtime, the SMC-50 controller utilizes advanced power monitoring diagnostics. This results in highly scalable user-configurable faults and alarms, including motor overload protection, over/ under voltage, stall protection, over/ under power, jam detection, over/under current, excessive starts, current and voltage imbalance, power frequency protection, power factor protection, and preventative maintenance faults and alarms.

The SMC-50 controller also boasts innovative features, such as energy saver, motor winding heater, and the snapshot and event log features, which capture fault, alarm and operational history.

The SMC-50 controller’s combination of standard and advanced features combined with user programming options, scalable I/O options, and network-integration capabilities, provide the ultimate in motor performance and energy management.