Whether it’s a new product or a retrofit, the initial startup of a machine is always an exciting moment, especially when integrating drive technology. If the on-site drive startup goes so well that it surprises even the most experienced engineers, it’s even more satisfying. In general, we can say that the paper industry is decidedly energy-intensive: globally, it consumes 10% of energy, ranking second only to steel. Although much of the energy is transferred to the machine in the form of steam, mainly for continuous machines or high-temperature gas in the case of vellum paper production plants, the quantity of medium to high-power motors in these installations requires special attention to optimizing motion control and management systems. And that’s why PROMOTECH,
along with numerous partners, is committed to finding solutions that improve energy efficiency, a fundamental topic for all of us and highly valued in the paper industry sector. With over 50 years of experience in motor drives, Yaskawa has developed products that seamlessly combine technical superiority, easy management and energy savings. This has led our companies to work closely for almost 15 years, culminating in the official recognition of Promotech as a Yaskawa Sales Partner in 2022.

The latest results of technical evolution converge in the new GA500 microinverter and the GA700 series and Promotech has demonstrated how versatile and easy to use they can be. Available in three sizes with power ranges up to 30 kW, the GA500 series stands out for its compactness and the ability to control asynchronous, permanent magnet or reluctance synchronous motors. Installed and ready to use in minutes, they are now also used in high-speed applications, as the output frequency range of 590 Hz can be expanded to 2,000 Hz if needed, for example, in spindles for metal or wood processing applications or in centrifuges. The same features are found in the GA700 series, available in sizes up to 630 kW, but in this case, performance and flexibility are even greater thanks to the possibility of installing up to two encoder cards, allowing closed-loop operation with special software for easily and quickly implementing electrical trees or winding/unwinding systems typical of the paper industry.

The robust and easy-to-use design allows continuous operation at an ambient temperature of up to 50°C without power derating. With minimal power reduction, temperatures up to 60°C can be reached, enabling installation even in particularly critical areas, such as near calenders. At the same time, integrated functions for monitoring machine status and remaining lifespan prevent the risk of sudden stops. The integrated STO function complies with SIL3 or PLe safety requirements. A 24 V interface can be used to add additional sensors, such as pressure or temperature sensors. GA500/700 inverters support various industrial communication protocols to facilitate connection to the factory automation network as much as possible. For non-critical applications, with a fieldbus interface card in a single inverter, up to five GA inverters can be networked, significantly reducing costs and minimizing the required wiring effort. An EMC filter is integrated, ensuring compliance with global standards and reducing the number of components in the electrical panel. The new fanless version of the GA500 inverter is suitable for use with special heat sinks, water cooling units, or any other cooling element.

Depending on the inverter size, these can be mechanical parts of the machine or heat sinks for special applications. For example, in textile and paper machines where lint and dust, besides being easily flammable, can hinder the cooling of standard inverters, the combination of a fanless GA500 drive with the right heat sink solves this problem, significantly reducing machine downtime and consequent production losses. For both series, in the case of inverters with an attached heat sink, mounting can also be done outside the electrical panel. As a result, 80% of power dissipation is eliminated from the electrical panel.

This makes it possible to use smaller electrical panels, reduce cooling systems or fit more devices in the same panel. In addition, the reduced air circulation inside the electrical panel significantly reduces dust pollution and extends service intervals.

In the converting world, where winders and unwinders often coexist or there are processing cycles with numerous start and stop cycles, we have the opportunity to work by sharing the DC bus and managing the system with an active D1000 type front end. This component allows significant energy savings by eliminating all braking resistances and excess energy.

The elimination of braking resistances also reduces the fire risks that these components can introduce in the presence of flammable dust, as in the paper industry. An additional advantage is that using D1000 lowers harmonic distortions to values close to 5% and brings the power factor to about 1; consequently, reducing reactive power systems and minimizing issues with control systems. In all of this, Promotech guarantees worldwide delivery and, above all, an immediate support network for its customers.