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SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2017

Technews Industry Guide - Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation


SEW-Eurodrive cuts costs in ­materials handling supply chain
May 2018, Motion Control & Drives

The latest trend in materials handling has seen sectors such as warehousing, packing and pick-and-place use cheaper components for light load conveyor applications in order to reduce total supply chain costs. In response to this latest customer requirement, SEW-Eurodrive South Africa has launched its new ECDriveS 24 V drive system.

“ECDriveS is an acronym for electronically commutated drive system, a brushless DC gearmotor,” explains SEW-Eurodrive South Africa national sales manager, Norman Maleka. “It also stands for ‘easy drive’, a simple and cost-efficient drive solution for roller conveyor applications.”

The latest drive solution was launched in Germany in 2017 following an extensive research and development programme and customer consultation, and is now being introduced to the South African market. “We have commenced with training to ensure our staff are familiar with the new product, and are currently assembling six units to go to all of our branches countrywide for customer demonstrations,” adds Maleka.

Features and benefits

A standout feature is that it is easily integrated into existing solutions as it features both Ethernet and Profinet communications for seamless interfacing. Other advantages are precise positioning with ramp up/down and the ability to vary the conveyor speed accordingly.

Sensor input and output is provided for easy monitoring, with an alarm triggered in the event of any problem. The drive system has an IP54 protection rating, in addition to an IP66 version for more demanding applications, such as food and beverage. The temperature range is –10 to 40°C, while the roller speed is up to 5 m/s. Gearbox speeds range from 8,5 to 645 rpm for added flexibility.

“This new system is easy to work with, set up, install, and maintain and is particularly suited to African operating conditions, where on-site­technical skills are often limited,” comments Maleka. Set-up is either by dual in-line package (DIP) switches, or the drive system can be programmed using the SEW-Eurodrive proprietary software. It also has a built-in encoder for precise positioning.“ The encoder allows for accurate positioning of items whenever the conveyor is stopped, which is of particular benefit to customers with sorting applications,” adds Maleka.

While the company has a wide range of products, particularly gear motors, the prevailing trend in materials-handling is for smaller, cost-effective solutions. ECDriveS is a compact solution, with roller size ranging from 300 to 1200 mm, meaning it is especially tailored for smaller conveyor applications. These are used mainly in pack houses in agricultural and farmers’ co-operative applications, where the bulk of the items are packed manually, and then placed on a conveyor to be loaded onto a truck. No parameterisation is required, which means no complex elements such as a PLC.“

In the past, we tended to focus on larger applications,” notes Maleka. “However, the introduction of ECDriveS means we can now compete effectively on smaller projects as well.”

The introduction of the ECDriveS is integral to SEW-Eurodrive’s strategy of offering a total solution. “We strive continuously to introduce products that add to our overall portfolio, and which complement our existing range,” concludes Maleka. “This is linked to our approach of targeting system integrators. At the end of the day, we want to make our customers aware that we can offer them complete end-to-end solutions and not just individual components.”

For more information contact Jana Klut, SEW-Eurodrive, +27 (0)11 248 7000,,

Supplied By: SEW-Eurodrive
Tel: +27 11 248 7000
Fax: +27 11 248 7289
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