Motion Control & Drives

Rockwell Automation expands ­medium voltage motor control ­capability

August 2015 Motion Control & Drives

Since medium voltage motors are typically some of the largest consumers of power in heavy industries, implementing precise, smart motor control is an effective way of reducing power consumption and energy costs, along with significantly better process control. Since they were first manufactured in 1983, Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley medium voltage drives have earned a reputation for reliable, efficient motor control across the industry’s most demanding applications. The company recently extended this medium voltage range with the addition of the PowerFlex 6000, providing a cost-effective and fit-for-purpose drive.

The PowerFlex 6000 supplements the existing PowerFlex 7000 range in providing a motor control solution that is ideal for new and retrofit centrifugal fan and pump applications rated up to 10 kV.

Utilising the industry-accepted and robust cascaded 'H' bridge (CHB) voltage source inverter (VSI) topology, the PowerFlex 6000 drive provides low-input harmonics and near-unity power factor, ultimately reducing power system issues and maximising motor efficiency while providing simple use and maintenance requirements.

PowerFlex 6000 is an air-cooled drive designed exclusively for induction motors. Designed for smaller field applications, it supports motor cable lengths of up to 300 m and has a 7” WinCE colour touch screen. Supported protocols include Modbus-RTU RS-485, Modbus-TCP, Modbus-PLUS R-S485, Profibus R-S485 and EtherNet/IP communications protocols.

The PowerFlex 7000 remains the flagship PowerFlex product, offering multiple configurations and high-performance, customisable options for the diverse control needs of heavy industrial requirements. Utilising Active Front End (AFE) technology and a patented switching technique, the PowerFlex 7000 product line, rated from 2,4 kV to 6,6 kV, guarantees industrial applications the highest overall system efficiency whilst complying to stringent international standards. The drive achieves lower line harmonics and improved power quality through the AFE rectifier, which features a single rectifier bridge to maintain the lowest component count and system complexity.

A control solution for the future

Through the power of the Rockwell Automation networked control platform, the expanded Allen-Bradley PowerFlex medium voltage drive product line enables a high level of production optimisation, and increases information sharing across the enterprise. By empowering users to gain access to valuable performance and resource information from their systems, companies can attain higher asset availability, reduced energy and maintenance costs and enhanced asset and personnel protection.

All PowerFlex medium voltage drives are compatible with standard motors without derating and do not require an inverter duty motor. PowerFlex configurations have near-sinusoidal output current and voltage waveforms at all speeds and loads.

As the global economy continues to expand, constraints to growth arise as the demand for energy approaches – and in some instances exceeds – power generating capabilities. The Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley Medium Voltage PowerFlex range enhances the performance of medium voltage motor control for the most efficient industrial enterprise.

For more information contact Henry Craukamp, Rockwell Automation, +27 (0)11 654 9700,,


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