Following extensive development, the Welsh drives-maker Invertek is about to start production of a small drive designed specifically for high-volume OEM applications. The Optidrive Plus 3GV Compact is designed to be built into machines and could, for example, be mounted onto motors to create integrated motor-drives.
The drive, available in 230V and 400V versions rated at up to 1.5kW, provides open-loop vector control. It can be set up – and its settings copied – from a handheld Pocket PC via an infrared link.
The drive has a fan-less design but needs to be mounted on some form of external heatsink. This could be the body of a machine or motor, or the back panel of a cabinet. In one potential application that Invertek is looking at, the drives will be mounted onto the tank of a water cooler; in another, they would be attached to the chassis of a jogging machine.
Invertek considered using its innovative drive-on-a-plate technology in which components are "printed" directly onto a metal plate, but it decided instead to use conventional bonded PCBs for the Compact drive, because they offer more design flexibility.
Invertek’s technical director, Glyn Jones, says that the company is talking to several motor manufacturers about integrating the new drive with their machines, and he expects the first of these combined products to reach the market by the end of the year. So far, almost all of the interest in the Compact drive has come from OEMs located outside the UK.