AC Drive features keypad with cell phone-like familiarity.

Press Release Summary:

DriveIT ACS550 Low Voltage AC Drive features intuitive keypad with start and stop keys, parameter set keys, HELP button, and 2 soft keys. Built-in Start-up Assistant software facilitates start up and tuning of drives. PID Assistant prompts user through 12 questions and uses answers to set 26 parameters inside drive's program. Real-time clock logs date and time of faults, and Parameter Copy feature allows all drive parameter settings to be copied from one drive to another.

Original Press Release:

Inspired by Familiarity with Cell Phones, the Keypad of ABB's New Standard Drive Delivers Easy Use and the Help Engineers Need ? Fast!

(Control panel/keypad taps directly into intuition of users and takes drives HMI to a new level; need Help for anything? - just press that button!)

NEW BERLIN, Wis., August 16, 2004 . . . Engineers and end users tap directly into their intuition and familiarity with using cell phones, when installing and starting up the ACS550 DriveIT Low Voltage AC Drive from ABB.

"From the first screen on power up, through to final parameter sets, the keypad is designed to accomplish a single objective - easy use," according to Mark Kenyon, product marketing manager for ABB Inc., Low-Voltage Drives. The keypad, similar in look, feel and functionality to a mobile phone, features separate Start and Stop keys, easy parameter set keys (arrows for incremental up or down sets); and two soft keys, the functions of which change according to the operating state of the panel.

HELP for Everything

A built-in HELP button, start-up assistant, maintenance triggers, diagnostic assistant and a real-time clock assist in operator set-up and use. This enables fast set-up, simple configuration, rapid fault diagnosis and maintenance reminders.

- Assistant, Please! -- Start-up Assistant software built in as a standard tool eases very rapid start up and tuning of the drives. Start-up Assistant provides guided start up, step by step; no need to worry about which parameters to set, and no need to access complex parameter lists, or bother with a programming manual. (If a user does not understand a particular parameter, pressing the HELP button while in that parameter brings up a description of what the effect of parameter changes would be - in full sentences! The keypad includes verbiage straight from the drive's programming manual.)

- Start it Up -- Available for use in up to 16 languages (all resident as language, not codes, inside the keypad), the Assistant, via the control panel, asks users for motor nameplate information, the I/O configuration and application-specific parameters (acceleration and deceleration). An on-line information system offers additional help at every step. Following this interaction, drives are ready for controlling the specified motor and equipment. Changed parameters also are logged and available for review.

- Application-specific Help - Interactive Programming Assistants save time and money configuring the drive for a specific application. The PID Assistant, for example, prompts the user through a series of 12 questions ? and uses the answers to set 26 parameters inside the drive's program. The user does not need to know how to navigate the drive menus to configure the unit. And there's no need to try and re-locate the drive programming manual that was shipped with the unit.

- Diagnosis -- A built-in real-time clock also logs actual date and time of faults, easing diagnostics of drive performance. Additionally, a fault logger stores status information such as amps, volts and presence of a run command at the time of the fault. If a fault occurs, use of the Diagnostic Assistant will suggest ways to fix the fault. The HELP button takes you to the Assistant.

- Maintenance Monitor -- The drive monitors energy consumption, running hours or motor revolutions. Users can set their own triggers for these items, so that the drive gives an alarm whenever these limits are reached, flagging when the drive, motor, or driven equipment should receive preventive maintenance.

- Optimal Operation -- Additional intuitive drive features available via the operator interface include energy optimization. And a controlled cooling fan operates only when necessary, reducing audible drive noise, improving energy efficiency and extending fan life.

Copy/Download and Back-up Parameters -

The parameter copy feature of the keypad allows all drive parameter settings to be copied from one drive to another, to speed start up. The copy feature may also be used as a back up, in case of a drive failure, allowing the existing application -- including all the motor data attained during start-up -- to be downloaded to the new drive. This saves the need of a new start-up, and time spent repeating parameter settings.

Start - Stop -- Auto Operation --

If the owner wants to take local control of the drive, the intuitive keypad again shines through. The user simply presses the Local key. The motor is now under local control, running at the same speed as the last command from the automation system (bump-less transfer). To increase motor speed, press the up arrow. To decrease speed, press the down arrow. No need to navigate to a "speed set" parameter, just push an arrow. What could be easier?

Start up/Programming/Diagnostics/Maintenance/Instruction Manual - In One Panel -

It's easy to see that this control panel is much more than a traditional drive programming and status display panel. This keypad has brains -- looks and an intuitive feel that helps to eliminate the mystery and intimidation traditionally felt with drive/human machine interfaces (HMI), notes Kenyon. In addition, there is no need to carry the drive instruction manual with you every time you want to make a change or check on the drive status. If you can operate a cell phone, you can program this drive!

And for end users, ultimately such features deliver, Kenyon says - "constant assurance that the drive is operable, operating, and easy to work with, as environments change or changes are called for. We call it 'free minutes,' in parallel to cell phone usage -- nights, weekends, holidays - a host of minutes, hours, days and years without worry."

ABB Inc., Automation Technologies, Low-Voltage Drives, is the world's largest manufacturer of electric motors and drives. In the USA, an integrated channel of sales representatives, distributors, and system integrators allow ABB, New Berlin, Wisconsin, to supply a complete line of energy-efficient electric drives, motors and engineered drive systems to a wide range of industrial and commercial customers. Products manufactured include AC variable speed drives for electric motors from 1/8th through 135,000 HP, large AC machines and drives, medium-voltage drives, power electronics and rectifier systems, AC & DC motors, and application-specific drive system solutions to meet diverse customer needs ( For information on the new ACS550 drives, specifically, see

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 115,000 people. The company's U.S. operations employ about 9,000 in manufacturing and other facilities in 40 states.

ABB ACS550 Contact:

Mark Kenyon

262-780-5141 phone

262-785-8501 fax

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