General Purpose Drives include fast-configuration utility.

Press Release Summary:

Available in R1-R6 frame sizes, ACS550 drives can be configured via FlashDrop tool that facilitates parameter selection and setting. Included assistants further promote control panel and drive functionality by addressing PID, RTC, maintenance, diagnostics, start-up, serial communications, and parameter optimization. Rated from 0.75-100 hp @ 240 Vac, 1-550 hp @ 480 Vac; and 1.5-150 hp @ 600 Vac, drives feature swinging choke, frequency converter, and internal option slots.

Original Press Release:

New Fast-Configuration FlashDrop Tool, Control-Panel Assistants, and Hardware Upgrades Enhance Extremely Easy Start-up and Use of ABB's ACS550 General Purpose Drives

(Enhancements are based on feedback from listening closely to customers)

NEW BERLIN, WI, September 20, 2007 . . . ABB's palm-sized FlashDrop technology now can be used to configure the company's ACS550 general purpose drives in the R1 - R6 frame sizes.

FlashDrop, proprietary to ABB, is a tool that provides fast and easy parameter selection and setting; it can copy parameters/configurations between two identical drives, or between a PC and a drive, and hide parameters -- making it ideal for high-volume customization, or repeat programming of, multiple drives/machines.

"ABB now extends this powerful tool to this general purpose, ACS550 range, of ABB drive families," said Michael Mikolajczak, product line manager for ABB's ACS50, ACS150, ACS350 and ACS/H550 drive lines. "Flashdrop already is in use for programming the ACS150 (v1.31b+) and ACS350 (v2.41a+) models, so this offers our drives users very wide range and reach with a single tool." FlashDrop is available for the ACS550 general purpose drive range with v3.11a+ software and manufactured after May 7, 2007, he said.

Configure Drives in Their Packaging, Without Powering Them Up!

Via FlashDrop, drives can be configured without the need for a power connection.
"The drive doesn't need to be unpackaged, or connected to the mains," according to Mikolajczak. "Simply open the top of the box and seat the FlashDrop wand into the access point built into the drives, and they are programmed in as little as three seconds."

New and Improved Control Panel Assistants Added, Too

An assistant control panel is supplied with the drives as standard to guide users through the programming process. Now, parameter setting with the panel is even more straightforward, as a new assistant menu structure presents the various options in a clearer format.

This significant upgrade includes seven (7) Assistants to improve the control panel and drive functionality, resulting in faster start up, and making the drive simpler to use. The following Assistants provide these user-friendly, multi-choice questions:

1. Improved PID Controller Assistant - guides user set-up without going to the parameter list, and simplifies closed-loop process control adjustments;
2. Improved Real-time Clock Assistant - helps the user quickly adjust time and date functions;
3. Improved Maintenance Calculator Assistant - computes the interval to the next overall machine system service and preventative maintenance needed, based on consumed energy (kWh), motor revolutions, or elapsed time - and can activate an alarm when maintenance is due;
4. Improved Diagnostic Assistant - offers faster fault diagnostics;
5. Improved Start-Up Assistant - offers a new, automatic, parameter-back-up function. After start-up, the assistant offers the option to back-up the parameters to the control panel for extra security;
6. New Serial Communications Assistant - provides a convenient way to quickly set up the drive's fieldbus connectivity; and
7. New Drive Optimizer Assistant - offers an intuitive method to set the optimal parameters, without having to study manuals or reference materials. Users can choose between low motor noise, combined drive-and-motor efficiency, and motor-control accuracy and performance.

Additional parameter functionality and improvements to ABB's ACS550 drive series include:

A. User-defined Under-load Curves - with the possibility to define curves freely in five points. This is useful in various applications, including fans (when running partial loads);
B. Parameter Autochange Interval (8118) - for example, with five motors, it is possible to decrease the pump and fan installation testing time from 30 minutes to two (2) minutes;
C. Enhanced Jog Function - one "push" controls the drive through an entire start/stop cycle with preset speeds and ramps; and
D. "Double" PID Cascade Control - with the possibility to use two existing PID blocks in series and faster fault affect compensation.

Hardware Upgrades Include More Horsepower in Smaller Frames

Hardware enhancements include new, reduced-frame sizes and horsepower extensions for more competitive sizes, reduced cabinet space requirement, and reduced manpower, time and installation costs. ABB's frame-size reductions include the following, with the range of horsepower in the smaller sizes:

-- R4 Frame reduction to R3 - now at 30 HP
-- R5 Frame reduction to R4 - now at 75 HP
-- R6 Frame reduction to R5 - now at 100 HP
-- R7 Free Standing reduction to R6 Wall Mount - Q4, 2007, at 200 HP

"The Enhanced ACS550 drives are up to 53% smaller and lighter than competitors," said Mikolajczak. "That means processors and machine builders can fit a lot more muscle into the same, or less real estate - i.e., real estate on panels, walls, electrical rooms where these drives are mounted and utilized."

Ready for DIP Environments

The enhanced drives also have been enhanced with a Declaration of Conformity, which confirms that they have been tested in combination with certain ABB motors for use in DIP (Dust Ignition Protection) environments.

The Enhanced ACS550 General Purpose Drives are rated from 0.75 to 100 HP @ 240VAC; 1 to 550 HP @ 480VAC; and 1.5 to 150 HP @ 600VAC. All ACS550 drives are packed with built-in features, including: Internal EMI/RFI Filter; Patented, Swinging Choke (up to 5% line reactor); Frequency Converter; Internal Braking Chopper; and Internal Option Slots.

ABB, Automation Products, 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 and DC variable speed drives for electric motors from 1/8th through 135,000 HP, and application-specific drive system solutions to meet diverse customer needs (

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 109,000 people.

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