Permanent Magnet Motor eliminates gearboxes.

Press Release Summary:

DriveIT direct-drive, synchronous, ac motor uses NdFeB magnets, which are resistant to demagnetization. It delivers high torque at low speed, eliminating necessity of DC motor and associated brush replacement and maintenance. Motor features radial-flux construction and is air or water cooled. Powers range from 22-670 hp and include base speeds from 220-600 rpm. Voltage ranges from 380-690 Vac. Standard IEC frame sizes from 280-400 are available.

Original Press Release:

New Permanent Magnet Motors From ABB Eliminate Gearboxes

(Building on the technology of smaller-scale applications such as those in the computer industry, where a favorable weight-to-performance ratio is an advantage, this new Direct Drive permanent magnet motor from ABB now provides high accuracy and reliability for industrial applications that require high torque at low speed. The motor, in complement to ABB's DTC? drive technology, eliminates gearboxes and encoders across a wide range of industries.)

NEW BERLIN, Wis., February 7, 2003 . . . A unique new line of low-base-speed permanent magnet AC motors from ABB is the heart of a system known as the DriveIT Direct Drive Solution. This consists of a DriveIT permanent magnet synchronous AC motor, controlled by a DriveIT low-voltage AC drive, based on the ACS 600 or ACS 800 AC drive and connected directly to a motor/load, without gearboxes or pulse encoders.

"This is another quantum leap in the elimination of mechanical equipment ? gearboxes ? that often makes motor/load control bulky and difficult," said Jan-Anders Bergman, vice president and general manager of Electrical Machines, for ABB Inc., Automation Technologies.

"With the complement of this motor to ABB Direct Torque Control? drive technology, end users now gain even more precise load control and are able to operate the motor without an encoder."

Permanent Magnet Motor is Synchronous and Eliminates Brushes, Rotor Windings -- ABB's permanent magnet motor is an AC synchronous motor. With such a motor, there is no rotor slip, which provides better accuracy than standard, asynchronous, motors (see sidebar). In an asynchronous (or induction) motor, the slip varies according to speed and load. With a synchronous motor, it is simpler to optimize the speed, and the elimination of slip compensation improves the dynamic motor control, according to Bergman. In addition, the elimination of slip losses in the rotor of the motor increases the efficiency of the motor from one (1) to three (3) percent.

The permanent magnets in the new ABB motor simplify traditional synchronous motor construction by creating a constant flux in the air gap that eliminates the need for the rotor windings and brushes normally used for excitation in synchronous motors. "The result is a motor that combines the high-quality performance of the synchronous motor with the robust design of the asynchronous induction motor," Bergman noted. "And the motor is energized directly on the stator by the variable speed drive."

More Power From A Small Frame Size; NdFeB Magnets --
The new synchronous motor also can deliver more power from a smaller unit. To power the in-line drives of a paper machine directly at 220 - 600 rpm with a conventional asynchronous motor would require a motor frame substantially larger than that of a 1800-rpm motor. The new permanent magnet motor type has, in most cases, the same size or is even smaller than an existing induction motor.

Permanent magnets utilized in the ABB motors are made from neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) ? the newest magnetic material on the market. NdFeB is the most powerful magnetic material at room temperature available, with high values of flux density at very high values of magnetization. It is also extremely resistant to demagnetization. And NdFeB is less costly and less brittle than samarium cobalt, another rare earth material used widely in the 1980s.

The motors have been thoroughly tested in several applications prior to production. Following these successful pilot projects, the first Direct Drive system was installed in August 2002 at a paper company in Finland; the motors are used on a line that manufactures packaging materials for medical and cosmetics products.

Simple Configuration Delivers High Torque at Low Speed -- Standard induction motors, normally designed to run at base speeds between 850 to 3500 rpm, are not particularly well suited for low-speed operation, as their efficiency drops with the reduction in speed. They also may be unable to deliver sufficient smooth torque at low speeds. Use of a gearbox is the traditional mechanical solution for this challenge. However, the gearbox is a complicated piece of machinery that takes up space, reduces efficiency, and needs both maintenance and significant quantities of oil.

Elimination of the gearbox via these new permanent magnet motors/drive configurations saves space and installation costs, energy and maintenance, and provides more flexibility in production line and facility design. The AC motor also delivers high-torque-at-low-speed -- a benefit traditionally associated with DC motors ? and, in doing so, also eliminates the necessity of a DC motor and their associated brush replacement and maintenance.

Encoderless Operation Optimizes Motor Control; Eliminates Cost --ABB's Drive IT Direct Drive solution incorporates the company's exclusive Direct Torque Control (DTC?) technology, which optimizes motor control and enables the drive to run without an encoder to provide speed feedback.

"The DTC algorithm enables each machine's motor drive to calculate the state (torque and flux) of the motor 40,000 times per second, which makes the drive virtually tripless," notes Chuck Hollis, manager of ABB's ACS 600 drives line. Elimination of the encoder further reduces maintenance, he noted, and encoderless operation dramatically decreases downtime/stoppage --thus increasing a production facility's uptime and throughput. Optimal motor operation, based on load conditions, also saves energy consumption, yielding energy savings, he said.

Permanent Magnet Motors in a New Role -- Their small size and high accuracy have, in the past, made permanent magnet motors the preferred type for use in servos applications and computer hard drives. But now, large permanent magnet motors weigh in at up to seven tons.

The actual motor design is a radial-flux construction, air- or water-cooled, with a permanent magnet rotor. Powers range from 22 to 670 HP (17 to 500 kW) and include base speeds from 220 to 600 RPM; motor voltages range from 380 to 690 VAC. The line is available in standard IEC-frame sizes from 280 to 400. All of the usual options and modification available for the traditional cast iron induction motor frames are also available for the DriveIT Direct Drive Solution motors. Standard modifications include fan cooled (TEFC), separate cooled (TEAO), and water cooled (TEWC) units.

Because there are virtually no rotor slip losses, as in an asynchronous induction AC motor, the rotor of the permanent magnet motor stays cool ? making higher power density possible. Water-cooling the motor stator can increase power density even more. The use of permanent magnet rotors in standard AC motor frames can double the torque produced.

The permanent magnet AC motor is designed for variable-speed operation only and must be controlled by an AC drive specifically developed for permanent magnet flux control. ABB's exclusive Direct Torque Control algorithm has been enhanced to achieve this. Compact AC drive cabinets in various enclosure protection classes ease installation of the system in a wide variety of production environments.

Used in Azipod technology -- The DriveIT Direct Drive Solution was born out of a unique technology developed for a marine propulsion application. ABB's patented Azipod? System utilized a large permanent magnet synchronous AC motor and a large ABB AC drive with custom DTC software, to create "an outboard motor for cruise ships," according to ABB. The Azipod System increased propulsion efficiency and maneuverability. With the system, ships are capable of turning 180 degrees within their own length!

The DriveIT Direct Drive Solution is being used in and targeted for a host of industries, including pulp and paper, marine propulsion (Azipod), ski lifts, elevators, wind-turbine generators, mine conveyors, rotary kilns (cement and iron ore production), and paper, film and foil converting machines.

ABB Inc., Automation Technologies, Drives, Motors and Machines, 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 & DC variable speed drives for electric motors from 1/2 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 (

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impacts. The ABB Group of companies operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 146,000 people worldwide. The company's U.S. operations employ more than 14,000 people in manufacturing and other facilities in 40 states.

For More Information on Electrical Machines, Contact:
Lars-Erik Thand
Tel: 262-785-8678
E-Mail: Lars-Erik

For More Information on AC Drives, Contact:
Chuck Hollis
Tel: 262-785-3505

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