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Dust and splash proof drives

16 May 2016

A range of IP55 rated dust and splash proof variable speed drives has been added by Mitsubishi Electric to its FR A800 series. The new units are designed for demanding applications and where the control architecture is decentralised.


Designated FR-A846, they represent Mitsubishi Electric’s latest drive technology and feature a state of-the-art high speed processor in addition to energy saving features and very low harmonics. The output range is from 400W to 160kW. 

An EMC filter, built in as standard, ensures full compliance with the EMC Directive (EN 61800-3, 1st environment, category C2). A DC reactor – also integral to all units – ensures compliance with IEC 61000-3-12, reducing and limiting harmonic currents so that separate mitigation equipment is not required. 

The IP55 series is suitable for operation with both standard asynchronous machines and IPM/SMP (interior permanent magnet/surface mounted permanent magnet) motor technology. A new auto tuning method allows the increasingly popular permanent magnet motors to be set-up quickly and easily. 

A key feature of the new FR-A846 units is their simple and intuitive operation. A built-in graphical user interface allows direct access to all parameters, while an LCD screen facilitates at-a-glance monitoring and setting. The units can also be programmed using Mitsubishi Electric’s iQ Works programming environment. 

Other features include data logging functionality and a built in PLC, allowing the drive to form the heart of a full, standalone automation system. 

Maximum speed and torque up to 590 Hz can be achieved using the sensorless vector control facility. An overload capacity of 200% during the start-up phase will ensure reliable starting cycles, even under demanding operating conditions. Minimum terminal cycle times of less than three milliseconds guarantee fast response, while speed rise times of less than 80 milliseconds help to boost performance and enhance productivity. 

Two overload scenarios optimise system planning, while functional safety up to PLd/SIL3 ensures operation in situations from simple emergency stops to complex operational requirements such as required for press actuation. Three slots are provided to allow for expansion cards such as extended input / outputs or network connectivity. 

A key feature of the new drives is their ability to be controlled over a network. The FR-A846 inverters offers many network options including CC-Link, SSCNET, Profibus-DP, Profinet, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, LONworks and Modbus RTU. 

Like all Mitsubishi Electric inverters, the FR-A800 series has many protective, safety and overload functions, high quality temperature tolerant capacitors, permanently lubricated and encapsulated cooling fans and a protective coating conforming to IEC 60721-3-3. 

Integrated maintenance counters forewarn of potential component fatigue and help reduce the overall maintenance requirements and associated costs. To further simplify maintenance, the new drives are available with a built in mains switch to power down the drive and lock it securely. At the same time they can be connected to an external power supply so that the parameters can still be set and network communications maintained.