Why do winding machines have such oversized motor? Why are there so many motor types and sizes in a single cable-making unit? Juan Carlos González Villar´s (owner or Kabel.Consult.Ing) previous engineering career centered on addressing questions like these. And this is how it all began: First the idea, then prototype development, and finally a patented drive system (-> Networked Electronical Continuously Variable Transmission, Patent EP15713831.4) with the potential to revolutionize entire industries.
The so-called “safety cushions in the drive train” found its way into machines at the beginning of the third industrial revolution in the 1980s and 1990s. At that time, most machines was equipped with switching gear-boxes and continuously variable transmissions (CVT) as standard, but today there is a large motor that is dimensioned for the maximum required torque of the machine and a beefy single-line gearbox that is dimensioned for the maximum required machine speed. When energy costs are at £/€0.05/kWh, no one cares about energy costs. But these days, the price is more like £/€0.15/kWh … so a rethink is in order …
Analyses of existing production machines show that most drives are not run at their rated operating point, but instead are run mostly at partial loads. In Europe, the average utilization of motors is no higher than f(n)=n, e.g. extruders, conveyor belts [airports, logistics center], elevators, presses etc.) The potential for future improvement of individual components (drives, motors, gear units, converters) is relatively small because they already exhibit a very high level of refinement and efficiency (0.98% at rated operating point). For this reason, the future of drive technology may belong to small servo motors/generators (4 Q) that are linked in real time and have an intelligent energy efficiency interconnection. This would be a base technology fully in keeping with the notions of the “Internet of Things”. The “Smart Factory”, based on cyber physical systems, is still in the developmental phase. It will take another few years until they have penetrated all areas of industry. The third industrial revolution cut back on mechanical drive engineering in the machines and inflated reliance on electrical engineering. The fourth industrial revolution will also bring back part of the mechanics. At that time, mechatronics will have asserted itself definitively. The era in which machine builders use motors that are >> 2 times the size they need will finally be in the past.
The Networked Electronical Continuously Variable Transmission combines all four industrial era and opens up new opportunities:
Industry 1.0 and 2.0 (Robert Willis [English academic, Cambridge professor and publisher of “Principles of Mechanism”], G. J. Abott [English inventor and patent holder of the mechanical Continuously Variable Transmission -> Patent US2068784, 1924] -> Pioneers and idea giver);
Industry 3.0 (Semiconductor and PLC technology [programmable logic controller] -> Digitalization, Energetic Networking, CIM Computer-integrated manufacturing);
Industry 4.0 (Cyber physical systems, AI, Automation of intelligent behaviour -> Smart Products);
The Networked Electronical Continuously Variable Transmission significantly improves the energy efficiency of an application through the use of patented motor technology, cutting-edge process and control methods, and lightweight construction with composite fiber materials. It has the advantage of significantly higher overall efficiency and allows installation of smaller-output motors with lower operating costs. The complete drive system has the general benefits associated with modularity:
– For designers: lower development costs, economical production with unit-price degression, several series of identical design, and consistent and straightforward assembly processes.
– For users: exchangeable modules make repairs fast and economical. Compatibility and use of shared parts reduce the need to hold spare parts to a minimum.
Consistent modularity greatly expands the benefits for both the manufacturer (sales, assembly, spare parts service) and users (purchasing, operation, repairs).
Originally developed for machines that manufacture high-voltage and medicine cables, [Winding and unwinding motors, traverse motors, and motors used in the pushing, pulling and drawing equipment of a cable manufacturing system may use only one motor size/motor type] the principle behind the Networked Electronical Continuously Variable Transmission can be used in numerous other applications as well, including electric vehicles. In summary: The drive system described here maximizes generator output, minimizes motor output, and standardizes the entire drive system of an Industrial / E-Mobility complex total application.