Tuesday’s marvels of engineering: New KEB servo drives Zeppelin take-off
Source: Achim Mende

German airship manufacturer, Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik (ZLT) relies on the COMBIVERT S6 servo drive from KEB Automation for special onboard applications on its Zeppelin NT (New Technology) airship. 

Experts from KEB have been working with ZLT helping to develop innovative and new drive concepts for the airship. ZLT equips special applications with the COMBIVERT S6, which demonstrates its strengths as a modular system particularly well in the airship application.

“The lightweight and very compact design of the COMBIVERT S6 in book format allows it to be used even where every gramme of excess weight is important,” explained Sebastian Wietzorrek, application engineer at KEB Automation. “The freedom to operate the S6 on a three-phase AC voltage supply as well as on a DC voltage supply makes the place of use extremely flexible.”

“Our customers also appreciate the integrated safety functions, which are available on a modular basis. Every S6 servo drive comes with Safe-Torque-Off (STO) as standard. Furthermore, depending on the control module selected, a variety of safety functions including encoder-based, as well as encoderless are available.”

In an onboard pump application, Zeppelin uses a special AC motor, which can be commissioned in just a few steps using an S6 servo drive, the wizard within the COMBIVIS 6 set up plus commissioning software from KEB. Due to the exceptional overload behaviour of the S6 with more than 200% for a full 60 seconds, there is sufficient reserve available even during power peaks and fluctuations.

Among the various control options, all common bus systems are available, but simple control via digital and analogue I/Os is also possible. In this application, the S6 itself takes over part of the logic links and therefore enables, for example, automatic switching between various power levels in order to adapt the power reduction to external conditions such as temperature curves. In addition, the COMBIVIS 6 commissioning software offers detailed monitoring, which enables precise optimisation of functional processes during this process.

KEB can provide assistance in this phase too. A team consisting of technicians and engineers, specialised in the various industry sectors, supports the application.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank KEB for its excellent cooperation,” stated Georg Groeger, electronics development at Zeppelin. “For us, this project was completely new territory, so we were glad to have their support for the main functions.”

Wietzorrek concluded: “The S6 is in its element not only in the air, but especially in a conventional control cabinet. “I think we’ve put together the perfect package here in terms of performance and range of functions, which is also easy to commission and has already been used for years in diverse and demanding industrial applications.”