It's time for 12

Twelve is more than just a number for us. The name SEW EURODRIVE stands for quality and innovation and contains 12 letters. In the coming months, each of these letters will represent one of our products or solutions. We will showcase a selection of 12 stories that are characteristic for our portfolio and our way to the future. Expect the unexpected.

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  • 01

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    In January we’re starting with the letter S for Solutions. Our customers don’t always require individual components for their production systems. They often need more than just a gearmotor. Our application solutions come into their own when an entire conveyor line or parts of the line need to be replaced or replanned. We do more than simply produce and supply the necessary components. Our staff work with customers to plan the new system in line with their requirements. Together, we devise the ideal solution for the customer application. Once the planning stage is complete, SEW-EURODRIVE also takes care of development and implementation. Everything comes from a single source with a solution of this kind, so the customer can be certain that all components are perfectly coordinated and work together in perfect harmony.

    Decentralized energy supply with MOVI-DPS®

    MOVI-DPS® Components
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    MOVI-DPS® Components
    MOVI-DPS® Components

    Lifting/lowering conveyor with decentralized conveying of energy

    Lifting/lowering conveyor with decentralized conveying of energy

    MOVI-DPS® consists of the following components:

    1. EKK E12 energy interface

    2. EKK E11 power interface

    3. EKV storage bundle consisting of EKS storage units

    4. Unloading units for EKV

    It is a decentralized energy storage unit that ensures a far more flexible production operation. The system also has the potential to save on connection costs and energy consumption. MOVI-DPS® can be used in all kinds of systems – including lifting/lowering conveyors, storage/retrieval systems, pallet transfer shuttles and vertical conveyors – as well as in mobile applications.

    You, too, can benefit from intelligent power and energy management with MOVI-DPS® in both mobile and stationary applications. “Energy consumption and power peaks are common problems at industrial companies. SEW-EURODRIVE’s dynamic MOVI-DPS® system offers the ideal solution in both cases. High-performance double-layer capacitors, intelligent control and decentralized components combine to ensure the efficient operation of any application. The system smooths out power peaks from the grid and stores braking energy that it can draw on if required. MOVI-DPS® is a key component for further decentralization of energy supplies and effective management of the energy flow in energy supply grids in the future.” / Dirk Schedler, product market manager at SEW-EURODRIVE.

  • 02

    SEW-EURODRIVE Efficiency



    February’s “E for Efficiency” represents our unstinting quest at SEW-EURODRIVE: “Efficiency describes the relationship between an effect and the effort required to achieve it.”

    We repeatedly set ourselves the target of achieving the desired result with as little energy and cost outlay as possible so as to maximize the benefit for us and our customers. Efficiency plays a key role in many ways at SEW-EURODRIVE – in our products, services, customer solutions and even the everyday work of our staff.

    Efficient teamwork between humans and machines

    Effizientes Teamwork in der Praxis: Unser Mitarbeiter berichtet von der Zusammenarbeit mit Robotern und seinen Erfahrungen mit dem automatisierten Wandel in seinem Berufsalltag.
    Arbeiten 4.0

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    Effizientes Teamwork in der Praxis: Unser Mitarbeiter berichtet von der Zusammenarbeit mit Robotern und seinen Erfahrungen mit dem automatisierten Wandel in seinem Berufsalltag.

    Drive specialist SEW-EURODRIVE is renowned for developing new networking technologies, systems and processes. And where better to test innovations than in our very own processes? So SEW-EURODRIVE uses assistance systems to master the increasingly complex workflows in its production halls – with glowing results.

    Networking humans and machines assists our workers and makes work methods more efficient. As a general rule, mobile robots are particularly good at taking the strain out of physical tasks. This leaves employees free – while the workbench moves on to the next assembly station – to look at the following procedures or even set them in motion and start working on new production elements. Bending, turning, moving individual parts from A to B – automation addresses this strenuous work. What’s more, it reduces the error rate dramatically and frees workers for more interesting and varied activities. Humans are increasingly becoming the decision-makers, problem-solvers and directors of value creation. As the name itself suggests, assistance systems help our workers and avoid wasting resources.

    At SEW-EURODRIVE, efficiency means taking the strain off our workers, freeing them up for new tasks and optimizing output.

    Efficient energy balance

    Effidrive consulting

    But efficiency also means savings potential in other respects for SEW-EURODRIVE. It takes drives to power the automation that really helps humans. Not a robot arm or assistance system could move without the necessary impetus. So it is no wonder that German industry accounts for 47 percent of net energy consumption.
    Not only that, but almost two-thirds of the energy consumed by industry is used for electrical drives.

    How are businesses supposed to keep production costs in check in the face of climbing energy prices? It’s simple. There is enormous savings potential to be tapped in almost every company, without even the need for major upheaval – and SEW-EURODRIVE is intent on releasing it!

    We have developed an end-to-end Modular energy-saving system of efficient products that makes it possible to combine individual components for optimum results. This can save customers up to 70 percent of their systems’ energy costs. But energy efficiency kicks in much earlier than this at SEW-EURODRIVE. Before selecting the drive components, our specialists conduct an Energy consulting to pinpoint the right solution for each individual system. SEW EURODRIVE has its sights firmly set on an energy-optimized future.

    For us, energy efficiency means dramatically reducing CO2 emissions and optimizing the energy balance.

  • 03

    SEW-EURODRIVE worldwide



    “W for worldwide” takes center stage during March. SEW-EURODRIVE is a global family-owned business with headquarters in Bruchsal, Germany. Our workforce of now more than 20 000 has been moving the world with our passion for drive engineering for more than 90 years. We act out our “Think global, act local” corporate philosophy in 52 countries worldwide. There are currently 17 production plants and 88 Drive Technology Centers in our network to offer you exactly the solutions and service you need – wherever you are in the world.


    Transportation by animal
    Peculiar challenges of market and infrastructure development in Africa

    The newest members of SEW-EURODRIVE’s African family are Cameroon (since 2016), Ivory Coast (since 2014) and Tanzania (since 2013). The Africa continent grows in importance in line with its economy.

    However, SEW-EURODRIVE has been active in South Africa for decades and serves a wide range of sectors there, including mining and the packaging industry, to name just two. Only recently, buoyant exports led a manufacturer of pulp molding machines to significantly increase the number and scope of the applications it uses SEW products for within the space of 24 months. The company considers reliable drive technology, punctual delivery and all-round performance an absolute must.


    Scraper chain conveyor
    Scraper chain conveyor in Spitsbergen

    While we can’t boast any activities around the South Pole, we most certainly can in the Arctic. Our drive technology is robust enough to withstand the freezing conditions in Spitsbergen. The Norwegian mining company Store Norske uses a DRE..-series AC motor and a four-stage X-series industrial gear unit to drive a scraper chain conveyor in a coal mine. Even in summer, the temperatures don’t rise above six degrees Celsius. And in winter, when the mercury can sink as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius, coal is still mined in the icy mountains of the Arctic.


    Zhang Xiaobing reaches for the sky
    Zhang Xiaobing

    SEW-EURODRIVE appointed its 10 000th employee in China on May 8, 2005, when Ms. Miner Wang started work in the technical office in Hangzhou. In 2010, SEW-EURODRIVE in China founded three new plants.

    China is also home to one of the Group’s five production plants for industrial gear units worldwide. In all, we employ almost 4,000 workers at more than 50 locations. Zhang Xiaobing is one of them.


    Michael Kropp in Australia
    Michael Kroppis

    Our education institution, the DriveAcademy®, provides training and education for customers and employees worldwide. Having proved successful in Germany, the DriveAcademy® opened offshoots elsewhere in the world. Employee Michael Kropp has been involved in getting it up and running in Australia for almost two and a half years.


    construction trailer
    How it began: SEW-EURDRIVE in Sweden

    While on a camping holiday near the Swedish city of Jönköping with his two sons, Jürgen and Rainer, Ernst Blickle was so impressed by the beautiful landscape that he decided to set up the first assembly plant there, or so the story goes. Another important factor in his decision was the area’s central location in Sweden’s industrial region – which meant that customers would be on the new plant’s doorstep. SEW-EURODRIVE founded its second foreign company in 1968.

    Technical manager Marco Leván joined the company less than ten years later.

    North America

    Transporting bulk material underground
    Transporting bulk material underground

    “When bulk material goes on a roller coaster ride.” Rail-Veyor in Canada supplies a system for transporting bulk material in small freight cars on rails. It is used to convey rock containing gold from an underground mine to the surface, for example. The system shares some design similarities with a conveyor belt, in that up to 40 cars are interconnected to form one continuous loading bed. This special “train” is driven by industrial gear units of the MD series from SEW-EURODRIVE, mounted at regular intervals. The real innovation, though, is the unloading process, during which the train discharges the bulk material on the upside-down part of its loop.

    South America

    Inca Kola
    Plant upgrade for Inca Kola

    Have you ever drunk yellow Cola? The Peruvians prefer their yellow-golden Inca Kola. The plastic and glass bottles it is sold in are filled and packed with the aid of MOVIGEAR® decentralized drive systems. Following the pilot project in 2012, the company in charge of this task, Lindley Corporation S. A., was so convinced of the entire system’s benefits – easy-to-install, hygienic design and high energy efficiency – that it has continued to modernize more of its plants to this day with SEW-EURODRIVE technology.

  • 04

    SEW-EURODRIVE Easy Automation



    "E" is the fourth letter in the name of SEW-EURODRIVE, and in April we are dedicating it to the subject of "EASY AUTOMATION". The reason is obvious – April is all about HANNOVER MESSE. For international visitors, it provides the ideal platform for visiting SEW-EURODRIVE and finding out about the latest comprehensive drive and automation solutions.

    "Automation" in ancient Greece

    Aristoteles - Citation automation
    Aristoteles –¬ scientist and philosopher of ancient Greece

    The idea of automation is not a new one. The ancient Greeks revered "Automatia" as the goddess of chance. Aristoteles himself described his vision of machines that operate without the aid of humans.

    In his work "Politeia" (Politics), he expressed his hope that it might someday be possible to end slavery. "If every tool could do its work on command or even predictively, the same way that Daedalus' artworks moved themselves or Hephaestus' tripods went about their divine work on their own, if weaving looms could weave by themselves in this way, there would be no need for either the master's assistants or the slave owners." source:]

    And it seems that he was right. Just as slavery has finally been consigned to the past in many parts of the civilized world, cutting-edge production has long-since been reliant on automation. The visions and efforts of today's researchers and developers are systematically working toward fully networked production.

    Industry 4.0 – fully networked production

    Industry 4.0
    Industry 4.0 – experience the modular factory live at SEW-EURODRIVE

    Is it all just science fiction? Not at all. The rise of Industry 4.0 is implacable. Current predictions indicate that the familiar stationary plant technology with its conveyor lines of varying lengths will soon have past the peak of its processing engineering capabilities. Instead, autonomous, mobile process and production modules will take its place and revolutionize industrial manufacturing.

    Depending on current production needs, it should be simple for manufacturers to add these kinds of modules and if necessary integrate them into the production network where they are needed. For this to work, these production modules must function independently of the infrastructure and be automatically recognized by the "new environment".

    Thinking about tomorrow today

    MOVI-C® modular automation system
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    MOVI-C® modular automation system
    MOVI-C® modular automation system

    "Easy automation" is the name of the game. For modular production to be flexible, automation technology is needed that is equally flexible, powerful and modular. SEW-EURODRIVE has therefore committed to thinking about tomorrow today. Our MOVI-C® modular automation system prepares the ground for our customers to embark on the road to the future of automation.

    Based on four coordinated building blocks – engineering software, control technology, inverter technology and drive technology – MOVI-C® is perfectly positioned to get these kinds of cutting-edge production cells moving, completely automate them and integrate them into the overall production infrastructure.

    Four building blocks, one automation solution

    MOVISUITE® engineering software
    MOVISUITE® engineering software in action

    MOVISUITE® engineering software is the core element of MOVI-C®, the new complete automation solution from a single source. All products and solutions from the MOVI-C® modular automation system can be completely configured, operated and monitored using this software. This saves time, money and nerves. At the same time, the look and feel of the graphic interfaces is state-of-the-art. Thanks to the optimized usability, even beginners can use the software with confidence. Technology fans can also count on additional expert support. As you can see, every kind of user will find what they are looking for.

    With the MOVIDRIVE® inverter from the MOVI-C® system, SEW-EURODRIVE offers one of the most comprehensive inverter platforms on the market. No matter what kind of motor you use, the new MOVIDRIVE® reliably regulates them all. The inverters are available as modular multi-axis systems with up to 180 A rated current and as compact devices with mains connection up to a rated output of 315 kW. Safety technology is included.

    Using the MOVI-C® CONTROLLER is also bound to make operators happy. The new control technology is able to regulate as many as 32 interpolated axes in a multi-axis system in just one millisecond, for example. Parameterizing and implementing even the most complex movement kinematics is now a straightforward matter – the prefabricated software modules for various applications reduce the complexity even further.

    All in all, perfect "Easy Automation". With MOVI-C®, SEW-EURODRIVE already has the future of automation in its range.

  • 05

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    Almost unique pieces

    Finding the perfect product can sometimes be a difficult undertaking. Think about your own bedroom. You need a wardrobe, but it has to be big enough, with room for socks as well as your suits or dresses. The color and style has to fit with the rest of your bedroom furniture, and – not to forget – the size must be right for the size of the room. Depending on how much room it takes up, finding the “right one” has so far been a real disaster. It is hardly surprising, then, that today’s furniture shops have embraced the trend of greater flexibility and variation, and offer cupboards as modular systems. You, the customer, can configure even the smallest components yourself, and thus ensure they meet your needs perfectly.

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    Modular systems have the advantage that they appeal to different customers with different wishes and requirements, making it possible for companies to serve a larger target group while at the same time offering their customers products that are customized to their requirements.

    This concept triggered a real boom in the consumer market, and is now enjoying success in the B2B sector. Industrial customers have a similar need for variety and customized goods. As a company with years of experience in drive technology, we were quick to recognize this and developed a modular gearmotor system. Our customers are able to flexibly combine individual modules to meet the specific needs of each application. Over the decades, we have continuously expanded the range and adapted it more and more to the needs of our customers.

    Control and servo technology and a comprehensive range of services were also added to our product portfolio to enable us to offer complete drive solutions rather than simply gearmotors.

    This broad range of products and services also allowed SEW-EURODRIVE access to diverse applications and markets. For example, our drives can now be found in conveyor belts, escalators, packaging machines and other applications, but our products are also used in the mining industry, ship lifts, the beverage industry and many other sectors.

    However, diversity is not restricted to SEW-EURODRIVE's product range and applications. Employees also benefit from a diverse range of occupational training opportunities and health provision. The first thing new employees get is a comprehensive introduction to SEW-EURODRIVE's range of products and services. In addition, employees can undergo further training for their work if they wish. There is also provision for the health of employees in the form of a workplace sports program. Outside of work, the company also offers a diverse range of leisure activities for its staff, with something for everyone, including cooking, sport and creative activities.

  • 06

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    Robust drives and a reassuring noise

    I'm sure you know what it's like to hear that familiar hum when you come into work in the morning and the electric motors start up. That sound of the gears beginning to turn in the gear units as your production plant comes to life. And this is the soundtrack of your day, a constant, reassuring background noise that you are not even always aware of. Nonetheless, it gives you the feeling that this will be a day where you can concentrate totally on your job, because the plant is working reliably.

    The reassuring feeling when your systems hums flawlessly
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    The reassuring feeling when your systems hums flawlessly
    The reassuring feeling when your systems hums flawlessly

    You are not alone – lots of people in a whole range of industries – including mining, the beverage industry, logistics and the automotive industry – know exactly how you feel. They are all familiar with this constant sound that accompanies their day, often in places where a lot of dust is created, such as cement works and sawmills. To ensure this reassuring hum does not fall silent, the drive technology must be extremely robust, especially in these kinds of environments. Our drives are frequently installed in plants where they come into contact with water or aggressive cleaning agents, especially in places where food is being processed. A particularly robust housing is vital in these cases. As you can see, drives face a variety of challenges that you don't have to worry about when you arrive at work in the morning and start up your plant – or maybe it has been running all night, like a sewage treatment plant.

    Do these everyday situations sound familiar?

    The humming of electric motors can also be heard in places a long way from your workplace. Maybe you have been on a carousel with your children, and one of our drives was spinning you around. The forces generated put immense strain on the motor and gear unit, but they still have to operate reliably throughout a long service life.

    Have you taken a vacation this year? Maybe you traveled by airplane? Our drives are hard at work in the background there, too, reliably transporting millions of suitcases from the check-in counters to the aircraft. Imagine the chaos if these motors could not be counted on to work reliably.

    Whether it be in the ski-lift, the car wash or the bottling plant for your favorite beer or sparkling wine, you can find our products everywhere, and you will discover they have all been specially designed for each particular purpose. A plant in Spitzbergen that we supplied drives to a few years ago is probably the northernmost and coldest place where our drive technology is in use. However, there are plenty of other countries around the world where our drives are doing their work reliably – and robustly – in applications that are either highly dynamic or require continuous operation (in S1 duty cycle).

    As you can see, drives have to generate enormous forces, and sometimes operate under extreme conditions in the production process. What you take for granted in your everyday life is the result of our constant development work. Every motor and every gear unit that leaves our production halls consists of many individual parts that together ensure that your company can manufacture reliably. To this end, each and every part is designed to provide the very highest level of performance from the early stages of development.

    We hope you now have an idea of what our drive systems have to deal with under a whole range of different climatic conditions all over the world. So the next time you are relaxing with a coke in your break or hear the silence fall as you shut down the machinery before you go home after a day's work, listen more closely as you enjoy your free time, and you might hear that familiar sound again – because our drives move the world.

  • 07

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    "O" is the seventh letter of SEW-EURODRIVE, and in July we are looking at the subject of “ONE SOLUTION”. Our MOVIGEAR® units enable us to provide the perfect "ONE SOLUTION" – a mechatronic drive system for conveyor technology that is optimized from end to end and combines gear unit, motor, electronics and software functionality in a single product.

    Do you actually know how your system works?

    What do your electric drives really have to achieve? Although the project planning and selection of drives is now supported using software, drives are still frequently much too large for the job they have to do. This is often due to the drives selected, and has technical reasons. Nevertheless, it is a terrible waste in this day and age!

    What's more, MOVIGEAR® can also easily withstand regular overloads. Since this is frequently only required for 2 – 5% of system operations, the drive is perfectly designed to cope with 95% of operating scenarios in normal scenarios. Clever users save real money on this 95% when using MOVIGEAR®. But MOVIGEAR® has even more to offer.

    Mechatronic drive solution with maximum system efficiency
    Mechatronic drive solution with maximum system efficiency

    MOVIGEAR® can do more than save you money in ongoing energy and investment costs. By bringing together drive configurations, you reduce the number of spare parts and save warehousing and administrative costs. Thanks to integrated pressure compensation, it can easily be installed in every imaginable position. This means you tie up a lot less capital and make it available for other important investments.

    Moreover, our MOVIGEAR® is extremely low-maintenance. True to the motto "no news is good news – the system will tell you if there is an issue", you are free to take care of other tasks. Another advantage of MOVIGEAR® is its compactness. It can easily be installed and started up by a single person. Most conventional drives would require a hoist and other equipment.

    Tobias Nittel
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    Tobias Nittel says: "The more precisely you define your normal operations, the more exactly our drive can be dimensioned and the more efficiently it will run. That makes MOVIGEAR® the most compact, most efficient drive for your conveyor applications."

    Hard to believe? Give us the opportunity to prove ourselves by putting our ONE SOLUTION to the test. We would be happy to come to you and carry out a comparative measurement. Tobias Nittel ,head of the airports and package logistics industrial segment at SEW-EURODRIVE, would be delighted to hear from you.

    This ONE SOLUTION makes it possible to increase the system performance where the power and energy infrastructure is already in place. MOVIGEAR® has been shown to be the most efficient drive solution for conveyor technology on the market!

    It doesn't matter whether you build vehicles, fill beverage bottles, transport packages or luggage, or generally want to move goods from A to B.

    Even in extreme conditions, such as the food and luxury food industry where total hygiene is an absolute priority, MOVIGEAR® is a clean solution thanks to a non-stick coating that can withstand regular treatment with cleaning agents.

    Numerous imaginable positions are possible ith MOVIGEAR®
    Numerous imaginable positions are possible ith MOVIGEAR®

    A MOVIGEAR® unit can be installed in every imaginable position. The use of internal pressure compensation and universal lubricant filling means there are no restrictions, nor does the user have to carry out any actions to achieve this.

    ONE SOLUTION – A success story

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    MOVIGEAR® was presented at HANNOVER MESSE 2005 as one of the top innovation

    MOVIGEAR® has been impressing users since its first appearance at HANNOVER MESSE in 2005, where it received the innovation award for drive technology. It also won more innovation awards in the years that followed. This effort has paid off. In 2008, a wide range of MOVIGEAR® configurations went into series production.

    Would you like to see some video evidence?

    No problem! You can find it on our YouTube channel, SewEurodriveTV.

    Video reference Lindley Corporation S. A.
    Energy efficiency in the beverage Industry

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    Video reference Lindley Corporation S. A.

    Lindley Corporation S. A. in Peru saves approximately 60% of bulk cables with MOVIEGEAR® and MOVIFIT® SNI. The installation and system costs were reduced significantly as well.

    Video reference Lofotprodukt AS
    Good quality – non-stop

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    Video reference Lofotprodukt AS

    Seafood producer Lofotprodukt AS uses MOVIGEAR® to drive plastic chain conveyor belts. This saves 50% of energy and simultaneously meets the required hygiene standards.

    Video reference Carl Kühne KG
    Sour or nippy

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    Video reference Carl Kühne KG

    Carl Kühne KG equipped so-called palletizers with MOVIGEAR® to optimize the production process. Also in this case, complex cabling was not required due to the decentralized installation.

    Small sizes also available!

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    Our size 1 of our MOVIGEAR® product range covers the range of small torque ratings up to 100 Nm and is particularly suitable for use in conveyor applications involving light loads.

    Dr. Jochen Mahlein
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    Some insight from Dr. Jochen Mahlein, inventor of MOVIGEAR® and now head of the Charging Technology for Mobile Systems business area:

    "In its current form, MOVIGEAR® has found its place in the world of drive technology and is continuing to expand this internationally. The market figures show continuous growth, and this is particularly pleasing for me personally. In many growth countries, but also in existing systems, increasing energy requirements, especially for electrical energy, are limiting economic growth. A common bottleneck are difficulties in distributing this energy due to a lack of grid expansion, or the connected load of conventional drives being fully exhausted. With its energy efficiency, MOVIGEAR® is helping fill these gaps. By also reducing the installation outlay, MOVIGEAR® has a competitive edge that adds value for our customers without any increase in energy consumption. "

  • 08




    The eighth letter in SEW-EURODRIVE is "D", for dynamics. That is why, this August, we are looking at what dynamics means – both in general and specifically for us, in terms of drive engineering. If we think about our friends, for example, we would certainly describe one or two of them as being very dynamic. Full of energy, these are the people who keep our circle of friends going and plan activities – whenever they’re involved, there’s sure to be action.

    If we look at dynamics in a technical sense, we’re talking about "the study of how forces influence the motion of objects." The following example offers a straightforward way to explain the technical side of things:

    Going from zero to 100 km/h dynamically

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    From left to right: Truck, car, sports car
    From left to right: Truck, car, sports car

    Say you needed to get from Stuttgart to Hamburg – and fast. Which vehicle would you pick to cover the approximately 650 km as quickly as possible?

    Naturally, you’d go for the sports car. Put your foot on the gas and the vehicle will go from 0 to 100 km/h in just a few seconds. By the time the truck gets up to speed, you would have lost valuable time, and the car wouldn’t reach top speed for some time, either.

    So how come the acceleration of these three types of vehicle differs so much? The explanation can be found in Newton’s second law. If that sounds only vaguely familiar from physics lessons of years ago, allow us to offer a little refresher: In physics, acceleration describes how the motion of an object changes and this change is, in turn, brought about by force. The same applies to the vehicles in our example.

    Acceleration [a] depends on the force [F] – the horsepower of the engine – and the mass [m] – the weight – of the vehicle. In short: a = F / m. So, if we want to know why one vehicle can accelerate faster than another, this formula offers an explanation. Naturally, a light sports car with a great deal of horsepower can reach a high speed considerably faster than a heavy and cumbersome truck. As its acceleration is much higher within a shorter space of time, the sports car is more dynamic.

    Dynamic in short cycles

    More informations:
    gingerbread packaging machine

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    More informations:

    So how do we understand dynamics in relation to our drives? Just like in the example above about vehicles, when it comes to drive engineering, it is all about acceleration [a], too. This video shows a typical, highly dynamic application – our MOVI-C® packaging machine. With packaging machines, the focus is on linear positioning tasks. The drive accelerates as quickly as possible, moving at high speed towards a precise position then braking hard before continuing a moment later to the next position, all at speed and with precision.

    In this video, our CMS.. series electric cylinders easily complete various travel profiles, provide a high degree of flexibility in terms of positioning, and offer new opportunities for programming, power control, and diagnostics functions.

    Sie benötigen für Ihre Automatisierungstechnik Motorensysteme, die hohe Beschleunigungen und Taktraten realisieren?
    Synchrone Servomotoren CMP.. von SEW-EURODRIVE

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    Sie benötigen für Ihre Automatisierungstechnik Motorensysteme, die hohe Beschleunigungen und Taktraten realisieren?

    Another example of dynamics in drive engineering is the cork-cutting machine. The synchronous servomotor from the CMP.. series dynamically drives the rotating movements, ensuring a high tempo for cutting the cork into small corks. However, due to the rotary motion, we need to modify our dynamics formula a little: a = F / m becomes α = M / J.

    α stands for angular acceleration and is the product of torque [M] (the rotational effect of a force on an object) divided by the moment of inertia [J] of the rotating motion. In this scenario, moment of inertia is comparable with the mass in a linear motion. Even though the formula has to be adapted for rotary motions, the overall statement is the same. High acceleration or high dynamics is achieved with high torque ratings and low inertia. That is precisely what makes a servomotor. These devices boast higher overload capacity and minimal intrinsic inertia – advantages that are ensured by the design of the motor and allow 1200 corks to be cut every minute.

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    From left to right: IG, asynchronous and synchronous drive technology
    From left to right: IG, asynchronous and synchronous drive technology

    In drive engineering, when we’re talking about rapid cycle times and powerful, precise movements made possible by high acceleration, we’re talking about dynamics.

    And if we compare our drives to the vehicles above, it’s clear that servo drive technology is the sports car among motors.

  • 09

    Regenerative energy



    We have now arrived at "R" – the ninth letter of SEW-EURODRIVE. How could we not choose "Regenerative power supply" to represent the letter "R"?

    Regenerative energy and the law of conservation of energy

    Wait a minute! What was it we learned in physics class? Something about the law of conservation of energy? This states that energy cannot be created, consumed or destroyed. However, this only applies to a closed system. Within this system, it is possible to transform energy from one form to another, for example from electrical energy into kinetic energy, from kinetic energy into heat energy, etc. It is not possible, however, for a closed system to generate or destroy energy itself.

    How, then, can there be such a thing as regenerative or renewable energy sources? The reason is that here on Earth we don't live in a closed system. This is why regenerative energy has found its way into common parlance. The term relates to all energy sources that, unlike fossil and nuclear fuels, are in virtually endless supply.

    Is perpetual motion still a myth?

    Perpetual motion
    Even when using regenerative energy, perpetual motion is still a dream

    The laws of physics are immutable. All the same, people have been striving to achieve perpetual motion since ancient times. Modern-day scientists are still trying, despite genius and polymath Leonardo da Vinci establishing around 1500 that perpetual motion is impossible. He didn't even know about the law of conservation of energy, which was not formulated until the 19th century.

    Nonetheless, researchers around the world are fascinated by the idea of developing a system that at least comes close to achieving perpetual motion – in other words a system that loses as little energy as possible. Their research is being driven by the extremely high levels of energy consumption worldwide. One of the primary consumers is industry, and within industry electrical drive engineering makes up a huge part of the energy balance.

    Where does all the power go?

    Regenerative energy in drive engineering

    Even if true perpetual motion is never going to be attainable, one of the greatest challenges of the future will lie in creating systems and machines that are broadly independent in energy terms. This is a goal to which SEW-EURODRIVE has fully committed itself as a manufacturer and user of drive and automation technology.

    You only have to look at modern industry to see how many plants are still using out-moded motors and gearmotors that are not very energy-efficient. At the same time, far too much energy is still being lost in many systems, especially the energy released during lowering and braking movements. Typical examples of this are presses, hoists, gantry cranes, and storage/retrieval systems. The recovery of regenerative energy is now state-of-the-art technology.

    Motor plugged directly into the grid

    In generator mode, energy flows back into the grid
    In generator mode, energy flows back into the grid

    Many electrically driven machines or systems in industry operate continuously at a constant speed. The motors draw their energy directly form the external three-phase grid without any speed control. When switched on, they operate at an almost fixed speed – depending on the mains frequency provided (50 Hz in Germany) – and thus convert constant electrical energy into constant mechanical motion.

    Regenerative energy is always created when the motor is driven the other way round, via the mechanical shaft. This is particularly the case when the motor is braked. As a result, the electric motor no longer draws power from the grid, but instead becomes a power generator itself.

    In this case, the excess energy simply flows back into the external supply system. This is good for the environment, but ineffective for the operator of the machine or system, unless appropriate measures have been taken. If this energy is not used in another part of the factory, and if the meter can only count in one direction, the recovered energy is lost to the energy customer. However, these kinds of applications only yield small amounts of regenerative energy.

    Motor with frequency inverter

    In more complex applications with dynamic motion profiles, and in processes that involve precise positioning, constant speed is not so helpful. Frequency inverters for speed control are essential in these cases. The same applies to machinery such as fans that do not always have to operate at full speed, but depending on the application can sometimes operate at lower speeds. Regenerative energy is also created in this case as soon as the motor goes into generator mode, in the case of a brake ramp, for example. Since in some applications this can frequently be the case, system operators can save a lot of energy and costs.

    When connected to a frequency inverter, however, the motor is plugged into an inverter DC link instead of the grid. The regenerative energy can then no longer simply flow back into the grid but flows into the frequency inverter's DC link. Without countermeasures, however, the excess energy can cause power surges that in the worst case can damage components. The excess energy must therefore always be dissipated.

    There are various options when it comes to handling the regenerative energy generated by a motor that uses a frequency inverter:

    • Transformation into heat using a braking resistor
    • Recovery back into the grid or system
    • Decentralized power supply

    Transformation into heat using a braking resistor

    A braking resistor transforms regenerative energy into waste heat
    A braking resistor transforms regenerative energy into waste heat

    1. Gearmotor
    2. Frequency inverter
    3. DC link
    4. Braking Resistor

    The conventional method of dissipating excess energy from FI DC links is by using a braking resistor. This is connected to the inverter DC link and transforms the regenerative electrical energy into heat. This is known as waste heat because the excess energy is released unused into the surrounding air. This process only makes sense in applications where the potential to generate energy is low.

    If, on the other hand, the energy yield is higher, braking resistors can significantly impact the overall efficiency of a system. In addition, the dissipated heat can cause technical problems, depending on the application. Overheating can e.g. place strain on control cabinet ventilation or require the implementation of cost-intensive fire and explosion protection countermeasures.

    Recovery back into the grid or system

    MOVIDRIVE® MDR – installation as central energy supply and recovery
    MOVIDRIVE® MDR – installation as central energy supply and recovery

    1. Gearmotors
    2. Frequency inverters
    3. DC link
    4. Regenerative power supply
    5. Line filter option
    6. Line choke option

    When large amounts of regenerative energy are created, recovering the energy back into the grid has proven an effective solution. This makes it possible to significantly reduce the system's overall energy consumption, and the area around the installation is not unnecessarily heated by braking resistors.

    MOVIDRIVE® MDR – recovering released energy
    MOVIDRIVE® MDR – recovering released energy

    SEW-EURODRIVE customers use MOVIDRIVE® MDR or MOVIAXIS® MXR regenerative power supply units that serve equally as a central supply unit and regenerative power supply. Depending on the load situation, the energy flow through the device is either like that of a motor or a generator. If regenerative energy is created, this can only be recovered from the application and fed back into the grid when the load flow is like that of a generator. If this converted energy is to be reused to power the system, this is done via the input stage of the frequency inverter, which has been designed for the motor load.

    The advantage of this is that a single regenerative power supply can be used in conjunction with several SEW-EURODRIVE frequency inverters. This extends the benefits of a single unit to multiple drives or drive axes.

    The energy savings potential involved is considerable. In the case of hoists, for example, as much as 40 percent of the energy supplied by the motor can potentially be recovered.

    Decentralized power supply

    Decentralized power supply using the example of a storage/retrieval system
    Decentralized power supply using the example of a storage/retrieval system

    1. Storage bundle
    2. Power interface
    3. Inverter: MOVIAXIS® multi-axis servo inverter
    4. Control: MOVI-PLC® with energy management modules
    5. Gearmotors

    A decentralized power supply using highly efficient storage solutions is another way to dramatically reduce energy consumption. Wouldn't it be nice to only draw as much power from the grid as is actually needed to keep a system running, especially if a large proportion of the energy required can be covered by regenerative energy.

    Drive Power Solution: Intelligent drive solution

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    Intelligent power and energy management system

    SEW-EURODRIVE's MOVI-DPS® decentralized power supply will enable you to move into energy-optimized, performance-optimized "green logistics". From energy interfaces, power interfaces and storage bundles to energy management, system operators receive a package including a range of components that make it possible to design an intelligent power and energy management system for their mobile and stationary applications.

    The key is that our solution can calculate the energy volumes and power requirements of the application in advance, as a function of the travel cycle. Particularly in applications with cyclical load cycles, this means energy-intensive peak currents can be avoided and energy demand minimized.

    But that's not all – by smoothing the power curve and reducing the input power, the system operator no longer has to design the infrastructure for peak currents, which represents another cost saving. For example, our pioneering drive solution can be used to cut the connected load of a storage/retrieval system by up to 80 percent and reduce consumption by as much as 40 percent compared to using braking resistors.

    Perpetual motion still be just a dream, but innovative, intelligent power supply is already possible.

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    Service. For most people, this isn't an issue and initially seems far in the future when buying a brand new product. In fact, the word "service" is often associated with faulty machines and idle production lines. At that point it's usually too late, and the service technicians have to try to minimize the damage that has occurred. But why should you wait till machines are idle? Think about your car at home that you regularly take to the garage to change the oil and check it's in good working order. Inadequate service in this situation can have devastating consequences for the driver on the road, and it's exactly the same in a factory. If you wait till key components fail in production facilities, large financial losses may result from idling times.

    Personalized services

    Specialists at SEW-EURODRIVE have taken up this issue to offer customers service that is as efficient and easy to use as possible. And they're going one step further. Service shouldn't just be a service for the customer but a personalized offering – in other words, a service portfolio adapted to the individual customer. But what exactly is meant by personalized service, and what added value does it deliver for the customer?

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    Everybody is taking about the major issue of "Industry 4.0." In the future, production will be fully networked to generate machine-related data. Using this data, companies can then control service needs precisely and minimize idling times.

    The solution to all these new requirements is SEW-EURODRIVE's Life Cycle Services, which doesn't just come into play when the product has already failed but ensures long-term reliability right from the outset. As the word suggests, service covers a product's entire life cycle. This begins before you buy a product from our portfolio. We refer to this as the orientation phase and give you an overview of all the service options. We design a package that is specially tailored to your situation and requirements to optimize decision-making for your new product. The orientation phase is followed by five additional phases that cover the entire product life cycle and are tailored precisely to an individual customer's needs.

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     A man standting in a virtual rooom and a geared motor is shown. The text virtual reality is shown


    Using the virtual world to plan factories

    V is the eleventh letter in our name. For us, it has a great many associations – variable, versatile, vigorous... the list is almost endless. But today we’d like to focus on a new V –"v"irtual.

    Many of us will have tried out VR glasses. The younger generation in particular uses this technology, as the latest Gamescom trade fair showed. Yet the applications available are not restricted to the gaming world.

    VR technology can be used to plan and optimize systems, processes and entire factories from the outset.
    VR technology can be used to plan and optimize systems or entire factorieso

    For example, surgeons have the opportunity to practice highly complex procedures beforehand. Pilots can get to know aircraft and learn how to take off and land at airports they could not otherwise fly into or could only get practice with on a very costly simulator. In design and construction offices in urban development, plans are created that you can go through in advance and, for example, define paths and routes for sights or events that enable optimum control of visitor flows. But virtual reality is also finding its way into industrial applications.

    Knowing the result from the outset

    VR technology can be used to plan and optimize systems, processes and entire factories from the outset. VR enables our planners and users to work with our customers to improve process sequences and view them from every conceivable angle, thus ensuring we create the very best value creation streams. Errors are made visible right at the start, before even one screw is in place or one motor is started up.

    The digital twin supports the workflows in the production and assembly process. In our case, we’ve created digital twins in VR for our showcase factory of the gear units to be assembled. In addition to optimizing the process, this also makes it possible to check directly in VR whether and how a product can be assembled.

    Virtual reality (VR) refers to the presentation and perception of reality and its physical characteristics in a real-time, computer-generated, interactive virtual environment. (Wikipedia)

    Knowing the result from the outset

    Simulation for test and approval. Befor builiding up the real final solution, all processes can be optimized til they are perfect by Lean.
    Industry 4.0 - Processsimualtion with SEW-EURODRIVE

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    Simulation for test and approval. Befor builiding up the real final solution, all processes can be optimized til they are perfect by Lean.

    Knowing the result from the outset

    The digital twin supports the workflows in the production and assembly process. In our case, we’ve created digital twins in VR for our showcase factory of the gear units to be assembled. In addition to optimizing the process, this also makes it possible to check directly in VR whether and how a product can be assembled.

    But workflows can also be planned in detail in the assembly areas themselves. Solutions are thus created without complex charts and calculations and, after customer approval, can be transferred to the real world at the click of a button. We have also designed our control technology so that two operating systems run alongside each other – one for the virtual world, the other for the real world. If all the processes and workflows have been optimized in the virtual world, we "simply" move the data as parameters to the second operating system, and the equipment configures itself.

    Supporting employees

    Simulation for test and approval. Befor builiding up the real final solution, all processes can be optimized til they are perfect by Lean.
    Industry 4.0 - Processsimualtion with SEW-EURODRIVE

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    Simulation for test and approval. Befor builiding up the real final solution, all processes can be optimized til they are perfect by Lean.

    Augmented reality supports employees in actual production

    The virtual world also supports employees in actual production. Augmented reality, in the form of HoloLens glasses, enables employees to see the composition of products directly without having to look through the instructions. We use HoloLens to show employees the correct assembly steps in specific operations or to offer them the relevant hands-on training, for example for a new product or where a colleague is being helped out on a temporary basis. This enables us to provide our employees with support, especially when we are producing a single unit and given the extreme variation of our products, while at the same time helping to reduce the error rate to zero.

    Augmented reality (AR) is the computer-aided enhancement of the perception of reality. This information can stimulate all the human senses. However, augmented reality is often only understood as the visual representation of information – in other words, supplementing images or videos by displaying or overlaying them with additional computer-generated information or virtual objects. (Wikipedia)

    Where this journey can take us

    The new tools can tear down development border
    The new tools can tear down development border

    Looking toward the future, the possibilities of virtual technology extend even further. Will we still need to be physically close to each other to work on developments or system planning? In the context of globalization in particular, with teams of developers spread around the world, we can use virtual worlds to work together on projects, coordinate our activities and share information and ideas without having to spend hours traveling – just as players of online games spread around the world can also access their games. This will enable us to bring together the world’s best experts virtually and develop optimum products and solutions while also protecting the environment.

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    Compact design, high power density

    The 12th and final letter in our company name is E, as in “Especially powerful”. Our P series industrial gear units are a perfect example of this. Their compact design makes them something of a “space miracle”. As planetary gearmotors, they pack a powerful punch and are ideal for applications requiring low drive speed.

    A bridge crane with two overhead hoist units
    A bridge crane with two overhead hoist units

    Think about special crane systems, for instance. They play a key role in production processes in mechanical and plant engineering, logistics, aerospace engineering and renewable energies. Customers’ requirements are therefore discerning. We can supply solutions for almost every conceivable drive task thanks to our proven modular system. Our planetary gear units are very popular choices for crane hoists, for example. How do you benefit from them? Thanks to their high torque density, they are only about half the volume and weight of ordinary gear unit types. This of course cuts energy consumption and therefore operating costs.

    Our P series gear units can be selected for a defined service life. This enables them to accommodate up to 25 % higher nominal torque than the standard selection – so you can choose an even more compact design to reduce your procurement costs.