Extrusion International 2-2021

36 Extrusion International 2/2021 DRIVE TECHNOLOGY Electric drive technology is one of the most widespread industrial technologies. Globally, electric drives convert more than 6000 TWh of electrical energy into mechanical output, an amount equivalent to approximately 27% of global power production [Source: Siemens]. This is true in Germany as well, where industrial users account for 46% of total power consumption or approximately 250 TWh (900 petajoules). Seventy percent of this falls on electric motors and electromotive systems (175 TWh or 630 petajoules) [Source: ABB] Saving Energy with Networked Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) In 2015, European standard EN 50598 went into effect. It defines Ecodesign requirements for electric drive systems in low-voltage electrically driven ma- chines. Accordingly, all products that utilize an appreciable amount of elec- trical energy must be evaluated for their efficiency or losses, respectively. But will this relatively young Europe- an standard be the final word? What role will conventional drive technology play in the future in the context of trends like IoT and Big Data, Industry 4.0, Industrie du Futur, Piano Nationale Impresa 4.0, Indus- trial Value Chain Initiative, Industrial Internet Consortium, and Made in China 2025? Many current innovations depend on sophisticated sensors, generation and storage of data, edge and cloud technologies, and data transmission (including 5G). Statistical and mathe- matical algorithms, automation, and the emerging trend of artificial intel- ligence (AI) play supporting roles. In other words, a large portion of the functionality and associated custom- er benefits are realized through soft- ware and communication. This article from Kabel.Consult.Ing discusses how intelligent digital and energetic networking of a modular split-power CVT drive system on the “mechanical train side” can provide new function- ality and increased value for machine manufacturers and operators. Introduction to CVT technology The use of mathematical and scientif- ically-based methods in the process of designing complex machines was first championed by Robert Willis (1800–1875) of Cambridge University and is one of the most important ac- complishments of the late industrial era. During his time, he was a new breedof “engineer scientist”because he broke from the workshop tradi- tion that had dominated mechanical engineering and embraced mathe- matics, engineering education, codi- fication of mechanical practices, and scientific principals. With this new approach to mechanical design, Rob- ert Willis greatly influenced genera- tions of engineers. One of those en- gineers was Geoffrey Joseph Abbott, who in 1935 applied for a patent on a “mechanical continuously variable transmission”. So far, more than ten million CVTs have been sold around the world for use in industrial and es- pecially automotive applications. Electronic CVT drive system vs. single drive system (Source: Unternehmerschaft Düsseldorf und Umgebung e.V.)