Jake Wattenphul

EtherCAT Relay IO Module from KEB


The EtherCAT Relay IO Module is the newest addition to the KEB Automation catalog of products. The Relay IO module combines a pilot relay with an IO module, providing the functions of two blocks on a DIN rail in the space of one. At only 25mm wide, the Relay IO module is a great space-saver in any installation cabinet.


Full transcript

KEB’s EtherCAT relay module is the most recent addition to our I/O family.


The module is used to interface with both 120 volt and 230 volt AC field wiring. Typically a power contactor is signaled by a pilot or control relay. Traditionally the pilot relay is connected to an I/O module which then receives signals from a push-button, a sensor, or via the PLC. The signal going through the pilot relay will trigger the contactor to turn the load on and off. KEB’s relay module combines the function of an I/O module and DIN-mounted pilot relay.


When multiple loads are required you save significant space on the DIN rail by removing pilot relays and consolidating up to eight loads into a single module. Similar to other KEB I/O blocks the relay module measures only 25mm wide and has pluggable connectors. It is DIN rail-mounted and mechanically locks into other modules for a secure connection.


The I/O signals communicate from the C6 Smart to the relay module through a high-speed EtherCAT backbone. KEB’s EtherCAT relay module features eight Form A normally open contacts. The contacts are rated two amps each for inductive loads and five amps each for resistive loads.


The relay module is UL-listed and available for immediate sale.

To learn more about KEB and our EtherCAT Relay IO Module visit the Contact Us page on the website. Fill out the contact form or simply give us a call and we’d be happy to answer your questions. Thanks.


Non-proprietary Elevator Controllers & Drives – KEB Machine Room Vids #02


The second video in our series of Machine Room visits. In this episode, we discuss non-proprietary elevator controllers and the advantage of using KEB elevator drives.


Advantages include: all needed tools for adjustment, documentation to aid support, designed for long product lifecycle, etc.


Check out the first video in the series on our YouTube channel.


View full transcript

So non-proprietary controllers are controllers that have been designed to be maintained and serviced by any number of parties. They’re not closed or restricted as far as the information and who can service them.


So today we’re at an application, this is an MCE controller, an I Control. MCE is one company that provides non-proprietary controllers. So this is the KEB elevator drive and R6 line regen unit. Everything ships with the drive that’s needed to service it, install it, maintain it. All the adjustments can be done right on the drive itself so there’s no proprietary cables or dongles. The keypad is central so through the keypad all the adjustments that are needed can be made. Additionally, diagnostics can be reached there without any sort of additional tool.


If you want you can connect to our software. The software is free and it’s available for download on our website.


A second distinction to make is in the hardware itself. This is not special hardware, it’s based on standard industrial drive hardware that KEB uses in other applications worldwide. The F5 series is built on standard industrial drive platform for KEB, which means that it’s been designed for a long product lifetime. KEB shoots for twenty years in the product lifetime. The F4 series which we just discontinued was over twenty years. The F5 series is going on fifteen years and still has a long life. So that’s definitely one important consideration – is the product going to be available and maintainable, not just today but in the future?


One other important distinction as far as documentation and support. Some systems can be pretty closed as far as who has access to the information – what different parameters do, different things like that. By philosophy KEB is very open, so every drive would ship with a manual basically that has this information. It’s not closed information that’s just available to KEB employees or anything like that so it helps in cases where the job might change hands or somebody else might be servicing the elevator than originally installed it.


So if you have any questions about KEB’s integration into non-proprietary elevator controllers you can contact us here or give us a call. Thanks.


EtherCAT Stepper | BLDC Module – KEB America


KEB’s EtherCAT Stepper BLDC Module is the newest addition to the KEB IO family. This compact module brings stepper and brushless DC motor control to the DIN rail.


It is rated for 5 Amps nominal and up to 15 Amps peak. It is UL listed to 42 VDC. Inputs are available for limit switches and encoder feedback. Additionally, a brake output is available. Units are programmed according to the CiA DS402 motion profiles


Read the full transcript

KEB’s EtherCAT stepper module is used to operate both brushless DC and stepper motors.


This compact module measures only 25mm wide and easily expands onto other C6 I/O products.  It is capable of 5 amps nominal current and can reach up to 15 amps peak for brushless DC motors.


For motors with a brake, the module can handle the brake control and a half amp output is available for powering the brake.


The stepper module can run motors ranging from 12 to 72 Volts DC and is UL listed up to 42Volts DC.


The unit uses the CiA DS402 motion control profiles so standard homing, velocity and Torque Modes are possible.  Positioning modes are also possible when using the encoder and hall effect sensor inputs.


Additional programmable I/O is available for wiring limit switches and other required sensors.

Conveyor Motor Testing – Using KEB’s SCL control for PM Servo Motors


This video shows our S6 servo drive operating a conveyor motor. We are using our SCL™ (Sensorless Closed Loop) motor control technology.


SCL provides accurate position, speed, and torque control of a permanent magnet servo motor without the use of a traditional feedback device (encoder or resolver). The testing was done at KEB America’s R&D lab outside Minneapolis, MN.


Full transcript

Welcome to the R&D facility here at KEB America. In addition to the in-house testing we can do for product development, we can also offer motor testing for customers. In this case we’ve been working on S6 motor testing with a conveyor motor. Just want to give you a quick introduction of what we’ve been doing.


So you can see over here’s the conveyor motor. You’ll notice here there’s the power cables coming out, but there’s no encoder cables. That’s because with the S6 we’re able to do the Sensorless Closed Loop or what we call SCL. That allows us to do the precise speed and torque control of closed loop without actually needing the encoder feedback.


So you can see the motor cables coming back over here and then the S6 drive. Looks a little empty because it’s a relatively simple test setup. But you can notice how the S6 with its slim profile doesn’t take up much space in the cabinet. Up here you have the power cables coming from the main line into the motor. Right here is your connector to go back to the computer to get set up with the software. And then you have all the input and output terminals. There’s a lot of digital and analog inputs on the S6 drive. This breakout board you can see here allows us to easily trigger those on and off using a test setup we have.


So then as you follow the cables back here you can see our COMBIVIS 6 software. That’s what we use to get the motor and drive started up. With the S6 drive and the other generation 6 products there’s a lot of wizards offered that allows you to quickly and easily get set up.


There’s the scope functionality which allows you to add up to 16 parameters in the drive and track them as you go through the operation. So you can see for instance the output current to the motor or the voltage as you’re starting, stopping, accelerating, etc. So in this application, like I said, we’re using our S6 drive to run a conveyor motor. This is a great fit for the S6 because of its high overloads. It has up to 200% overload so when the conveyor, when you’re starting and stopping so quickly, in this case you’re going up to 3000 rpm in 0.1 seconds, so that high overload is required. And then the S6 also has that SCL that I mentioned earlier. That allows for precise speed and torque and positioning control without requiring the encoder feedback. So that saves you both the cost of the encoder and the cabling. And then also, in harsh environments it allows you to eliminate the encoder if it’s in a cold storage facility, or if you’re worried about electrical noise interfering with the encoder feedback.


So that’s just kind of a general overview of the system we have here. This is a great application fit for the S6 with this conveyor motor. This drive and motor testing is just one of the additional benefits we have to offer here at KEB America.

KEB Gearmotors: German Engineered. American Assembled


KEB America’s integral gearmotor product combines the best of both worlds – A quality German-engineered product that is locally customized and assembled for the North American market.


KEB Gearmotors are available in 4 basic gear configurations:

  • Helical Worm
  • Helical Bevel
  • Helical Inline
  • Helical Offset


View full transcript

Steve: My name is Steve Hibbard, and I’m the Vice President of automation and drives.


Joshua: I’m Joshua Pozner, East Regional Sales Manager here at KEB.


S: The KEB geared motor product is a really important part of our automation suite of products. It’s German-engineered and we assemble the product in North America.


J: We have a wide range of different gearmotor applications that we work on. Very industrial, very rugged. We designed this for the global market so it’s available in different voltage configurations.


S: We have all the North American options for voltage and frequency, but we also have voltage and frequency options that are standard for European and Asian applications so KEB gearmotors can really be designed and specified for use around the world.


J: We work on multiple different industries from medical, to industrial, to material handling, to theatre, to elevator.


S: KEB gearmotors can be used in a variety of applications including outdoor applications. We offer a washdown product option but also we have different levels of exterior coatings and interior coatings on the motor part to make sure that the motor is suitable for use in any environment you might choose. The range of the KEB gearmotor product is from one-sixth horsepower to sixty horsepower. On the top end we go to 150,000 inch-pounds of torque. Our product is quality from the type of design and the quality that the engineers have put into the design itself so the product becomes very manufacturable, and very easy to assemble, very easy to service.


J: The KEB motor is designed to meet the IE3 international efficiency standards. The gearing types available are helical bevel, helical worm, helical offset, and helical inline.


S: On another level of quality we have a very easy-to-use dashboard interface called KEB Drive and that interface allows the user to select multiple configurations of gearmotors and this user tool allows them to generate 3D drawings, it allows them to generate 2D drawings and allows them to get all the structured text they need to complete the gearmotor configuration.


J: One point of emphasis for the KEB gearmotor products is that we have our own electromagnetic brake technology. This allows us to supply quiet brakes for elevator applications, double brakes for theatre applications, and microswitches for safety-related applications such as cranes and hoists.


S: In addition to the KEB gearmotors, KEB provides a full suite of automation products, including remote-connect routers, IPCs, PLCs, HMIs, variable frequency drives, servo amplifiers, so we really can offer a full suite of products – a complete solution from the HMI all the way down to the motor shaft.


J: If you’re interested in learning more about the KEB products, reach out to a sales representative such as myself for more information.

PLC based elevator and escalator controls with KEB Automation



KEB has many years of experience in PLC-based Elevator, Escalator, and Lift controllers.  PLC control is often preferred for transit and public installations because components can be sourced on the open market.  KEB PLCs are designed with serviceability in mind – components and chipsets are available for many years.


KEB PLCs program in IEC 61131-3 programming languages which means ladder logic programs are supported.  Additionally, structured text or function block diagrams are also possible.  Programming languages can even be mixed throughout the control, depending on which language is most advantageous.


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