In 2017 KEB America was able to share more information than ever before with our fans and followers. We’ve been working hard to research new trends, create informative and fun videos, and put together interesting graphics and images to illustrate the control and automation world of today.
We wrote about new technologies and the old, tried-and-true tech we love. We made videos with some KEB customers to highlight our products in the field, and animations to show how it all works. We wrote about application-specific scenarios to give specific use-cases for KEB products. We’re so pleased to see the interaction on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and even in person at trade shows like Pack Expo. There’s a lot more to come in 2018, so please stay tuned!
In case you missed it, here’s a list of the top 7 posts of 2017.
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.
The robotics industry is diverse and becoming more prevalent every day from the manufacturing floor to the operating room. With it comes unique and challenging engineering problems pertaining to holding the arms and joints accurately in place. Robotic brakes for precise control is one way KEB can step in and lend a helping hand.
With a number of new KEB Functional Safety over EtherCAT (FSoE) products on the horizon, this post is a primer on FSoE and why it is important to machine builders.
This post outlines the use of VFDs in single phase applications – why a person would want to add a VFD, sizing considerations, a rough cost comparison, and the advantages a VFD offers.
Protecting electrical components from short circuit current is essential when designing an electrical panel. But what exactly is the short circuit current rating (SCCR) of electrical components? More specifically, how is the SCCR calculated? This post will go through a detailed procedure for determining the SCCR of a system, focusing on the differences between direct and isolation transformer fed systems.
This post describes how to implement uninterruptible power supply and regenerative energy in elevator applications using KEB’s R6 line regen drive.
What is PWM? The process involved in inverting the DC voltage to the variable voltage variable frequency (VVVF) AC voltage in the inverter section of the VFD is called pulse width modulation or PWM.
Follow KEB America on social media to be among the first to know when we have new videos, posts, and products. You can always contact us via the web site (or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have a specific question you want to ask.
For over 40 years KEB has been a leader in control and automation products. In mid-2015 we started the KEB blog as a way to share our expertise with the engineering community. Our goal is to reach out to anyone who might have an interest in what we do here at our facility in Minnesota, or at any of the other KEB locations around the world. We want to tell you more about our products, how to use them, and how you can get the most out of your machines.
To mark the beginning of a new year of blogging, I’ve compiled a short list of our most popular posts from last year. Thank you to all of our readers, and stay tuned – we have some great topics in store for 2017!
This post discusses VFD regenerative applications – applications that regenerate energy and the common drive options and topologies that are available.
A motor is simply an energy conversion device. Most commonly, we think of inputting electrical energy to a motor and it converts it to a mechanical torque which does some work on a load. This is called “motoring mode”. But depending on the nature of the connected load, a motor can also operate in the reverse. It can convert a torque into electrical energy, this is called “generating mode” or regeneration.
This post describes how using a VFD to control an escalator motor can reduce energy consumption compared to conventional line start control. It is the second of three posts on escalator drives – the first post described how using a drive to control an escalator can provide operation and performance advantages.
The benefits from operating an escalator motor with a VFD generally come in two forms: 1) operational or performance advantages and 2) energy savings. KEB has created these posts to help customers, consultants, and users understand the benefits of applying KEB’s energy saving accessories to their escalator VFD.
In the elevator industry the implementation of variable frequency drives for the control of AC motors didn’t really begin until the late 1980’s, but over the course of the next 20 or so years AC motors as well as VVVF drives began to rapidly replace their DC counterparts. Generally, these drives have a usable life of about 10 to 15 years before they require replacement. Unfortunately, direct replacement of the original drive is sometimes not possible because companies that previously manufactured the drives have either gone out of business or ceased production of that particular unit. Older elevator drive manufacturers Baldor, SWEO, and Unico come to mind.
This can be a serious problem because changing drives often introduces a hefty cost to engineer the controller to accommodate a different layout of inputs. Luckily, with the new v3.21 US Lift software for the KEB F5 it is possible to completely customize the input layout of the drive to allow it to match the operation of many older generation drives such as the Baldor/SWEO 18H or Yaskawa F7.
High speed motors may run with very small rotor clearances on the bearings. Rotor heating becomes a concern as any elongation or expansion of the rotor due to excess heat can cause the rotor to impact the bearing. In applications requiring very low harmonics on the output waveform, KEB produces a line of high speed sine filters to filter the output voltage and current waveform to a near sine wave to keep the rotor heating to a minimum. KEB SCL software is designed to run with an output sine filter. The software also incorporates an electronic filter to avoid resonance issues between the drive/sine filter/motor combinations.
KEB’s C6 industrial VPN Router allows a user to make a secure VPN connection to a machine or PLC. There is a lot of discussion right now around the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or Industry 4.0. In short, IIoT is the ability to connect a machine or machines to the internet. So certainly, the Router deserves a place in the IIoT discussion.
The advantages of remote connecting to a machine are pretty clear and could help the following: start-ups, troubleshooting, diagnostic gathering, preventative maintenance, and so on. But equally important is a discussion on the dangers and pitfalls involving implementation and security. I will save those discussions for another post or for the trade magazines. Instead, this post introduces the C6 Router product and its advantages.
Are you feeling extra chatty today? That could be because it’s National Talk in an Elevator day. Every day, elevators travel about 4.5 million miles in the US alone. Most people will walk into the car, press their floor, then turn and face the doors in silence until it’s time to disembark. Longer rides with an expected moratorium on noise and eye contact can be a bit awkward. Perhaps it’s time for us to look for ways to escape the general weirdness of elevator behavior and start using these brief snatches of time to become better communicators!
The origins of this day might be a bit murky, but various places in my Internet sleuthing tell me that the last Friday in July is to be a day of working on your conversation skills in the short period of time you spend going up or down in an elevator car. So, if you can find the courage to break out of the social norm of silently facing forward, staring at the doors, here are some ways you can Talk in an Elevator today.
Build and test your repertoire of ice-breakers
What sort of things do you typically say to break the silence? Here in Minnesota complaints about the weather are always a good place to start. You can ask someone about their weekend plans, or if they watched the latest baseball game or episode of The Bachelorette. These kinds of rote ice-breakers are fine, but for Talk in an Elevator day, let’s break the mold a bit. Try out some new material and see how it performs. The key is to ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer.
- What was the highlight of your day so far?
- What’s the best thing/your favorite thing to do when the weather is this hot/cold/humid/rainy?
- Are you working on anything interesting today?
- How weird would it be if we turned around and stared at the back instead of the doors. Are there any other social rules that completely baffle you?
Become a master of small talk
Once the ice has been broken it’s time to begin honing your abilities to hold a brief and non-boring conversation. Small talk is usually considered to be dull, unimportant, and even a bit cringe-worthy, so people tend to avoid it. However, a quick conversation, even if it’s only mildly mentally stimulating, can strengthen many types of relationships and lead to a better social network. Be an active listener, particularly when chatting with people you hope to spend more time with in the future. It will help you remember important details like names, hobbies, and interests – all things that would be useful in later conversations.
Respond to questions with answers that contain several pieces of information. If asked what you did over the past weekend, you could respond by saying you went to the beach. Or, you could say you went to the beach with your sister and her children. The second response opens up more routes for the conversation to follow and makes it easier for the other person to ask additional questions or tell you stories about their own nieces and nephews.
Connect, network, and grow your social circle
If you want to become popular or well-known within a group of people then small talk is a good skill to hone. It can be hard to introduce yourself and suggest a building-wide barbecue or high-stakes work project in the same conversation. Use your elevator time as an opportunity to make introductions and learn about people in your neighborhood, or higher-ups in your company.
- Be positive, be genuine
- Avoid gossip
- Ask for opinions on a current project or initiative
- Plan to plan – let them know you’d like to stop by some time to discuss your project or hear more about theirs
Improve your elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is a quick, succinct pitch or proposal, so named because it can be effectively deliverer in the time it takes to ride in an elevator. If you have something that’s been kicking around in your mind for a while, today would be a great day to try to pitch it to a coworker or friend.
- Be relaxed and natural, phrase it as a conversation
- Save the details for a later meeting, keep it broad and intriguing
- Keep it short, just a sentance or two should be all you need
- End with a call-to-action – let them know what you need them to do
Once you’ve completed your speech, stop talking! Don’t give away too many details in the short pitch. Think of it more as a statement of your end goal rather than a full on proposal.
These are just a few ideas. There are plenty more ways you can strike up a conversation today. So put away the smartphone and say hello. You might make some great new connections today.
Anyone who works with elevators as much as we do here at KEB will tell you you’re safe as can be while riding in one. Unless, of course, supernatural forces are involved. This Halloween here are some movies that feature a haunted elevator experience.
We’ll start with a classic. I suppose in The Shining the elevator itself isn’t necessarily ominous, but it’s passenger sure is. The tidal wave of blood that terrorizes Danny Torrance is an iconic scene in the horror movie genre. They even ran into a bit of trouble with the MPAA over this scene – at the time blood wasn’t allowed to be shown in movie trailers so the filmmakers told them it was “rusty water.”
Dark Water (2005) and the 2002 Japanese film it was based off of with the same name take place in a very spooky building with an equally spooky elevator. Dripping water, flickering lights, glitchy security cameras, and a mind of its own – this car might take you to the wrong floor, but why does it want you to go there so badly?
The 2012 film Cabin in the Woods takes everything you know about scary movies and deconstructs it, subverts it, inverts it, and ultimately embraces it. Once the true evil is revealed, we find the only thing that separates us from our nightmares is an elevator door.
Based on the successful series of video games, the first Resident Evil film sets up what we need to know of the Umbrella Corporation and what happened when they lost control of their bioweapon. Long story short, the building itself does what it can to eliminate the threat, including some very mean sentient elevators.
Gin Gwai is a Hong Kong film that came out in 2002 and features a tense and chilling moment in a very haunted elevator. One of my favorite scary scenes of all time!
When the express elevators of a large building start behaving erratically more than a few people end up dead. But why do the building’s owners want to prevent anyone from finding out the truth? This modern retelling of Dutch horror film The Lift gets a tongue-in-cheek jab at the inanimate-object-as-antagonist genre of horror.
Scary as these works of fiction may be, you definitely don’t have to worry! Our products are 100% not haunted. Once November 1st rolls around you can ride in comfort and security once again. Happy Halloween from KEB America!