Next generation AC drives take aim at inefficiency


Machine builders and end users alike want AC Drives that are easy to configure, deliver flexible control, and offer efficient communication.

The equation is clear. Flexibility, ease of installation, reliable operation and simple configuration help cut costs and increase productivity.

As such, Rockwell Automation has positioned its Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 525 AC drives as ‘next generation’ items. Designed for quick installation, they offer fast configuration and flexible operation.

The drives are suitable for a wide range of applications, including conveyors, material handling, compressors, fans and pumps. And, from a machine builders’ perspective, they are intended to simplify design and operation.

As Helder Paulini, Commercial Marketing Engineer, Rockwell Automation South Pacific puts it, “Our new drive portfolio is designed to give customers the performance they need, while helping to lower their total cost to design, develop and deliver machines.”

Easy set up

The PowerFlex 525 AC drives offer a number of configuration options.

Users can configure the drives through a human interface module (HIM), Rockwell Automation Connected Components Workbench software or Rockwell Software Studio 5000 Logix Designer.

And the units come with groups of pre-defined parameters for common drive applications. These application sets can be applied as configured by the manufacturer or they can be customised.

In addition, using a standard USB connection, machine builders can download the completed configurations and share with multiple drives. This is intended to speed up commissioning time.

Removing the control module from the power module further reduces startup time because configuration and installation can be done simultaneously.

MainsFree programming through a USB connection removes the need for main power during drive configuration, as well as the need for special adapters to communicate between the drive and the programming tools.


The AC drives may be used with a range of network protocols, so the problem of integration within existing architecture is minimised.

Add-on profiles are intended to eliminate address mismatch errors, plus an ‘automatic device configuration’ function detects replaced drives and downloads settings.

Embedded EtherNet/IP connectivity optimizes integration with programmable controllers to deliver more application flexibility. Optional dual-port EtherNet/IP connectivity supports device level ring (DLR) topology, providing a robust network infrastructure.


There is an embedded safe torque-off feature to help ensure that, if a safety circuit is tripped, the drive will not restart. Apart from OHS obligations, the feature protects machinery in the long run. The feature is rated up to SIL2/PLd Cat 3, meeting ISO 13849-1 standards.

A compact unit in itself, the PowerFlex 525 AC drives need just 50 mm clearance on the top and bottom when installing into a cabinet.

They are rated up to 50º C, but when an optional fan kit is added, can withstand temperatures up to 70º C with current derating.

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