classic | mobile



Cutting costs in the materials handling supply chain
2nd Quarter 2018, Electrical switching & drive systems & components

The latest trend in materials handling has seen sectors such as warehousing, packing and pick-and-place use cheaper components for light-load conveyor applications in order to reduce total supply chain costs. In response to this latest customer requirement, SEW-Eurodrive has launched its new ECDriveS 24 V drive system. This is an acronym for Electronically Commutated Drive System, a brushless DC gearmotor. It also stands for ‘easy drive’, a simple and cost-efficient drive solution for roller-conveyor applications.

The latest drive solution was launched in Germany in 2017 following an extensive R&D programme and customer consultation, and is now being introduced to the South African market. “We have commenced with training to ensure our staff are familiar with the new product, and are currently assembling six units to go to all our branches countrywide for customer demonstrations,” says national sales manager, Norman Maleka.

A standout feature of the new drive system is that it is easily integrated into existing solutions, as it features both Ethernet and Profinet communications for seamless interfacing. The ease of integration is a major selling point for this product, as there is no need to change networks. Other advantages are precise positioning and ramp-up and ramp-down, and the ability to vary the conveyor speed accordingly.

Sensor input and output is provided for easy monitoring, with an alarm triggered in the event of any problem. The drive system has an IP 54 protection rating, in addition to an IP 66 version for more demanding applications such as industrial and food and beverage applications. The temperature range is –10 to 40°C, while the roller speed is up to 5 m/s. Gearbox speeds range from 8,5 to 645 rpm for added flexibility.

The Easy Drive is easy to work with, set up, install and maintain. This means it is particularly suited to African operating conditions, where onsite technical skills are often limited. Setup is either by dual in-line package (DIP) switches, or the drive system can be programmed using SEW-Eurodrive proprietary software. Despite the simplicity of the drive system, it even boasts a built-in encoder for precise positioning. “The encoder allows for accurate positioning of items whenever the conveyor is stopped, which is of particular benefit to customers with sorting applications.”

While SEW-Eurodrive has a wide range of products, particularly gearmotors, the prevailing trend in materials handling is for smaller, quick to assemble, easy to handle and cost-effective solutions. “If a customer only needs to move empty cardboard boxes or containers, for example, a high-end gearbox is not cost-effective, in addition to the space constraints in terms of installation and commissioning,” Maleka points out. These customers typically have low power requirements of only 30 to 40 W, which means that a 1,5 kW motor and gearbox is not an ideal solution.

ECDriveS is a highly-compact solution, with roller size ranging from 300 to 1200 mm, meaning it is especially tailored for smaller conveyor applications. These are used mainly in pack houses in agricultural and farmers’ co-operative applications, where the bulk of the items are packed manually, and then placed on a conveyor to be loaded onto a truck. No parameterisation is required, which means no complex elements such as a PLC. It is truly a plug-and-play system that saves customers time and money.

While SEW-Eurodrive has already been involved in this smaller end of the market, the launch of ECDriveS will position the company as a preferred solutions provider. “We have tended to focus on larger applications. However, the introduction of ECDriveS means we can now compete effectively, especially against inferior quality and cheaper imports,” Maleka notes.

What gives SEW-Eurodrive the leading edge in the marketplace is its service support. “We hold over R130 million worth of stock at any given time to ensure we can provide comprehensive solutions to our customers. Our well-established footprint throughout Africa extends our aftermarket capability even further.”

Maleka concludes that the introduction of the high-volume ECDriveS is integral to SEW-Eurodrive’s strategy of offering a total solution. “We strive continuously to introduce products that add to our overall portfolio, and which complement our existing range. This is linked to our approach of targeting system integrators. At the end of the day, we want to make our customers aware that we can offer them complete end-to-end solutions, and not just components.”

For more information contact Jana Klut, SEW-Eurodrive, +27 (0)11 248 7000,

Supplied By: SEW-Eurodrive
Tel: +27 11 248 7000
Fax: +27 11 248 7289
Share via email     Print this page  

Further reading:

  • A complete change of technology
    3rd Quarter 2018, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Ind. & Drives, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    New press drive concept based on a low-wear planetary gear motor.
  • New value-added services from SEW-Eurodrive
    3rd Quarter 2018, SEW-Eurodrive, News & events
    SEW-Eurodrive has expanded its field service department and is growing its service offering with the addition of value-added services, such as vibration and oil analysis. “Normally we carry out a visual ...
  • Motion analyser software shortens motion control system design time
    3rd Quarter 2018, Rockwell Automation, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Rockwell Automation has released an updated version of the Allen-Bradley Motion Analyser software tool. This enhanced software offers an optimised user experience with intuitive navigation and in-workflow ...
  • IE3-compliant motor series
    3rd Quarter 2018, SEW-Eurodrive, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    SEW-Eurodrive’s IE3-compliant DRN series of asynchronous motors has set a new benchmark for energy efficiency in the local electric motor industry.
  • Technology that gets under your skin
    3rd Quarter 2018, Horne Technologies, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Football players Lukas Podolski and Jerome Boateng have them. Olympic swimmer Franziska van Almsick has them. Pop stars such as Robbie Williams and Madonna also decorate their bodies. What does this have ...
  • SEW-Eurodrive’s electronics and technology assembly hub
    3rd Quarter 2018, SEW-Eurodrive, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    SEW-Eurodrive South Africa is the only company to assemble complete drive units and electronic products locally. This not only gives customers a significant advantage in terms of lead times, but ensures ...
  • Cost-effective machine safety
    3rd Quarter 2018, Beckhoff Automation, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    IMA Klessmann of Lübbecke, Germany is an international manufacturer of trend-setting manufacturing machines for the woodworking and craft furniture industries. In 2017 the company modernised a complex, ...
  • Control Techniques enlists world’s strongest man
    3rd Quarter 2018, Nidec Industrial Automation Southern Africa, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Variable speed drive specialist, Control Techniques has linked up with the world’s strongest man in a bold new partnership. Eddie Hall, officially the strongest man on the planet, has lent his considerable ...
  • Frequency converters for leaner ­automation
    3rd Quarter 2018, Tectra Automation, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Demand-oriented motor control is enabling users to reduce their electricity consumption by up to 80% compared to fixed-displacement drives. Bosch Rexroth has recently added two new models to its range ...
  • Faulhaber supplies drive for the ­International Space Station
    3rd Quarter 2018, Horne Technologies, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    The crew of the Horizons Mission embarking for the International Space Station (ISS), has motors from Faulhaber on board. These serve as the drive for the Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (CIMON) astronaut ...
  • Drive solutions for the sugar industry
    3rd Quarter 2018, SEW-Eurodrive, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    SEW-Eurodrive exhibited at the 91st congress of the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association (SASTA) from 14 to 16 August at the International Convention Centre in Durban. The sugar industry represents ...
  • Just another pinch
    3rd Quarter 2018, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Ind. & Drives, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Optimised production of spices.

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.