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Transformers

  • Hello,


    We run our robots off the transformed voltage from our thermoformers. 120v or 240v I believe (can't remember which off the top of my head). That power is also supplying other things within the machines circuit. From my understanding of good practice my question is that shouldn't we have a 120v/120v (or 240v) transformer between the robot and machine to isolate the robot power and reduce potential noise? Is this worth doing or is it just overkill? I've brought this up before to management because we also supply our machines with straight 480v from the building transformer. My understanding is we should also have a 480/480 transformer at every machine. I'm no electrical expert, but I do have some intermediate understanding.


    Thanks,

    D

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  • It depends on your plant supply power. Now, I'm not a licensed electrician, but generally in major industrial customers, I haven't seen isolation transformers used much. In most well-maintained facilities, it generally seems unnecessary. Most often, a production line has one (or more) drops from the plant mains (usually 480VAC 3phase, but this can vary), into PDPs (Power Distrubution Panels) for that line, or a section of that line. Most of the DC power tends to come from direct 480VAC 3phase converters. I mostly only see transformers where an AC-to-AC voltage conversion is necessary -- like getting a 240V or 120V supply locally (or for spot-welding transformers, but that's to turn a high-voltage, high-current supply into a low-voltage, really high-current supply, a bit of a special case).


    Most industrial robots come with their own transformers, set for the locale they're going to be operating in, but again, that's a AC-to-AC thing, not an isolation thing. Most KUKA robots, for example, run on 440V 3phase internally, but if you buy them for use in an American plant with the (pretty standard) 480VAC 3phase mains, it needs a transformer to step down the 480 to 440. In some Canadian locations with 575V mains, it needs a different transformer (well, usually it's the same transformer, but with the taps wired differently). In some places with ~380 mains, you need the robot's transformer to step up the voltage.


    But it's entirely possible to buy the robots without any transformer, and use your own in the PDP, or (if your plant mains are 440V) run them directly off the mains.

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