Latest Curtis AC Control Systems for Pallet Trucks, AGV’s and Robotics
This high performing smart design comes in a tough housing with a very small footprint, making it perfect for the harsh Class III Pallet Truck market.
ACF2-A Flexibility; fully optimised to perform either as a traction controller for 1.0 and 2.0 ton Class III powered pallet trucks, or as a traction or hydraulic pump controller on other types of battery powered vehicle. The ACF2-A’s auto-characterisation allows simple on-truck pairing with any Induction and SPM motor types. Simply choose from a comprehensive library of induction motor types stored in the controller memory.
ACF2-A Safety; Exceeds global conformance requirements for EMC, functional and electrical safety, UL583 recognised and CE marked as a programmable safety device.
ACF2-A Durability; IP65 protection as per IEC60529 with 23-pin AMPseal I/O connector means its impervious to most oils, solvents, degreasers and other chemicals regularly encountered by industrial vehicles.
Highly flexible multi-function I/O and comprehensive CAN master capabilities means this low-cost, super capable controller is capable of acting as “CAN interpreter”, allowing different CAN protocols from a variety of devices to “talk” to each other easily on the same CAN network; this means engineers can work with their components of choice every time, eradicating the need for expensive and time-consuming modifications from a variety of manufacturers.
This same CAN master capability means the controller easily connects with typical battery management systems that come with lithium battery packs that are becoming increasingly popular due to their high energy/slow discharge/low maintenance functions. Used together with Curtis’ very low-cost 3140 CANopen gauge, specifically designed for the Class III market, provides OEMs with a very low-cost, easy-to-read flexible display option with out-of-the-box integration capabilities. This small, function-rich gauge also offers an optional in-built heater, so that it can reliably display operating information for vehicles used in freezers or other cold environments.
A detailed datasheet provides full specifications and wiring diagrams.
The new user-friendly Curtis Software Suite is a required element for customising any vehicle design incorporating the ACF2-A controller and 3140 display and will eventually replace the familiar 1313 and 1314 programming tools. CSS provides new simplified ways to set up and work with the new devices, producing a vehicle that works exactly the way the OEM wants it to. VCL was already a fairly easy programming language to learn and the new CSS software with VCL2 makes integrating CANbus devices even easier giving OEMs the ultimate vehicle control system.
Curtis designs and manufactures advanced integrated control systems for zero-emission electric vehicles. Since our founding in 1960, we’ve been a leader in our field and, with 14 locations and 900 employees worldwide, have built a reputation for high quality, green technology. Manufacturers worldwide choose Curtis products to make their vehicles the best they can be in areas as diverse as material handling (forklifts, pallet trucks), recreational (golf cars and off-road), aerial lifts (booms, scissor lifts), medical mobility (wheel/rehab chairs), airport (aircraft movers and tugs), automotive (Light-On-Road), and many more.
Though we’re global in scale, we pride ourselves in our local approach to customer support. Our value added services include advanced customer support engineering, vehicle drive and control panel assembly, product testing, detailed project/prototype assistance and analysis.
To research and download product datasheet and manuals, visit our comprehensive product pages.
Curtis Introduces New On-Road AC Motor Controller Model 1269E for electric and hybrid vehicles using 72–108V nominal system voltage
The Curtis Model 1269E provides energy efficient control of asynchronous AC induction motors performing on-vehicle traction drive duties. It offers vehicle developers a highly cost-effective combination of power, performance and functionality.
Intended for electric and hybrid vehicles using 72 to 108V nominal system voltage for high power circuits, and a 12V chassis-grounded system for low-power control circuits. Software upgrade allows use with surface permanent magnet synchronous motors.
Brushed DC PM Controller for electric Power Steering and Steer-by-Wire Systems
The new Curtis Model 1220E brushed DC permanent magnet motor controller for electric power steering and steer-by-wire systems fully meets EN1175 1:1998+A1: 2010 standards. This controller is exclusively designed for Curtis Vehicle Control Language (VCL) enabled AC-traction controllers. The steering motor functions as an actuator to change the angle of the wheels thereby changing travel direction. Model 1220E interprets the steering command input and wheel position feedback, to steer the vehicle. Intended applications are class-3 material handling vehicles such as pallet trucks, stackers and similar industrial vehicles.
The controller features absolute and relative position control modes. Model 1220 e has 20 kHz Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) switching frequency to ensure silent operation. Advanced PWM techniques produce low motor harmonics, low torque ripple, and minimized heating losses, resulting in high efficiency. Powerful features include configurable homing methods, center offset, and end-stop protection. Model 1220e, with CANopen system communication, operates with 24V and 36/48V nominal supply voltage and 60A 1-minute current rating. Hour meter and diagnostic log functions are integrated. The Curtis 840 Spyglass can be connected to show traction and steering information such as BDI, hour meter, fault, traction speed, and steered wheel angle. Model 1220 e is designed for maximum safety with dual redundant configuration of all safety relevant parts. Fault output can be used to turn off traction controller’s main contactor and EM Brake. The new controller provides Separate input paths to each micro for all input and feedback signals. Following error check ensures the wheel position tracks the steering command.
Model 1220e meets or complies with relevant US and international regulations:
- EMC: Designed to the requirements of EN12895:2015.
- EN1175- 1:1998+A1:2010.
- UL recognized per UL583.
- Designed to the EN13849 standard achieving a PL=d, Category 3 for all Safety Functions.
- Electronics sealed to IPX4.
Curtis AC Controllers drive Surface and Internal PMAC
Curtis AC Motor Controllers drive surface and internal PMAC and Induction Motors, from just about any manufacturer you choose
For many years Curtis have been known for designing extremely reliable and versatile AC motor controllers.
These controllers are periodically updated to meet and exceed European Safety requirements and the E and SE Series models are now capable of running Synchronous and Asynchronous AC motors. Their advanced vector control technology ensures that efficiency is optimised under all load conditions and temperatures.
Let’s look at the motor types, as this can be confusing.
Induction motors are Asynchronous. This means that the rotating core of the motor, the rotor, runs faster or slower than the rotating AC magnetic field. The rotating magnetic field induces current into the rotor and sets up the opposing magnetic field. The AC induction motor is extremely robust as its solid metal rotor has no electro-mechanical brush gear. Fewer components and ease of manufacturing means lower cost. That and the fact that they’re virtually indestructible, makes the induction motor a popular choice. It’s so reliable that Tesla chose it for the original model S and it’s used on over 90% of industrial trucks. But of course there’s always a trade-off, and with induction that’s a lower efficiency (up to base speed) and an increased size and weight.
Permanent magnet AC motors are Synchronous in that the rotating core of the motor turns at the same speed as the rotating magnetic field. The rotor has magnets either on the surface of the rotor or embedded into the rotor. These are known as Surface PMAC or Internal PMAC and both have different characteristics. PMAC are highly efficient at base speed and are effective electric generators too. Being smaller and lighter than induction makes them good for a variety of applications like AGV design or robotics.
Motors are designed to achieve peak power at a certain speed; the base speed of the motor. At this point the motor is absorbing as much electrical power as possible. To run the motor faster than base speed, a motor field has to be weakened electronically. The base speed is determined as part of the unique auto-characterisation process pioneered by Curtis at the turn of the century.
For an induction motor it’s simple to reduce a motor field and extend the motor speed, this is energy efficient and one reason Tesla used this motor technology. This is very useful for traction applications. With a PMAC motor more energy is used to suppress the field of the permanent magnets. A Surface PMAC motor is less likely to be field weakened as the magnetic path is not as stable as an Internal PMAC motor. An Internal PMAC motor may be field weakened but extreme care has to be taken in order not to de-magnetise the magnets. This precise field weakening is determined by the motor model held within the controller.
PMAC motors offer higher efficiency up to the base speed and also make very efficient generators as no energy is used to produce the rotor field. The motors are also physically smaller than an induction motor, but the permanent magnets cost more. So for certain applications where space saving and/or higher efficiency is needed, typically 5-10%, or for hybrid drive/generator applications PMAC motors are a good choice.
Curtis AC motor controllers use highly efficient vector control to maximise the performance of PMAC and Induction motors, that together with our flexible VCL application layer means you get maximum benefit for your money.
We work closely with a wide range of motor suppliers on many different types of application so you have full flexibility in your choice of motors. Contact our highly skilled applications team to discuss your projects and how Curtis AC motor controller technology will maximise performance.
For more information, contact us.
Curtis Introduces the Ultimate Class III Combi Control System: AC F2-C
The Curtis Model AC F2-C is an Integrated AC Traction & DC Pump System Controller that offers unprecedented performance and value. This AC F2-C motor controller combined with a Half bridge DC hydraulic pump and proportional valve control system uses dual high-performance ARM Cortex microprocessors in a compact, package to deliver unmatched performance and a very flexible feature set.
Model AC F2-C is fully optimized for use as a Combi traction and hydraulic controller on 1.0 ton-2.0 ton class III pedestrian-operated powered pallet and stacker trucks. It provides vehicle designers with the ability to fully define and control the detailed dynamic performance of their vehicle's drivetrain and hydraulic pump system, and also provides comprehensive vehicle management and CAN master capabilities. Model AC F2-C is also suitable for traction and hydraulic pump control on other types of battery powered vehicles such as the small aerial scissor lift platforms.
Together with the new Curtis model 3140 CAN LCD display and the new user-friendly Curtis Integrated Toolkit, the Curtis model AC F2-C is the ultimate Class III truck control system.
New Powerful System Controller for a Wide Application Range
The Curtis Model 1351 System Controller provides 26 multi-function I/O for application in stand-alone or CAN connected systems. With ample user code space and the newly enhanced real-time VCL 2.0 programming language, OEMs can use Model 1351 to develop a wide range of vehicle and system control applications as the master or a slave in a multi- module installation.
The 1351 System Controller was designed for a wide variety of applications, such as material handling vehicle masters, base controllers for aerial trucks, operator interface in man-up platforms, land based installation controllers replacing PLCs, ICE and Hybrid system controllers, hydraulic manifold control and many others. This advanced controller features highly flexible I/O as pins are multifunctional and easily configured to match any application, and with the Curtis Vehicle Control Language (VCL), an easy to program “C-like” language providing all the power and flexibility to control any application. VCL programs run protected and securely; monitored for proper operation to protect the system from erratic behaviors.
Model 1351 provides speed, safety and simplicity with dual 32-bit microprocessors to achieve powerful performance and safety. The microprocessors cross check each-other continuously for proper operation to ensure reliable control of your application. 1351 can perform user developed Safety Functions to EN13849 Category 2 PL=d and limited Category 3 functions using the I/O redundancy and built-in SRDO functions.
This system controller also features comprehensive CANbus control. With two Independent CAN ports, Model 1351 offers a wide range of connectivity options. Each port can run different rates and protocols, with full CANopen and/or J1939 compatibility. Model 1351 is ideally suited for hybrid vehicles or to bridge CANopen ports at different bit rates.
Curtis Introduces New Isolated CAN Module
The 1360 can be utilized to mitigate unwanted voltage or current on a bus originating from EMC, ground loops or systems operating on multiple voltages. It is designed to isolate one CANbus from another, effectively reducing bus noise and errors while still facilitating communication between the two busses. The module contains optionally connected 120-ohm CAN termination resistors making it easy to terminate a bus within the module. The 1360 module integrates easily into a system; by simply connecting two CAN buses to the module it will effectively isolate one bus from the other effectively reducing bus noise. Hardware only design does not require updating or configuring firmware. The unit easily operates in demanding conditions with an operational temperature range of -40AE to +85AE C and IP67 ingress protection and supports CAN baud rates from 50kbps to 1Mbps. CE compliant with regard to EMC and ROHS, UL recognition is pending.