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SPS IPC Drives 2015 exclusive show report

03 January, 2016

After dipping in 2014, there was a surge in visitor and exhibitor numbers at the 2015 SPS IPC Drives automation and motion engineering show, held recently in Nuremberg. There was plenty for the visitors to see and discuss, including an unusually large number of VSD launches, the latest developments in Industry 4.0, and lots of talk about using cloud platforms.

By the time the show closed at the end of November, 64,386 visitors had passed through its gates – a substantial 13.4% increase on the previous year. The number of exhibitors at the three-day show also climbed, from 1,602 in 2014 to 1,668, while the number of non-German exhibitors grew from 508 to 534.

One figure that has continued to fall is the number of UK exhibitors at the show, which has dropped from 21 in 2013, to 18 in 2014 and just 17 in 2015.

The 2015 exhibition continued the emphasis on Industry 4.0 which has been a dominant theme at German industrial trade shows in recent years. An important sub-theme was the number of companies and organisations now offering to link industrial systems to cloud platforms.

In terms of the technologies on show, 2015 was notable for the number of new and enhanced ranges of variable-speed drives that were launched at SPS. VSD suppliers that unveiled brand-new or significantly extended drives ranges included ABB, Bonfiglioli, Danfoss, Delta, Mitsubishi, Parker, Schneider, Vacon, WEG and Yaskawa.

Details of these launches and other developments announced at the show can be found in this report and elsewhere on this Web site.


Baumüller has a new range of three-phase synchronous motors in a choice of kit or housed formats. The scalable, high-performance-density DSE motors (shown below) cover the power range 0.25–15kW and will run at up to 9,000 rpm. The company has also extended the torque range of its DST2 high-torque motors with two new frame sizes, taking the top rating up to 60kNm (at speeds of up to 300 rpm).

Baumüller has also added a new frame size to its b maXX 2500 series of decentralised drives, offering peak torque levels of 10Nm, a top power rating of 6.5kW, and a five times overload factor. Finally, the company was promoting a digital encoder version of its single-cable motor-drive connection system, previously only available in a resolver version.

The Italian manufacturer Bonfiglioli Riduttori used SPS to launch a family of high-power-density servo inverters covering power ratings from 0.25–400kW and voltages up to 690V. The ANG (Active Next Generation) drives (below) have built-in PLCs and offer functions including a synchronous positioning mode with cubic interpolation and brake control. They can control servo, induction and synchronous reluctance motors and support several Ethernet-based buses.

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