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Modbus TCP communication protocol for drives

Jonathan Bullick | December 5th, 2017

As a system integrator, you may work with many brands of PLCs, depending on what your client prefers or already has installed. When it comes time to choose a VFD for their installation, it’s handy to have a versatile drive with communication options at the top of your list.

The F5 VFD from KEB America is popular with integrators and end users for this reason. Rather than having to accommodate limited options, the F5 is available with communication ports that connect it to a range of 3rd party PLCs. Modbus® TCP is just one of the many communication protocols available to KEB customers. 



Modbus® TCP protocol for drives

Like Modbus® RTU, the TCP variant is reliable and easy to use. The main difference is that the communication is sent over the TCP/IP network. This makes it a good combination of simplicity and functionality. Generally, communication from the TCP variant isn’t as fast as other fieldbus protocols. However, the benefit of using Modbus® TCP over protocols with similar speeds – such as EtherNet/IP – is the increased flexibility. Because it leverages the most common physical network, a universal networking standard, and a neutral communication standard, integrators are met with a truly open method of transmitting data that works well with the brands of their choice.

Selecting RTU or TCP will come down to which you are most comfortable with and which is the most cost-effective for your particular application. The F5 drive from KEB is versatile enough to suit nearly any application, whether you choose RTU or TCP for your Modbus® protocol.


Modbus TCP - scalable family of drives from KEB


F5 – global drive platform

The full family of F5 drives was designed for use in a host of different applications and industries. It’s available in 230, 480, and 690 VAC classes, with scalable sizes from 1 Hp to 1000 Hp. An optional integrated braking transistor can be added for hoisting and regenerative applications, which saves on cabinet space as a separate unit is not required. Customers can select their preferred heatsink, and encoder options are also available.


Machine control options

When it comes to machine control, the F5 has options for open loop, closed loop, or KEB’s unique SCL™ technology. With the SCL control algorithm precise speed and torque control is possible without the use of encoder feedback, and in some cases positioning control can be achieved without an encoder.

Internal positioning functionality is built into the F5 drive for easy coordinated movements over the drive communication bus. The F5 can run both induction and servo motors. These options, along with the communication protocols available, are why the F5 drive is a perfect choice for the system integrator who works with many brands of PLCs and integrated control.


Let us help with your next Modbus® TCP application

KEB has been designing and manufacturing inverters for over 30 years. If you have a question about which F5 drive options best suit your application, contact KEB today.

Modbus® is a registered trademark of Schneider Electric, licensed to the Modbus Organization, Inc.

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