Technical FAQs

Get answers to your frequently asked technical questions.

I have called up a recipe when working offline - but as soon as I exit the recipe management box the values disappear?

This also occurs if you call up a recipe when working online, except when you are working online you are able to transfer the recipe to the drive by hitting the "send" button - PL Pilot is of course a means of inspecting and altering the contents ...

The help files do not seem to be present on my installation disk.

The "help" menu on the Windows task bar is referring to those files which are part of the SpecView package, rather than PL Pilot which is an application running within the overall package. The help files are not on the installation disk. However, ...

Can I use an external emergency stop system to interrupt the supply to the main contactor coil?

As far as the safety of the drive is concerned (and our warranty) it is crucial that the drive controls the main contactor without any external interference. Any emergency stop system should be connected into the coast stop input, terminal 34. Thi...

Do I need to use semiconductor fusing?

Unconditionally, yes. This is the only way to protect the drive bridge in the event of a fault anywhere in the system, and it is a warranty condition for the drive. There are certain breaker types on the market that are claimed to be fast enough f...

How can I check that I have not made a mistake during configuration?

It is of course possible to forget to disconnect a connection that you are intending to use for something else - for example by setting the analogue output GOTO of UIP2 to 26) RAMP INPUT whilst forgetting to disconnect the default input to that pi...

How can I ignore the AT CURRENT LIMIT flag when increasing load on a machine tool?

This allows the AT CURRENT LIMIT flag to be ignored during acceleration and deceleration. Useful for machine tools which need to know about increased load when a tool wears, but don’t want nuisance trips when changing speed.

It does ...

How can I use the SPEED PRESET block?

First decide what inputs you want for control. For the example that follows I have used digital inputs 1,2 and 3. Setting DIP1 gives speed 1, setting DIP1 and 2 gives speed 2, setting DIP2 gives speed 3 - these are all forward speeds. Reverse spee...

How do I configure DIO1 as a digital output looking at the heatsink trip?

These instructions show how to configure DIO1 as a digital output looking at the heatsink trip. It will set the output high when heatsink trip is detected exclusively.

Go to CONFIGURATION, ENABLE GOTO,GETFROM and set to ENABLED.

Go...

How do I configure DIO1 for use in brake control?

This configures a digital output to control a brake, so that it is released once the drive is making current.

The easiest way to accomplish this is by using a comparator to look at current.

To configure the drive for this using the...

How do I create a simple speed threshold detector?

This is very easy to arrange. The digital outputs can be set to look at any parameter, and have a threshold facility. For example, if you wanted to use digital output 1 for this purpose you can configure the drive as follows:

Go to CONFIGUR...

How do I do field weakening?

This question is usually accompanied by a statement to the effect that it has proved difficult and/or time consuming in older drives. With the digital drive it is simple. Providing you have set the BASE SPEED and TOP SPEED parameters correctly in ...

How do I get an output that tells me the drive is healthy (or ready)?

The digital output on terminal 24 (DOP3) is a drive healthy signal in the default settings. We assume that the drive cannot be anything other than healthy if the START command has not been satisfied, in other words if the main contactor has not be...

How do I get an output that tells me the drive is up to speed?

This can be taken to mean one of two things - the speed demanded has not yet been reached because the drive is imposing a ramp on the demand and/or the drive is in current limit whilst accelerating (or decelerating). In either event, an appropriat...

How do I perform encoder based speed ratioing?

At present the PL/X is equipped with only one set of encoder inputs, so it is not possible to ratio a PL/X in encoder feedback to another encoder. It is however possible to ratio a PL/X in encoder feedback to another PL/X in encoder feedback via a...

How do I perform forward/reverse with only a single polarity speed reference?

There are many ways to do this within the PL/X but our preferred method is always to perform any sequencing external to the drive if practicable as doing so keeps as many drives as possible in default configuration. In this instance, as a contact ...

How do I run a small motor with a large PL/X?

The PL/X DC Drive allows a 33 to 100% range on the setting of 2)RATED ARM AMPS in CALIBRATION.

If you are testing a large drive on a small DC motor, it may not be possible to turn down the rated armature current enough. This is no p...

How do I scale the analogue outputs if my metering system is not the same as the drive outputs?

The analogue outputs have a maximum output of + or - 11.3V at + or - 5mA with 10V representing 100% by default. Each analogue output has a divider , offset control and can be set to rectified or bipolar. For example AOP1 is by default set to 715) ...

How do I switch between screens when working offline with recipes?

This really follows on from the last question - once you have used the "hide this box" button, you are not able to switch screens as PL Pilot locks out the buttons. If you want to switch screens you have to once again call up the recipe management...

How do I switch between two signals using a digital input?

Each digital input has two PIN that can be connected to any parameter, analogue or digital, within the block diagram. For example, if you wanted to switch speed demand inputs for local/remote speed control, using UIP2 for one input and UIP3 input ...

How do I use a multifunction block to control direction from a digital input?

Use one of the MULTIFUNCTION blocks in SIGN CHANGER mode. Basically, take your present final speed demand (the output of the RUN MODE RAMP block) through one of the MULTIFUNCTION blocks and control the polarity with a digital input. See the defaul...

How do I use Acceleration and Deceleration current limits?

The PL/X has two externally set current limit – one for positive current, the parameter known as 89)UPPER CURRENT CLAMP and one for negative current known as 90)LOWER CURRENT CLAMP. These are controlled by default by terminals UIP6 and UIP5 ...

How do I use the Spindle Orientation block with gearboxes?

If the motor/gearbox ratio is an integer only exact multiple, (for example, exactly 3/1, 4/1 etc) the encoder may be fitted to either the motor shaft or the spindle side of the gearbox – but please take note of the manual comments regarding ...

How To Configure The PL/X Diameter Calculation Blocks

The PL/X reel diameter calculator, taper tension calculator and torque compensator blocks are intended to be used in order to provide automatic current limit control against reel diameter when applied to a center winder having a constant field mot...

I am working offline, and I only want one recipe to cover all my changes?

When working off line you can create multiple recipes to cover different screens, and if possible, this is the easiest way to work - the individual screens group parameters in a more orderly fashion than the "total recipe" screen. However, if you ...

I have called up a recipe when working offline - but as soon as I exit the recipe management box the values disappear?

This also occurs if you call up a recipe when working online, except when you are working online you are able to transfer the recipe to the drive by hitting the "send" button - PL Pilot is of course a means of inspecting and altering the contents ...

I have changed 37) JOG SPEED 1 to a negative amount but the drive still jogs forward?

This is commonly because of a misunderstanding regarding the use of the jog input on terminal 32. For jog to be used T32 is taken high but not T33 (Start). If you take them both high, you are actually running under 39) SLACK SPEED 1, see the truth...

I have made configuration changes but they have not taken effect?

The drive does not update the block diagram until configuration is disabled. Go to CONFIGURATION, ENABLE GOTO/GET FROM and set it to disabled.

...

I have only one contact available for starting and stopping the drive - should I use run or start or coast stop?

The best way is to permanently tie run and coast stop to 24V and use your contact to switch the start input, terminal 33. Under these circumstances the drive has control over the contactor, ramp to stop time etc. It is definitely not a good idea t...

I have only one contact available for starting and stopping the drive - should I use run or start or coast stop?

The best way is to permanently tie run and coast stop to 24V and use your contact to switch the start input, terminal 33. Under these circumstances the drive has control over the contactor, ramp to stop time etc. It is definitely not a good idea t...

I have saved a recipe, but some of the changes I have made do not transfer when I load them to a drive?

It is important to remember the recipe system only saves parameters that are contained within the screen you happen to be on at the time. For example if you were in the "calibration" screen and saved a recipe from there, the only items contained w...

I have saved a recipe, but some of the changes I have made do not transfer when I load them to a drive?

It is important to remember the recipe system only saves parameters that are contained within the screen you happen to be on at the time. For example if you were in the "calibration" screen and saved a recipe from there, the only items contained w...

I want two stop times, normal and E Stop?

It has proved a popular request to have the facility for two stop ramp times - one for normal production stops and a very much faster one for emergency stop. This is easy to do, but before explaining how to do it a word about the use of "emer...

The help files do not seem to be present on my installation disk.

The "help" menu on the Windows task bar is referring to those files which are part of the SpecView package, rather than PL Pilot which is an application running within the overall package. The help files are not on the installation disk....

What is the purpose of the 'defaults' and 'range' buttons at the top of most screens?

These two buttons call up "read only" lists in the form of a dialogue box showing factory settings and permissible range of every drive parameter. Although this dialogue box is equipped with a "send" button, it has no effect. The lists are for ref...

When I start PL Pilot there does not seem to be an option to work offline (without a drive connected)?

Although the first screen you see refers to "countdown to auto online" and "go online now", PL Pilot will still work if you don't have a drive connected. Hitting the "go online now" button or waiting for the countdown...

Why can I not change GOTO or GET FROM settings whilst configuring the drive?

Probably because you have not enabled configuration. Go to CONFIGURATION, ENABLE GOTO/GET FROM and set it to enabled.

...

Why can't I see my saved recipes in Windows Explorer?

When PL Pilot saves recipe files, it does not save them with a name such as the description you may have given when in "recipe management". Instead it just increments the file extension for every new recipe saved. Furthermore, it does no...

Why do I sometimes have apparently differing unit values if setting a parameter from another parameter?

Irrespective of any engineering units or decimal points applied to a given parameter, the PL/X treats the parameter as a pure number with signing as far as the MMI is concerned. As an example if you wanted to set 342)UIP4 CAL RATIO (which has four...

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