Soft starter technology matches profiles, loads

GE Consumer & Industrial ( announced its latest soft starter. The ASTAT XT soft starter is designed to reduce mechanical wear and tear, and lower peak energy charges associated with motor loads for pumps, fans, compressors, material handling, blowers, chillers, conveyors and machine tools.


GE Consumer & Industrial ( ) announced its latest soft starter. The ASTAT XT soft starter is designed to reduce mechanical wear and tear, and lower peak energy charges associated with motor loads for pumps, fans, compressors, material handling, blowers, chillers, conveyors and machine tools. The new soft starter features sophisticated pump and torque controls, and a 16-line alphanumeric backlit LCD display with remote mount option.

Soft start vs. traditional

Traditionally, reduced-voltage starters have been autotransformers, wye/delta or part winding electromechanical starters that reduce inrush line current vs. across-the-line starting. However, the ASTAT XT soft starter uses advanced digital technology to do the same thing, and to protect and better control motors.

Pumps, fans, blowers, chillers and other industrial equipment have different and specific load profiles. Reactive components do not allow reduced-voltage starters to accommodate diverse load characteristics. The ASTAT XT soft starter uses advanced digital technology to protect and control motors by precisely applying acceleration and deceleration that match specific load profiles. This advanced microprocessor-based control translates to reduced mechanical wear on the motor and load as well as energy savings.

The ASTAT XT soft starter’s sophisticated controls enable pumps to avoid overpressure at the end of the acceleration phase, and suppress water hammering at the stopping phase. Its torque controls produce results close to linear speed without tachometer feedback.

The ASTAT XT soft starter’s backlit LCD screen delivers full parameter descriptions in two rows of 16 alphanumeric characters each. The screen displays the selected function and setting and/or monitor values. Arrow keys allow parameters to be selected or changed. Functionality of the multilanguage (English, German, Italian, Spanish) display includes:

  • Data readouts that display line voltage, motor current, etc.

  • Fault diagnostics such as overload, overvoltage and undercurrent

  • Statistical data such as elapsed run time, fault recording, trip event, etc.

  • Parameter settings such as acceleration time, starting voltage and motor FLA.

    • Other features of the ASTAT XT soft starter include Modbus RTU, factory-installed DeviceNet or optional Profibus DP communication networks; inline or inside-delta operation to easily replace Y/D starters, allowing the unit’s rating to be reduced by as much as 1.5 times; and a generator supply to help minimize the negative effects caused by the generator voltage fluctuations during starting.

      The ASTAT XT soft starter delivers reliable performance and smooth acceleration for standard ac motors from 8 A to 1,400 A, and 230 V to 690 V.

      It offers motor protection with IEC Class 10 or Class 20, and NEMA Class 10, Class 20 and Class 30 overloads. The soft starter is both light-duty and heavy-duty rated with a maximum ambient temperature rating of 50 C.

      All ASTAT XT models from 950 A up must be operated with a bypass contactor. Also, the ASTAT XT Soft Start’s built-in bypass terminals allow easy installation of an external bypass contactor. The soft starter has a standard warranty of 18 months and is UL, cUL and CE approved.

      The ASTAT XT soft starter is designed to reduce mechanical wear and lower peak energy costs associated with sophisticated motor loads.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
2015 Mid-Year Report: Manufacturing's newest tool: In a digital age, digits will play a key role in the plant of the future; Ethernet certification; Mitigate harmonics; World class maintenance
2015 Lubrication Guide: Green and gold in lubrication: Environmentally friendly fluids and sealing systems offer a new perspective
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths
New industrial buildings: Greener, cleaner, leaner; New building designs for industry; Take a new look at absorption cooling; Offshored jobs start to come back

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.