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System Components

Cranes and Hoists

Unico offers both AC and DC solutions for the crane industry. Either type of drive can be configured for gantry, steel mill, portal, or offshore applications. Axis-specific software for hoist, bridge, or trolley motions is built into the drive.
UNICO’s Crane and Hoist Drive combines the proven performance and versatility of

UNICO’s 2000 Series drives with powerful control software engineered specifically for hoist, bridge, and trolley applications. The drive is completely engineered and manufactured in the U. S. A. Thousands of rugged 2000 Series controllers are in use in AC and DC servo-positioning systems worldwide.

Common Bus Design

 A common bus design reduces system complexity while minimizing power consumption. Unlike other drive systems, where each drive has its own integral rectifier, the 2000 Series employs a single charging unit for all drives in the system. This reduces panel space and spare part requirements while cutting installation costs. One common dynamic braking resistor grid is used for all motions.

Energy Sharing

With the common bus design, regenerated energy can be circulated within the system to be reused by motoring drives rather than dissipated wastefully by the dynamic braking resistors. Such energy sharing can substantially reduce electrical operating costs on some multimotor operations.

Redundant Charging Unit

For optimal safety and reliability, a redundant charing unit can be added to protect against crane immobility. This backup unit permits continued operation without loss of control should the primary charging unit fail.

Universal Drive

The unique 2000 Series can control a DC motor today and an AC motor tomorrow. By replacing troublesome electromechanical controls with reliable, solid-state technology, the drive can immediately improve crane operation, safety, and productivity while retaining the existing DC rails and motor. With a small modification, the same drive can be converted to flux vector AC operation, allowing the DC motor to be replaced with a low-maintenance AC induction motor the next time repair is needed. With its low profile and small footprint, the drive can usually be installed within existing enclosures for efficient retrofitting with minimal downtime.

Optimized Transducerless Operation

Proprietary velocity observer software yields excellent speed regulation for singleand multimotor operation without motor-mounted encoders. If transducer feedback is required, the drive supports 5 V and 15 V encoders, resolvers, and linear absolute encoders.

Motor and Brake Torque Proving

Precise coordination between motor and brake dramatically extends brake life and lowers maintenance costs. Because the drive completely controls motor torque, a brake is required only for holding and emergency stopping in case of power outages or faults. An adjustable load hang time further minimizes brake wear.

PLC Communications

The drive can be connected serially to most major brands of programmable controllers for easy integration into a system.

Integral Crane Automation

With optional IEC 1131 open-architecture logic programming, a drive with coprocessor can control up to 16 or 32 independent I/O points. This eliminates external relays, timers, and related wiring. Programming can be done by the user or by UNICO engineers in ladder logic or any of four other IEC 1131 languages.

AC or DC Inputs and Outputs

On-board, optically isolated converters configure individual inputs and outputs to the control voltage requirements of a particular system. A mixture of AC and DC inputs ranging from 24 V to 250 V can be applied on each motion. No add-on I/O boards are required.

Plain-Language Setup and Diagnostics

An easy-to-read two-line by 24-character-per-line descriptive display shows setups, readouts, and fault messages in plain English, not cryptic codes. Faults are logged by time and date with the 50 most recent occurrences being retained for review. Windows-based monitoring software and an interactive CD-ROM troubleshooting guide are also available.



• Warp-speed quick lift

• Torque limit

• Reverse plug simulation

• Torque limited accel/decel times

• Load hang time

• Stepless acceleration/deceleration

• Motor and brake torque proving

• Mechanical resonance filters

• Fast stop

• Hoist overload protection

• Variable-speed control

• Slack cable detection

• Five preset speeds

• Uncommanded motion detection

• Analog joystick control

• Antisway control

• Microspeed positioning control

• Automatic self-tuning to motor and load

• Dual upper/lower limit switch inputs

• Keypad security lockout



• High-speed digital signal processor and patented digital current regulator provide superior speed and torque control
• Operates AC or DC motor from AC or DC source
• Single power drop reduces power distribution requirements
• Twelve-pulse and fully regenerative options for optimal power quality
• True load sharing capability
• Analog voltage or current speed references
• Superior motor protection

DC Retrofits

• Replaces high-maintenance electromechanical controls with reliable, low-maintenance, solid-state technology
• Retains existing DC motors
• Powered by existing 250 V DC rails
• Antiregeneration diode isolates drive from the rails
• Provides speed and torque control superior to electromechanical contactors
• Eliminates commutator faults due to brownouts
• Provides load-independent hoist and lower speeds
• Engages brake after motion has stopped (load hanging)
• Minimizes brake wear by eliminating the need to engage brake when going from up to down motion
• Reduces line voltage notching
• Reduces motor heating
• DC IGBT-based PWM technology ensures peak motor efficiency
• Compact design permits reuse of existing enclosures
• Utilizes existing crane controls until update is desired




UNICO 2000 Series




• Maintenance



• Life

Typically low

Reduced heating extends life

• Commutation faults



• Protection

Bimetallic or eutectic

Software controlled

• Change to AC in future





• Load hanging

Brake captures the spinning load

Brake engaged only after motor stops

• Engaged when changing directions

Yes—necessitates brake maintenance

No—extends brake life

• Maintenance


Reduced by at least 90%



• Maintenance



Crane Operation


• Current control

Performance depends upon motor temperature, age, brushes, etc.

Current to motor controlled using digital current regulator (U. S. patent)

• Lowering speed

Varies with load

Independent of load

• Notch filters


Yes—eliminates resonance

• Line voltage notching



• Load stabilization control





• Speed adjustments

New resistors

Setup parameters

• S-ramp setup

• S-ramp setup


• Diagnostics


Last 50 faults with date/time stamping

• Programmable security



• Windows/PC setup


Yes (software available)

• On-board PLC functions




Input Supply



208/230, 380/400/415/460, or 575 V AC (±10%), 3-phase 250 V DC (+20%/–25%)


47 to 63 Hz

Displacement Power Factor

0.95 at all loads and speeds
1.0 with regeneration

Output Rating



Zero to input voltage

AC Switching Frequency

10 kHz standard, programmable 5 to 20 kHz

DC Switching Frequency

1.5 kHz

Overload Current

150% of rated for 1 minute, 200% for 3 seconds



Operating Temperature

Less than 300 hp: 32° to 131° F (0° to 55° C)
300 hp or more: 32° to 104° F (0° to 40° C)

Storage Temperature

5° to 158° F (–15° to 70° C)


• Ground fault

• Heat sink overtemperature

• Oversized IGBT power section

• Power transistor fault

• AC line input fuses

• DC link choke

• DC bus overvoltage

• Phase loss

• DC bus undervoltage

• Control power undervoltage

• DC bus pre-charge contactor

• Excessive velocity error

• DC bus fuse and blown fuse

• Uncommanded motion

• Transient voltage suppression

• Overspeed

• Electronic instantaneous overcurrent

• Feedback transducer failure

• Electronic I2t motor thermal overload

• Memory malfunction

• Electronic braking unit overcurrent

• Processor running fault


• Heat sink overtemperature

Power Range

Input Voltage

2400 Series (Modular AC)

2420 Series (Integrated AC)

2450 Series (Modular DC)

230 V AC

11/2-75 hp (1.1-56 kW)

11/2-40 hp (1.1-30 kW)

11/2-150 hp (1.1-110 kW)

460 V AC

11/2-1000 hp (1.1-746 kW)

11/2-60 hp (1.1-45 kW)

11/2-800 hp (1.1-597 kW)

575 V AC

11/2-1000 hp (1.1-746 kW)

Consult factory for other powers. Other voltages require appropriate derating.